Are You Losing Top Talent Because of Your Long Hiring Process?

Having a slow hiring process used to be normal for most organizations, particularly when the economy slowed. Many employers took the view that since there were so many candidates to choose from, and a lot of professionals who were desperate for a job, they could take their time filling open positions — and in some cases, hiring processes stretched on for months.

However, in 2015, a long hiring process will damage your employer brand and cost you the opportunity to recruit top talent, even in a slow economy. And now that there is a true talent shortage, no company can afford to drag out the hiring process.

Here’s how a long hiring process can impact your organization and force you to lose out on top talent, while you waste time and resources.

High-demand candidates go quickly

With the proliferation of social media and the speed of online professional networking, any top candidate entering the job market today will be immediately flooded with offers and recruiting requests. Often, the availability window for these types of candidates is a matter of days — so even if you get top talent into your application process, the candidate will already have a handful of job offers while you’re still conducting interviews.

Research from recruiting intelligence firm indicates that the top 10 percent of candidates last on the job market for an average of 10 days, and that losing out on a nearly-perfect candidate can cost your organization up to $1 million or more. In today’s fast-moving job market, it’s crucial to streamline your hiring process and take advantage of opportunities to hire top talent as they become available.

Slow hiring has a negative impact on your employer brand

Another result of social media integration is that candidates who are considering applying to your company can easily look up information, peer reviews, and experiences about your organization online—including your hiring process. Websites such as maintain open, public reviews of companies as employers, and the length of the hiring process is a common complaint for many.

When top talent discovers that your company’s typical hiring process stretches out for weeks, or even months, they simply won’t bother sending in their resumes. Often, the decision not to submit is not solely because they don’t want to wait — the best candidates are often fast, accurate decision makers, and are likely to view a slow hiring process as a sign that the organization itself is slow to make business decisions, or lacks innovation.

How to streamline your hiring process

Many hiring managers are reluctant to speed the hiring process, because of the perception that taking your time to hire means you’ll be able to gather more information and identify the best possible candidate. Unfortunately, the opposite is true — the longer your hiring process, the more qualified candidates will drop out of consideration, leaving you with only low to average quality candidates to choose from.

Here’s how you can shorten your time-to-hire without impacting candidate quality:

  • Know where to look: Develop a solid foundation for sourcing talent, so you have ready access to the best places to find top talent. Your job description is the best resource for recruiting talent, so make sure it’s concise, compelling, and posted in multiple places. Have social media networks and recruiting resources in place before you need to start looking for new talent.
  • Build a talent pipeline: Having qualified candidates in reserve is a great way to ensure that you can fill open positions quickly. Keep records of candidates you’ve spoken with in the past who may be qualified, but weren’t hired at the time for whatever reason. Maintain a connection with these candidates through email and social media, in the event that an opportunity to hire them comes up.
  • Identify and eliminate bottlenecks: Every business process is susceptible to bottleneck. In recruiting, tasks such as background checks and second or third rounds of interviews can slow things down. Limit candidate interviews to one, and consider making job offers contingent upon passing a background screening so you can issue an offer earlier.
  • Consider a recruiting partner: You can shorten your time-to-hire by working with a reputable staffing firm or recruiting agency. Third-party staffing services can handle the entire hiring process, from sourcing candidates to conducting preliminary interviews, so you’ll end up with a handful of highly qualified candidates to choose from.

A long, drawn-out process turns top talent away from your company and costs you both time and money. By streamlining your recruiting process and shortening time-to-hire, you’ll be able to attract and retain more top talent for your organization. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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