Despite an upturn in a slow moving economy, many employers are still reluctant to hire even though they have job vacancies, financial resources, and an abundance of well-qualified candidates. Some are calling this a hiring paralysis.
According to the Labor Department, statistics show employers are not filling job vacancies as quickly as they were before the financial crisis. In mid-2009, the average number of business days it took to hire a new employee was 15 – today it is 23 days.
One of the factors that influence an extended hiring process is the mismatch between the requirements of approximately 4 million jobs to the skills of about 12 million unemployed. This is particularly true in the higher-skilled fields. Other factors that are preventing hiring are the fears of hiring managers – that the economy will slow down again and that they will make a hiring mistake that will waste company money in a tight economy.
Glassdoor.com, collects data on hiring at different companies and in March revealed the average duration of the interview process at major companies (Starbucks, General Mills and Southwest Airlines) has almost doubled since 2010. Job seekers are jumping through more hoops, receiving callbacks for round seven, eight, nine, and even ten interviews. One company’s security desk was convinced that a job seeker was an employee (who forgot his badge and needed to be buzzed in) because he had signed the security log so many times.
Hiring delays are part of a vicious cycle: the unemployed are less likely to spend, which holds back sales, and in turn gives an employer little confidence that a perceived slow or unstable market will support a new hire to their company. And when combined with the fiscal uncertainty, the hiring recovery process stretches out over a longer period of time.
Unfortunately for the job seeker, many companies are not forced to hire now because some existing employees are afraid to lose their jobs and will take on extra work created by an unfilled position. Also, candidates are plentiful so companies can take their time culling through to find exactly the right highly qualified people.
Job seekers need to adjust their expectations when it comes to the length of a hiring cycle today. Prepare for the possibility of more interviews, and special interview approaches using video tests, personality and psychological exams, even spelling and math tests. And in the end, not getting the job may have nothing to do with you, the company may have simply decided not to hire at this time.