Hiring Managers Taking Longer to Make Offers

Dec 8, 2015
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

MRI time to offer 12.2015Companies are taking longer than ever to make offers and their delay is costing them candidates.

The semi-annual MRI Recruiter Sentiment Study said for most MRI candidates it now takes over three weeks from the first interview for candidates to get an offer. Previously, the largest share of offers were made in the first four weeks. Now, that would be considered speedy since a majority of surveyed recruiters report it’s taking hiring managers more than five weeks to make an offer.

No surprise then that when an offer is rejected, 44% of the time it’s because the candidate has taken another job. Another 14% get turned down because they took their employer’s counteroffer.

Why is it taking so long to fill jobs?

A shortage of suitable candidates was the leading reason given by MRI recruiters, followed by 27% who blamed lengthy hiring practices. Trailing behind, and cited by 17% of recruiters, were compensation packages that were not competitive.

Hiring practices and poor comp packages are also to blame when offers get rejected. Three-quarters Why offers rejected - MRI 12.2015of MRI recruiters report fewer than 10% of their candidates with offers turn them down, but when they do, the leading reason is the candidate has already accepted another job. A quarter of recruiters say the offer was rejected because it was too low.

Those lengthy hiring practices are not unique to MRI.

The DHI-DFH Mean Vacancy Duration Measure (from the company formerly known as Dice) has been climbing nearly every month. The report issued in November (covering September) says it now averages 28.1 working days to fill a job. That’s a national average for all jobs in all industries. Some sectors are having a far harder time filling openings. The November report cites two examples:

  • 46.9 days to fill healthcare jobs, and;
  • 46.8 days for financial services jobs.

Earlier this year, a Bersin by Deloitte blog, promoting the release of Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015, said the benchmarking report found companies reporting it takes them an average of 52 days to fill a job, up from 48 days in 2011.

“Hiring managers tell us the time to fill open positions has lengthened compared to last year, primarily due to a struggle to find qualified candidates,” says Michael Durney, CEO of DHI Group, which sponsors the DHI Hiring Indicators report.

No doubt that is true for some occupations, but it’s also a reason for hiring managers to act fast when they do have a qualified candidate. It’s a candidate-driven labor market, say 9 out of 10 MRI recruiters, yet, too many companies seem not to have noticed, the recruiter comments insist.

“Despite being in a heavily candidate-driven market for several years, most companies still follow antiquated hiring practices, even for critical positions. They refuse to acknowledge that the market is candidate-driven,” commented one recruiter.

Added another, “Companies that interview a good candidate should be ready to make an offer otherwise the candidate will have multiple offers that they will have to compete with.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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