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Hiring process slows in candidate-driven market, survey finds

December 16, 2015

Many companies have been in growth mode throughout 2015, but the hiring process has slowed in the executive, managerial and professional sector, according to the 2015 second half edition of the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study.

Candidates now receive an offer three to six weeks from the candidate’s first interview, compared to one to four weeks in previous years of the survey. Lengthy hiring practices are common among many employers, but further extension of the process, suggests that recruitment may be competing with employee retention efforts. Employers are now faced with making fundamental changes to prevent their talent management efforts from outweighing recruitment of the brightest talent in 2016 and beyond.

The report also found 90% of recruiters surveyed continue to feel the labor market is candidate-driven, a percentage point that has remained steady since the first half of 2015. This environment provides candidates with the confidence to reject undesirable job offers, with 47% of recruiters listing “accepted another offer” as the primary reason for offer objections. A long-standing reason for offer rejections, this sentiment is up from 37% in the first half of 2015.

Key findings from the MRINetwork survey also include:

  • Key strategic hires, followed by employee engagement and retention, were identified as top priorities for employers in 2016.
  • Newly created positions continue to be the primary reason for job openings at 51%, followed by vacancies from resignations at 30%.
  • Vacancies from retirements are increasing, rising four percentage points since the first half of 2015. This coincides with succession planning which MRINetwork recruiters indicated will be important to employers in 2016.
  • In addition to accepting other offers, low compensation packages and counteroffers were also top reasons for rejected offers.
  • The time between the first interview and the rejected offer is shrinking, with a six percentage point increase from the second half of 2014, for candidates that rejected offers after two weeks from the first interview.

The Web-based survey included 446 recruiters and was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 14, 2015.


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