In the last four years the length of time taken by companies to complete an interview process has skyrocketed by more than 75%.
According to a new report published by Glassdoor Economic Research, the average interview process now takes 23 days, up from 13 days in 2010 – a global trend that is the norm in North America, Germany, France, and Australia.
This has serious implications for companies. While a longer hiring process may lead to more carefully screened candidates, the cost of foregone productivity due to vacant positions remains high.
Companies that conduct lengthy interview processes also risk losing out on the most desirable candidates – those with the most skill that are in the highest demand.
According to the candidates interviewed by Glassdoor’s researchers, a wide variety of factors influence the hiring process: industry characteristics, international differences in law and culture, the growing complexity of job characteristics, changing job seeker demographics, shifts in employer job interview methods and more.
While most of these factors are beyond the control of employers, one important set of factors is not: the number and type of job interview “screening” methods chosen by company HR management.
Glassdoor identified nine separate screening methods employed by hiring managers in the last four years.
Of these, telephone interviews add 6.8 to 8.2 days to the process; group panel interviews add 5.6 to 6.8 days, and one-on-one interviews add 4.1 to 5.3 days.
Other screening methods like employee background checks, skills tests and drug tests are becoming more common among employers and it is this increased reliance on candidate screening that is the biggest contributor to the recent trend toward longer interview times.
With that in mind, we offer some of our top tips for streamlining your interview process. What would you add to the story? Let us know in the comments.
Know the skills and attributes you want to hire for and ensure the questions asked to give you the opportunity to evaluate those attributes in the candidate. Decide ahead of time what the steps are and set that expectation with the candidate and try not to stray from this. Busy calendars will get in the way but try to get back on track as soon as possible.
Remember the candidate’s experience
If you are recruiting for an industry with a staffing shortage, like localization, you don’t just want to assess the candidate; you also want them to have a great experience. Give them an opportunity to ask questions and make sure they feel good at the end of it.
If communication skills and presentation skills are a core part of the role, begin the interview process by having the candidate answer pre-recorded interview questions via online video. Alternatively, have them submit examples of previous presentations they have given as part of their submittal.
Give timely feedback
Whether using a specialist agency service or hiring direct, give feedback in a timely manner. Remember the agency is your eyes and ears in the field. If they can’t get back to candidates because they have no feedback, it’s you, the hiring company, whose reputation will suffer.
Understand the candidates you are interested in
Understand your candidates’ goals. All candidates are different – some are motivated by money, others by work-life balance, and yet others by career progression. Knowing what each candidate wants ensures that it aligns with what you can offer as an employer and what your goals are for this hire.
Check web presence
Checking their social media profile is a way of gaining extra insight into them as a person, their skills and their personality and professionalism. Ensure that the image portrayed in their social media presence is consistent with what you are looking for in a candidate.
Arm yourself with information
Ensure you have salary information, background checks and all reference information before the last interview, so if an offer is made all this can be done quickly. In a market where we are all fighting for the best candidates, being first to offer is where you want to be.