BY THE NUMBERS

QUESTION TIME

Does your firm use texting to communicate with job candidates?

RECRUITING BRIEF

Increasing Length of Hiring Process Frustrating Candidates

New research has found that hiring processes are becoming more drawn out, which is leaving job candidates increasingly frustrated and presenting opportunities for firms that can be nimble in their hiring. According to Glassdoor Economic Research, US companies needed an average of 23 days to screen and hire new employees in 2014, up from 13 days in 2010, an increase due in large part to the more frequent use of background checks, skills assessments, and personality tests by employers. An inability to make quick hiring decisions could cause your firm to miss out on the most-qualified candidates. A 2016 survey by staffing company Robert Half found that when faced with a lengthy interview process, 39 percent of job candidates lose interest and pursue other opportunities while 18 percent decide to stay put in their current jobs. Millennials, who will comprise three-quarters of the workforce by 2025 and are used to instant digital communications, are particularly liable to be frustrated. As a result, global accounting firm KPMG is among the companies that has adjusted its process of hiring new graduates by compressing its interview process from multiple weeks to a single day and informing candidates within two working days about whether or not they will be hired.

RECRUITING BRIEF

U R Hired

One tactic that some companies are using to shorten the hiring process is texting. In a competitive landscape, A/E firms need to reach new recruits by their preferred means of communications, which for many millennials is by text. A 2017 survey by talent recruiting software company Yello found that 86 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 30 respond positively when text messages are used during the interview process, up from 79 percent in 2016. While not eliminating the need for face-to-face interviews further into the hiring process, the advantages of screening candidates using text include nearly universal (98 percent) open rates, more instantaneous communications, a more informal dialogue that provides a truer sense of job candidates, and the potential to reduce unconscious bias based on job-seekers’ appearances since candidates are not seen. Texting could also enhance a company’s brand image with younger recruits. However, be careful not to wear out your welcome by texting too frequently, and don’t let texting eliminate the need for face-to-face interaction. At a time when a majority of AEC leaders are most concerned about the communications skills of new graduates, as our By the Numbers poll above shows, texting offers little chance to properly evaluate those skills.

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