New research1 from Robert Half UK reveals that human resources (HR) directors are spending a month (27.59 days) on average recruiting for open positions within their organisation.

The recruitment process can be broken down into six key stages, all of which take more than four days, on average to complete when using their own in-house resources to manage. Screening CVs of job applicants (5.19 days) and interviewing applicants (4.77 days) are the most time intensive aspects, while candidate skills testing (4.18 days) takes the least amount of time.

Average amount of time spent when hiring for an open position (days):
Screening CVS of all job applicants 4.77
Interviewing job applicants 4.75
Checking references 5.19
Candidate skills testing 4.18
Collaborating / selecting the candidate for hire 4.40
Negotiating / confirming a job offer with the candidate 4.30
Total 27.59

The time taken on the internal recruitment process has increased over the last three years according to nearly half (49%) of HR directors. Less than one in ten (8%) said the duration had decreased. The challenge to find qualified candidates (59%) was listed as the main reason for the increased time taken during the hiring process, followed by the increase in number of CVs per job opening (52%) and the increase in expectation of the desired candidates (33%).

Reasons for the increased duration of the hiring process over the last three years  (Percentage of HR Directors):
Finding qualified candidates has become more challenging 59%
Number of CVs per job opening has increased 52%
Expectations of the desired candidate have increased 33%
Number of interview rounds has increased 32%
More candidates have accepted other job offers 20%
More internal stakeholders are involved 15%
No internal agreement about the desired candidate 2%

The length of time taken to recruit for a position within their organisation is resulting in some HR directors losing out on talented candidates, who accept jobs from other companies who are able to make hiring decisions more quickly. More than half (54%) of HR directors have lost a qualified candidate to another opportunity because their in-house hiring process was too lengthy, partly because they receive too many unsuitable CVs that all need to be waded through.

Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK, UAE and South America, commented: “While there is no denying the importance of finding the candidate with the right expertise and cultural fit, as the demand for highly skilled professionals grows, taking too long to decide may see you miss out on your preferred candidate. To ensure a robust, streamlined recruitment process, it is essential that the job description and budget allocation are approved ahead of time. A specialist recruitment consultancy can support by leveraging insight into current hiring trends and having access to an established pool of talent that may not be actively searching. Recruitment consultants can manage the process – from sourcing skilled candidates, filtering CVs and arranging interviews through reference checks – allowing the hiring manager to remain focused on their day-to-day responsibilities.”