Traditional hiring methods are slow, restrictive and inefficient, according to 88 percent of respondents in a new survey from Upwork.

The talent marketplace’s study of 1,000 hiring managers shows that it takes UK businesses over a month (34 days) to find and hire new talent, with one in seven taking more than two months to complete the recruitment process.

Hayley Conick, Upwork country manager, said:

“The current way in which businesses find new talent is broken – it’s inefficient and often ineffective. It’s particularly worrying to learn that UK businesses are being prevented from growing both in terms of winning new work as well as losing existing clients as a result of inefficient processes for finding talent.

“Today, businesses have access to a global pool of talent at the click of a button. However, when only four percent of businesses are looking beyond UK borders, is it any wonder we’re falling behind? Embracing skilled freelance professionals as a source of talent can bring the average hiring time down from over three weeks to under three days.”

According to the research, 82 percent of UK businesses admit slow hiring times have a negative impact on overall business productivity. The study suggests that traditional methods to find talent are no longer fit for today’s business environment, which could help to explain why UK’s productivity level is at its lowest level since World War II.

It’s not just productivity that suffers either; 40 percent of respondents noticed that office morale deteriorates when there are talent shortages, and one in six (17%) of businesses have lost clients or projects because of talent shortages.