A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports that employers are taking longer to pull the trigger on hiring decisions than in years past. According to the article:
- the average job in 2014 sat vacant for 27.3 days before filled; this is compared to only 15.3 days five years ago
- the average interview process took 22.9 days in 2014, up from 12.6 days in 2010
Hiring Process is Getting Longer
One of the trends cited as a possible cause for this phenomenon is the growth of non-routine jobs requiring judgment and creativity. As routine, task-based jobs are becoming automated, the need for highly-skilled workers with good judgment is increasing. To identify applicants best for a certain position, employers are increasingly relying on skills assessments, personality tests, and background checks to assess an individual’s “soft” skills.
Reasons for Longer Hiring Process
Another possible reason for additional time spent in the interview process is the increasing emphasis on culture. This has become a determining factor of company success. Companies such as Zappos, Google, and Starbucks have a highly-defined culture. Therefore, they spend a good deal of time with prospective employees to determine whether or not the individual will “fit”. Zappos offers all new employees $2,000 to quit. From Zappos.com:
Yes, we do offer new hires $2000 to quit. We really want everyone at Zappos to be here because they want to be and because they believe in the culture. If they know they don’t quite mesh with our culture, we don’t want them to feel stuck here, so we give them an option. Less than 2% of all prospective employees end up accepting the offer.
A company so concerned with fit as to offer to pay people to leave might take their time finding the right person.
Across the economy, the average time it takes to fill open positions is lengthening. So whether you’re looking for a job or seeking to fill an open position, expect it to take a while.