Employers Are Losing More Candidates as Time to Fill Continues to Grow

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By John Zappe

It’s taking companies longer than at any time in the last 15 years — maybe even  longer than ever — to fill a job, and that languor is losing them candidates.

Two recent reports on hiring put the average time from vacancy to offer at more than four weeks. And both studies — one from Glassdoor and the other from career site publisher DHI Group — say the time to fill is getting longer.

In the midst of a national recovery that has seen the unemployment rate go from a high of 10.1 percent to 5.3 percent in June, while the labor force continues to contract, Glassdoor found hiring time went from 12.6 days in 2010 to 22.9 days at the end of 2014.

Even when the data is scrubbed to control for changes in hiring location, industry mix, and other variables, Glassdoor found that interview time increased between three and four days.

The monthly DHI-DFH National Mean Vacancy Duration says it took an average of 28 working days (which includes Saturdays) to fill a job in May. In just one year, the average increased by 3.3 days. In some industries the average is even higher. For health services jobs the average is 42.3 days; financial services jobs average 41.2 days.

Recruiters at one of the largest search agency networks in the world say this hiring slowness is costing employers candidates. It’s a candidate-driven market, say 9-out-of-10 recruiters, yet too many employers drag their heels on hiring or make low ball offers.

The survey of the independent recruiters at MRI Network agencies says the leading reason why a job offer is turned down is because the candidate accepted another one.

Rejections are also coming sooner. The time between first interview to a rejected offer is four weeks or less, according to 63 percent of the recruiters. “Year-over-year data,” says the MRI report, “shows rejected offers after two weeks are on the rise, advancing six percentage points since the first half 2014 survey.”

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