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Complex hiring processes are losing talent

Half (50%) of all UK professionals have declined a job offer because the hiring process was too long.

Research published today (11 January) by recruitment agency Morgan McKinley has shown that although movement between jobs remains high, many companies are missing out on talent by having overly complicated or lengthy recruitment pipelines.

More on recruitment:

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Ghosting on the rise in recruitment

Businesses judged by recruitment processes

Two thirds (65%) of employers globally reported they had lost their preferred candidate to an overly lengthy hiring process.

David Leithead, chief operations manager of Morgan McKinley UK, told HR Magazine that a lack of clarity, both internally and when speaking to candidates, can slow down recruitment.

“The involvement of multiple stakeholders inevitably causes the hiring process to increase in length, but is often deemed a necessity to ensure the right hire is made,” he said.

“When a process is vague, the timetable drifts, or a hiring organisation is not transparent about other applicants – particularly internal – being in play, jobseekers will often quickly lose engagement and interest.”

Companies can improve their chances of keeping a candidate interested, he added, by limiting the number of interview stages where possible, and being clear from the beginning what the process will involve and how long it will take. 

He said: “Jobseekers want to be thoroughly tested, and multi-stage interview processes can, in the right circumstances, be as much a factor in successfully persuading someone to join, as putting them off. 

“The most successful processes employ a panel that is really representative of the hiring organisation.”

The survey also revealed that 84% of UK professionals are considering a career move this year.

Leithead said: “A dangerous factor in the Great Resignation is that it fuels itself. Change breeds change; attrition in one organisation causes it to hire from another.”

Four in 10 (42%) UK professionals, however, reported being unaware of any effort by their employer to retain them.

Leithead added: “The biggest thing fuelling this is the breaking of bonds between employers and their employees that happens when the in-person, in-office interactions and communications are at a low ebb. Some employers don't like to admit it, but video interactions are simply not the same from a relationship and retention point of view.”

Morgan McKinley's survey polled over 4,000 professionals and hiring decision makers from 62 companies globally.