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.
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.