Why candidates keep rejecting your job offers

Posted by Bob Corlett on December 8, 2015

A slow-moving hiring process is like falling out of a 60-story building. The first part actually goes surprisingly well...until you hit the ground. As the saying goes, "It ain’t the fall that kills you -- it's the landing."

In hiring, time wounds all deals. The longer you take to hire, the more candidates' interest in your position falls.

In many professional jobs, 10 percent to 15 percent of the best candidates drop out for every unnecessary week of delay. If you fall a month behind, by the time you are ready to hire, all the top performers may have accepted job offers from your faster-moving competitors.

So if delays are so costly, why does this same hiring disaster scenario keep replaying?

A few years ago, employers had far more leeway. The economy was still crawling out of the recession. There were more available applicants for each position, so the cost of delay was not as high. But in a recovering economy, with fewer applicants for each open job, delays are more costly.

Think about when you typically start hiring. You’ve probably already fallen behind on a long list of urgent work needed by your customers, your boss, and your staff. (Why else would you be hiring?) That backlog of other urgent needs will often tempt you into making hiring a lower priority.

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Topics: Hiring Managers