The pitfalls of a long, drawn out recruitment process

The pitfalls of a long, drawn out recruitment process

The engineering skills shortage and resulting war on talent is making recruiting the best candidates extremely challenging, and this situation will only intensify as ‘super projects’ like HS2, Crossrail 2 and Hinkley Point pick up steam.  In order to attract highly sought after passive candidates that increase business performance and profitability, it is vital that clients avoid long, drawn out recruitment processes.  Risking this, can lead to the loss of quality candidates, as well as unnecessary bidding wars, spiralling project costs and damage to employer brand and reputation. 

Once a potential candidate agrees to be put forward to an opportunity, it really is a race against time to secure them before another client or project does, or before a passive candidate loses interest and thinks “I am happy in my current job and not looking anyway”.  Even delaying on CV feedback at the beginning of the process means the clock is ticking against competitors who are potentially prepared to move more quickly.  We see it all too often where clients are not sufficiently organised internally to be able to manage their side of the recruitment process swiftly and seamlessly, and high quality candidates walk away with a bad taste in their mouth.  Who can blame them really because they are a precious commodity, so can afford to be particular. 

Damage to employer brand

When managing recruitment campaigns, clients are looking for the best suited candidate and not just the one that is most available.  First impressions really do count and there is usually only one chance to engage candidates, particularly ones who are not actively looking.  If a recruitment process is unprofessional, disorganised or overly speculative, the negative impact on a client’s employer brand can be significant.  The experience for candidates needs to be nothing short of fantastic right from receiving the initial call through to job offer or decline (yes there is even an art to expertly dealing a candidate decline).  A long, drawn out recruitment process also has substantial cost implications as projects get delayed, with fines incurred, not to mention the overtime being paid as other employees pick up the additional workload.  A lengthy ‘time to hire’ is also more likely to result in a bidding war.  One example is a client who had to pay £13,000 more than anticipated to secure a candidate who ended up getting other job offers in a recruitment process that was not wrapped up quickly enough. 

Other examples of slow and futile recruitment processes include a client who booked a highly experienced and sought after candidate for interview.  The interview then had to be moved back by two weeks as the senior stakeholders couldn’t free up their diary.  Three days before the rescheduled interview was due to take place, it was put back by another two weeks.  In the end, the candidate got fed up and pulled out of the process altogether.  He walked away with a very bad impression of the organisation. 

Another client took three months to confirm an interview date, by which time the candidate had unsurprisingly walked away.  Another highly qualified systems engineer waited four weeks for an offer, during this time he lost interest and was close to moving onto other opportunities.  After a substantial amount of convincing, he did accept the offer but his new employer relationship could have got off to a much better start. 

All of these scenarios have implications beyond the individual candidate.  In a highly networked society, where word spreads through social media and people make decisions based on advocacy, employer brands cannot afford to have their reputation associated with slow and time wasting recruitment processes.  With all this in mind, here are some tips to make the recruitment process as efficient as possible, in order to engage the best candidates. 

5 steps to a streamlined recruitment process

5 steps to a smooth recruitment process


Resourcing Solutions works with client organisations across rail, power and the built environment to enhance the recruitment process, to engage with the best candidates and to deliver successful results.

Get in touch with our team via our website, or call our head office on 0118 9320100.

This entry was posted on 23rd May 2017. It was filed under the Recruitment, categories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. What's RSS?.