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In today’s highly competitive talent marketplace, making fast hiring decisions is more critical than ever. Highly qualified talent is only on the market for a short time, especially when it comes to in-demand technical positions such as finance and IT professionals.

On average, the time-to-fill a job position is around 30 days. Furthermore, this duration can be much longer (2-4 months) for higher organizational positions. Organizations want to maintain their hiring standards. Still, companies should understand the value of adopting a more agile hiring process to reduce the risk of losing talented candidates to faster job opportunities.

Time-to-hire is a metric measuring the time it takes from when a job is posted to a candidate’s first day. This is a good measure that helps companies understand the efficiency of their recruitment and onboarding processes.

Breaking down how long a candidate usually spends on each different stage can help you find areas where you need improvement. That said, one factor that has the most harmful effects on corporate recruiting is the slow hiring process. It is an area where all companies should focus some attention because it can have many negative repercussions.


Highly sought-after candidates will usually take a solid offer that’s quick, compared to waiting for something that is only a possibility. Leading research shows that top-tier candidates are only available on the market for 10 days or less, meaning your organization has a very low chance of success if your hiring process is longer than a few weeks.

Competition and Demand in the Market

When highly qualified candidates come into the job market, they are immediately bombarded with recruitment offers, which means that they will often only be available on the market for a few days. This is why companies have to understand that the late stages of the recruitment process are where you will lose most top-tier candidates. If your hiring process becomes drawn out, know that competing companies will give highly talented candidates quick offers, dramatically lowering your chances of a successful placement.

Highly sought-after candidates will usually take a solid offer that’s quick, compared to waiting for something that is only a possibility. Leading research shows that top-tier candidates are only available on the market for 10 days or less, meaning your organization has a very low chance of success if your hiring process is longer than a few weeks.

Don't Settle for Less

A longer process allows you more time to compile information on candidates, do background checks, and even test some skills and knowledge. These reasons lead many organizations to believe that taking more time to make a hiring decision will produce good results, but this will, in many cases, lower the quality of your talent pool.

If all your top candidates have dropped out, this means your talent pool is now comprised of mediocre and weak candidates. If this slow-hiring process exists and persists in your firm, your organization may suffer from prolonged periods where all your employees are average or below.

When an organization loses top candidates, it forces them to settle for second-choice candidates. In some cases, the second-choice candidates will perform at least 20% less effectively than the first-choice candidate. Conversely, hiring a top performer can result in over 50% more profit and productivity.

Unfortunately, when hiring managers put themselves in a position where they have to lower the standard even further and settle for mediocre candidates, the loss in productivity will be even more dramatic. So remember that the best candidates will see your company’s hiring process as a representation of your company culture; being decisive and communicating in a timely manner will improve a candidate’s experience and help separate you from the competition.

Another Day, Another Dollar Lost

Research from leading professionals proves that focusing efforts on great recruiting significantly impacts all talent functions on revenue and profit. It only makes sense that “slow hiring” will significantly negatively impact your revenue and profits.

Having a drawn-out hiring process results in unfilled positions costing your company the potential for greater progress and increased revenue, and in many cases, these vacancies are open for months. Vacant positions that are focused on quality or a specific goal will cause great damage to your company’s output and even bring critical projects to an immediate stop. Research estimates companies can lose thousands of dollars daily for each vacant position. Ultimately companies take a big financial hit for each prolonged open job position.


It is undeniable that there is a “war” for top talent, and other companies will be willing to have literal bidding wars for top prospects.

Stay Out of Costly Battles

If you are lucky enough to be the first one to approach a candidate and hire them before the competition has a chance to make a bid, usually, the candidate will accept your offer without much hesitation if they see you are decisive. If not, having other companies bid on your applicants puts you in a position where you are forced to haggle and keep candidates motivated to continue your hiring process, and research shows you will be paying as much as 25% more if you find yourself in a bidding war.

Stay Sharp and Hire Fast

To summarize, finding and hiring the “right” candidate for your needs is full of its challenges. Many organizations want to do everything in their power to avoid a bad hire, usually translating to a longer hiring process. But, as we discussed, a longer hiring process comes with its problems and risk factors. In the long run, faster hiring can help you attract, recruit, and hire top talent.

Delve Content Team

Author Delve Content Team

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