58 per cent of UK jobseekers have accepted a second-choice job offer because a potential employer took too long to make a decision

Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) of candidates have taken a second-choice job offer because a potential employer took too long to make a decision, according to independent research of 1,000 jobseekers in the UK commissioned by Robert Half UK.

More than half (55 per cent) of candidates have waited longer than a month to hear back about a role for which they have interviewed, while under a third (28 per cent) have waited longer than six weeks. This contrasts sharply with candidates’ expectations of the hiring process. Only 12 per cent think it’s acceptable to wait for over a month.

With almost seven in 10 (69 per cent) jobseekers reporting they lose interest in the role if the hiring process takes too long, the research has found that hiring managers are taking too much time to get back to jobseekers. Ambitious UK candidates have 20 applications on the go at once so expect quick hiring decisions. Over a third (35 per cent) want an answer within two weeks and 30 per cent expect a decision within seven days.

Matt Weston, Director at Robert Half UK said:

“Employers are in a fiercely competitive battle to find the right skills and talent to take their businesses forward, and they cannot afford to alienate potential new hires with a long, drawn-out recruitment process,”

“Candidates know that their skills are in demand, which makes it all the more worrying that so many are turning down their dream job because they’ve been left waiting for so long.”

“While it can take time to narrow down a large field of candidates and to conduct thorough interviews, companies who fail to adapt their recruitment process to the expectations of today’s candidates will increase the risk of losing out on the best talent available,” continued Weston. “Working with a specialist recruitment consultancy allows businesses to conduct a robust and streamlined recruitment process from initial outreach to final job offer and ensures that they are striking the right balance for today’s candidates.”

Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.