Why is the hiring cycle so long?

logo4We have heard everyone talk about the lack of talent and the major talent gaps in today’s workforce.  Examples of these talent shortages are especially evident in the Information Technology, Healthcare skilled medical professions, finance, accounting and skilled labor such as welding and CNC Operators.  The shortage of trained professionals translates to fewer qualified candidates.  Efforts are underway by several economic and professional groups to attract new talent to the area and to retain the talent we currently have.  The question becomes, if we are all aware that there is a shortage of top talent, why is it taking so long to hire when you have great candidates and what can be done to make the hiring process more efficient and reduce time.

Within our company (SCOUT Solutions Group), we are seeing hiring cycles for mid-level professionals ranging from 6 weeks up to 6+ months.  After speaking with other professionals within our industry, this is apparently the norm and the cycle period today and seems to be increasing.  So if talent at your door should things be done to expedite the process?  On several occasions, I have witnessed the process drag on for weeks and the candidate either loses interest, or is hired by another company that moves the process more efficiently.

Just in the past week, I watched a young Financial Analyst conduct phone interviews, several face-to-face interviews, receive and accept an offer within two weeks, while another organization that desired to offer this person a position worked to navigate internal challenges.  The group that missed the opportunity had been working with this person for a couple of months prior to the candidate even receiving the first call from their new employer.


No one desires to make snap decisions related to hiring.  The cost of a bad hire is extreme; not only financially but it can have a negative impact on productivity, employee engagement and overall morale.  A balance can be reached using just a couple of simple solutions which could be considered:

• Have a meeting with all interested parties, decision makers or hiring committee prior to conducting a search to better define all needs, desires, expectations, and establish timelines as a group.  Then stick to that plan.

• Predetermine set times during the week when interviews can be conducted.  Don’t allow the scheduling process to take a week in itself.

• If members of the interviewing team are traveling out of town, determine if can technology be used to conduct interviews to keep the process from stalling.

• Streamline the offer approval process prior to conducting interviews.

Remember, the best candidate always wins! If you need to fill a role, chances are good that you have competition in the market place that is seeking the same talent or even the same candidate.  The most efficient company with a thorough but organized timely process in place will win the race.

Trace Chesser
SCOUT Solutions Group, LLC


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