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  • How long does it take to recruit good people?

  • Media:

    Date: May 2007

    Article: How long does it take to recruit good people?

    Author: Katherine Amin - Recruitment Director, New Leaf Search

    "...from a recruitment perspective, the initial survey results are absolutely indicative of our current experience:

    Yes, it is taking longer to complete the recruitment process.

    Yes, the asset finance job market is fluid.

    Yes, there are “too few” good quality candidates out there.

    Prolonged delays in the recruitment process can be a real cause for frustration, especially amongst candidates, who have mentally decided to forge ahead with their career plans - only to find that the potential employer is on the ‘go slow’. This can prove detrimental not just to candidates but to employers as well:

    - candidates will find it increasing difficult to fully concentrate on their existing role whilst going through the process, which in turn, could have implications on their individual performance and pay award

    - a seed of doubt may appear in the candidate’s mind: ‘if it takes this long to make a recruitment decision, how long will it take to make day to day business decisions?’

    - employers wishing to hold on to valued staff will entice them to stay by making the counter-offer; the longer the recruitment process the greater the chance of the counter offer being accepted

    The risk therefore to the prospective employer is that the candidate that they have expressed a real interest in (and indeed is in short supply) could withdraw from the process or take up a competitor offer. With this, comes of course the performance and budgetary implications of having an unfilled vacancy for any length of time.

    There is however much that can be done to avoid such circumstances – with most of it in the hands of the potential employer. From our experience, the most common reasons for prolonged delays are:

    Headcount issues

    Hiring managers often embark upon assignments whereby headcount approval is pending. This is not ideal as it can sometimes take months for approval to come through. Worse still, there is always the possibility that it may not come through at all. We have also experienced situations whereby prior approved headcount is revoked during the recruitment process.

    Job Description

    Lack of a specific job description can slow down the candidate attraction process and more often than not, lead to a mismatch between candidate supply and role requirement.


    Hiring managers are sometimes guilty of not being decisive enough when reviewing shortlists and will often take days and sometimes weeks to come to a decision on whether to interview or not. This may well be as a result with of working with more than one recruiter, but more often than not, is a result of day to day business activities taking priority. Month end, q uarter end , year end , holidays only add to the delays!


    There is often a breakdown in communication between the HR function and Hiring Managers. HR may not appreciate the urgent business requirement of a hire and often take days if not weeks, to turnaround offer paperwork.


    Lack of availability of senior managers to participate in the final stage interview process can also slow down the process. Also, in some cases, HR need a senior signatory from the business to sign-off job offers. This can also be a contributing factor to the delays experienced in the HR function (as mentioned above).

    Notice Periods

    Longer notice periods are leading to an increased risk of candidates being poached for other vacancies whilst on gardening leave

    Yes, quality candidates are in short supply, with many of them courting more than one potential employer at a time. It’s up to the potential employer therefore to ensure that they pull out all the stops to secure a placement..."

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