Keep Your Hiring Process Moving!

The economy is definitely improving and U.S. job markets are returning to peak  employment, which means there are more job vacancies. Although the U.S. has 5.4 million job openings, the number of people being hired hasn’t fully recovered from the recession. Why? Not only are there fewer candidates, says the Wall Street Journal, but also employers have slowed down their hiring process and are taking longer to make a hire.

“Across the economy, the time it takes to fill jobs is lengthening. The slower hiring process has prolonged the already-slow pace of labor-market healing that has beset the U.S. in the six years since the recession officially ended. Stephen Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago, found that as of April the average job sat vacant for 27.3 days before being filled, nearly double the 15.3 days it took to fill a job in mid-2009.”

That 27.3 days is just the average! What this tells us is that many of the tough-to-fill jobs are taking several months to fill!

My observation is that many hiring managers have had their hiring process tempered by the recession. They’ve lost their sense of urgency since, for the last five years or so, they could afford to sit on candidate submittals until they could carve time out to begin interviewing.

The tables have been turned, and it is definitely a candidate’s market. For example, one of my fellow recruiters just placed a candidate who was fielding three offers simultaneously. The candidate had her pick of the best location, compensation, company reputation and culture, and job responsibilities.

Recently, I was recruiting on a contract engineering position and the manager asked to interview three of my candidates–three weeks after I had presented them. All three had already secured positions and were no longer available.

Will there be other candidates? Yes, but my three candidates were the BEST in the market at the time, and it is doubtful that in three weeks there will be new candidates of the same caliber. Even if there are, consider that the work I put into finding those candidates is lost time and compensation. I am less likely to give more time to working that job order and more likely to spend time on an order where the company is more responsive and I actually have a chance at successfully filling the position. Our clients don’t work for free, and neither can we do business unless we actually fill job orders and get paid for the work we love to do.

Hopefully, these true stories will encourage you to keep your hiring process moving! We are currently in a candidate’s market, so even if your hiring team gets hung up by bureaucratic happenings higher up the chain, keep communicating with your recruiter and candidates if you hope to stay in the running. Do whatever you can to streamline your hiring process and get to the offer stage, because the competition is fierce! If you don’t keep your hiring process moving, you’ll lose your race for the best candidates before you know it.

For tips on preparing to hire A Players and move your hiring process along, read this.

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