Advice to Hiring Managers: Don't Prolong the Interview Process

iStock / iStock

Hiring managers will often go above and beyond to recruit the perfect candidate. They'll sift through dozens of resumes before inviting potential employees in for an interview, and they'll often request follow-up meetings, additional references, and work samples before making a final decision.

This lengthy approach might seem smart to managers, but according to Business News Daily, it’s actually making them lose their best applicants. If a company wants to snag the most qualified person for the job, they need to act fast—or else the interviewee might get impatient and go work for someone else.

Human resource consulting firm Robert Half recently hired an independent research firm to survey more than 1000 U.S. office workers. Their main finding, they said in a news release, was that 57 percent of workers considered a long wait after an interview to be the most frustrating part of the hiring process. In many instances, it even turned them off from a job altogether.

Nearly a quarter of workers surveyed reported losing interest in a firm if they didn’t hear back within one week after the first interview. This number rose to 46 percent if they received no response one-to-two weeks after the initial meeting. Meanwhile, 39 percent of respondents said they would seek other positions if faced with a lengthy hiring procedure, and 18 percent said they would remain at their current jobs.

A drawn-out recruiting process doesn’t just frustrate job candidates: It also reflects poorly on a company, Robert Half found. Thirty-two percent of office workers said that waiting around for an offer made them skeptical about an organization’s ability to make other important decisions.

"The hiring process provides a window into the overall corporate culture," Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half, said in a news release. "If people feel their career potential will be stifled by a slow-moving organization they will take themselves out of the running."

To avoid losing prospective employees, Robert Hall said, businesses should tighten up the recruiting process. They should know exactly what they’re looking for, set a hiring timeframe, and make sure all managers are on the same page.

Robert Hall also advised companies to streamline the interview process, and to conduct initial screens via Skype or FaceTime before calling applicants in for an in-person session. Once managers are ready to meet candidates in person, they should schedule all interviews on the same day for efficiency’s sake, and ask for immediate feedback once they're done. (Of course, with multiple schedules to account for, this might only be possible in a perfect world.)

Perhaps most importantly, hiring managers should update candidates on their standing, Robert Hall said. They should tell them when the company expects to make a decision, check in if anything changes, and once it's time to present an offer, make it verbally. That way, the company won't waste anyone's time—or for that matter, their own.

[h/t Business News Daily]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at