Losing Out On Top Talent

Why employers are losing out on the top talent…

Employee engagement has been an HR buzzword for several years, with leading thought providers giving countless tips about how to keep employees engaged and productive from onboarding and beyond. But there’s a new kid on the block which could prove even more crucial… candidate engagement.

In an unexpected side effect of the pandemic, recent research has found that four out of ten employees are now looking to change their roles in the next 6-12 months. This will mean an added recruitment burden for employers.

So, keeping candidates engaged during recruitment processes should be top priority for all employers, to help secure and retain the top talent above the competition.

But in the current climate, where it feels like everything is so unstable, making the right recruiting decision is more important than ever. Fastidious employers are now more exacting in their employee wish list, often taking weeks or months to place a candidate.

This added time to hire doesn’t necessarily lead to better hiring decisions though, rather just puts more strain on limited resources. But this hasn’t stopped a general trend towards longer recruitment processes, which often involve multiple interviews, tests, and meetings with additional colleagues.

A recent LinkedIn post went viral, where a candidate felt they had to withdraw themselves from the running for a job after the recruitment process ran for 9 interviews, garnering a huge amount of support from readers who were quick to add their own experiences of nightmare job hunting to the comments section.

An Average Interview Duration Of 27 Days

According to workplace review site Glassdoor, the average interview duration can now range from 10 days for hospitality positions, right up to 55 days for consulting positions. With an average 27-day interview duration across all sectors, and some companies requiring 10 interviews and beyond, it’s no wonder that top talent are withdrawing themselves from the race to go to competitors where they can get into paid work faster.

Candidates also report that they are often expected to carry out lengthy interviews and tests, only to never hear anything again. This will explain why many job seekers are jaded about the entire process, alienating the best talent, and making it even harder for employers to fill roles.

Long interviews are often cited by employers as helping them find the “perfect candidate”, and that having applicants meet entire teams of people as part of the process can help them settle into the role. But the employers who have the longest recruitment process often have the lowest staff retention, due to candidates losing interest, or feeling under-appreciated, from the outset.

Job seekers have also commented that employers very often expect them to run the gauntlet of long interviews, without disclosing the salary. This can result in candidates having to walk away after investing a lot of time, when they find their financial needs can’t be met.

How To Keep Candidates Engaged During the Recruitment Process and Beyond

While employee engagement has been around for a while, we feel that it’s now time to place equal emphasis on establishing exceptional candidate and employee engagement to help ensure a good experience for all.

In this review centred world, bad news travels fast. Candidates who have been treated poorly will talk and will also be unlikely to return later if employers decide they’ve made the wrong decision between two candidates.

Keeping candidates engaged is crucial, but this is much easier if processes are straightforward:

  • A recent google study found that 4 interviews was enough to predict a new hire’s performance, with 86% accuracy. Keep interviews as short and as few as possible.
  • Many candidates complain that they have been asked to carry out lengthy assignments, which often felt like providing work or consulting for free. Keep assignments to around 40 minutes and clearly explain what purpose they fulfil. Offer to pay candidates an hourly rate for sample work.
  • Ensure that you keep all candidates informed at every stage of the process, being especially prompt in informing unsuccessful applicants.

A fast, simple, economical way to recruit

Contract hiring can be an economical way to recruit. By using contractors, both parties get the opportunity to see how everything fits, without wasting valuable time or money on either side. If the appointment proves successful, taking a contractor into the company fold could prove a cost-effective solution.

Higher engagement in recruitment means that companies are better able to attract and retain talent. Engaged and enthusiastic candidates will make more productive and successful employees, but it is up to employers and hiring agencies to keep morale high during this difficult transition period.


Since 2002, JMK have been compliantly consolidating back-office, accountancy and payroll functions. 

We have evolved to provide a range of expert services; such as Professional Employer Organisation (PEO), or Back Office Support (BOS) or Funding, becoming a leading provider to the contracting industry.

We know every agency is different in some shape or form, even if only by a little, but important bit. Combining our knowledge and experience of multiple sectors enables JMK to support you all from recruiters and payroll, through to finance, compliance and management.

With JMK as your trusted partner, even the smallest team can process the largest payroll, regardless of payroll type.

Have a look at the wide range of services our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) or Back Office Support (BOS) can provide to you and your business, it is far more than just payroll and finance.

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