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Why all the hoops?

Published on Saturday, 18 Oct 2014

Anyone who has applied for a job over the past few years will have noticed an increase in the number of interviews they have to attend.

The general consensus from a number of surveys is that the average length of the interview process has risen from 13 days in 2009 to 23 days in 2013. 

There are a number of reasons why companies are taking longer to hire. In an increasingly global market there are occasions where there is a fundamental need for a candidate to meet multiple stakeholders in various regions around the world. When this is the case, and expectations are clearly laid out to the candidate at the beginning of the process, most people will understand the need for six to eight rounds of interviews – tiring and lengthy as they may be. 

The trouble comes when no clear message is communicated about why so many interviews are required. Is it because in this still uncertain economy, companies are just quite simply worried about making a mistake? The danger in this is that it ends up with existing work being spread among current employees while HR and hiring managers search for that “perfect candidate”.

Meanwhile, the costs that companies incur by making the hiring process more involved quickly add up. 

I don’t believe we are going to see any great changes in the length of the hiring process in the immediate future, but I do strongly recommend employers think carefully about why they are extending the process and ensure that they are communicating their reasoning to candidates from the outset. There is a real opportunity here for companies to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market for top talent.


Katharine de Vaal, senior consultant for strategy and transformation – Hong Kong, ConnectedGroup


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