Are You Taking Too Long to Hire?

Canadian Workers Say Most Frustrating Part of Job Search is Long Wait to Hear Status; Nearly One-Quarter of Workers Lose Interest within One Week of Initial Interview

Toronto, ON -- Timing is everything, the saying goes, and for firms trying to hire it could make the difference between securing the candidate and losing out. For more than six in ten Canadian workers (64 per cent) in a Robert Half survey, the most frustrating part of the job search is the long wait after an interview to hear if they got the job. Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) lose interest in the firm if they don’t hear back within one week after the initial interview; another 47 per cent lose interest if there’s no status update between one-to-two weeks post-interview.

Robert Half’s “Time to Hire” survey explored worker sentiment about the job search process, specifically their views about the timeframe between setting up the initial interview and receiving the job offer. More than 400 Canadian workers currently employed in office environments were surveyed by an independent research firm for the study.

“Highly skilled professionals, especially those with experience in regulatory compliance, new business technology and financial analysis, may field multiple job offers in a week,” said Greg Scileppi, Canadian president, Robert Half International Staffing Operations. “Candidates with competitive skills and various options will gravitate towards organizations that not only show interest but also exhibit a well-organized and decisive recruitment process.”

Hiring managers who fail to make timely decisions face a number of consequences, most notably losing candidates. When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 46 per cent of survey respondents lose interest and pursue other roles, while 16 per cent decide to stay put in their current job. Nearly two-in-five (39 per cent) said a protracted hiring process makes them question the organization’s ability to make other decisions. “The hiring process is a company’s opportunity to make a good first impression on potential employees, and is reflective of overall corporate culture,” noted Scileppi. “If people feel that their career growth will be impeded by a slow and indecisive organization, they may choose to forgo the position entirely.”

How long a timeline is considered too long? The survey results may surprise some hiring managers. From the day of the initial interview to the day an offer is extended, the largest percentage of workers – 32 per cent – said a process lasting 15-21 days is too long. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents felt a timeframe of 7-14 days was too lengthy.

Hiring is one of the most important decisions a company makes, and the risk of making a mistake causes some firms to draw out the process, adding days or weeks until a final decision is reached. But doing so often results in losing top candidates and starting the search over from scratch. “Ultimately, companies must be prepared with a recruitment strategy that is both thorough and nimble,” added Scileppi. He offers the following steps to help consolidate timelines:

  • Determine the need - Is it full-time or project/temporary? Is anything preventing you from hiring the right candidate now?
  • Gather the stakeholders - Set the timeline for the hiring process and get everyone’s commitment that hiring is the number one priority. Block calendars for interviews. Review the job description and salary range, noting where you can flex for the right candidate. Create a contingency plan to address any scheduling snafus and determine who has the final sign off.
  • Interview candidates - Conduct the screening interview via Skype or FaceTime. Consolidate on-site, in-person interviews to one day if possible. Get feedback immediately from the candidate and hiring managers to determine interest levels.
  • Keep communication lines open – Inform candidates when you expect to make a final decision. If there is a delay, call them to give them an updated timeline. Silence can indicate a lack of interest and encourage people to pursue other roles.
  • Make the offer - Make a verbal offer contingent on satisfactory reference and background checks. Be prepared to negotiate salary and perks, and set the start date.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow Robert Half on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected] 

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