Why is the Hiring Process So Slow?

by Evil HR Lady on March 9, 2011

You would think that with unemployment being so high that hiring would be super easy. After all, you simply tell your employees that you’re hiring and post the job on your company’s websites. Within minutes LinkedIn is buzzing with all that networking and your company’s servers are being overwhelmed with hundreds of applicants.

So, Why is the Hiring Process So Slow?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles March 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Interesting "twist" on why it takes so long to fill a position. Maybe there is some truth to it.

Just a likely, it is really about money; or I should say the lack of money. Money everywhere is tight and, therefore, budgets are being squeezed.

During "good times" managers are allowed to hire someone who might not have all the skills needed to fill a certain position (i.e. we need someone who can sing AND tap dance) with the undestanding that we have enough in the budget that if this new hire cannot do it all (she can only sing; but, boy, can she sing!) we can get a second person (she can only tap dance; but, boy, watch her feet move!) to fill in the gaps (together they do a great show).

During tight budget time this hire-a-second-person option is not available; This makes it more critical to make sure that the new hire is "the perfect candidate." (hire someone only if they can BOTH sing and tap dance)


Mike C. March 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Barry Schwatrz talks about this in "The Paradox of Choice". The general idea is that when presented with a whole bunch of options, people are paralyzed when making a choice because they fear they will make the wrong one.

Imagine two ice cream shops. One has five basic flavors and customers walk in, and know if they want chocolate over strawberry and walk out with something they'll enjoy.

The other has 100 flavors. Now customers are agonizing over milk chocolate versus chocolate chip versus 60% cacao versus neapolitan versus mocha versus fudge versus rocky road and so on. They'll eventually pick something, but they end up less happy because they don't know if they picked the right one or not.


Gabi March 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

I agree with the Choice theory. We can see this dilema in kids as well : many of them feel pressured about the idea of " needing" to chose from so many options. My daughter usually asks me to help her pick something out of trillion things.
But I also believe slow recruitment is caused by a random combination of several factors : a lot of choice/ no choice, indecision from the HR side or manager's side, lack of a real agreement on profile or process, bad recruitment process, etc.
I believe it is wrong to put just one label on this issue and " that's it", don't you think?…

Gabi, http://www.funnyhr.com


Another Evil HR Director March 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm

We must also consider that it actually takes time to go through the possibly hundreds of resumes/applications received for even one opening. And that's just to get to a decision about who to interview. Then you have to wade through all the required background checking once you identify a candidate. This includes chasing down references (who are not all that great about returning calls or written reference forms), any criminal or driving record requirements, etc., etc., etc.

There is more than one side to this issue, folks.


Jay from Philly February 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

A candidate applies for a job and HR tells them “WE DON’T HAVE ANY OPENINGS!”. Then when the department manager asks who is available to interview HR says “WE DON’T HAVE ANY APPLICATIONS!”. This leaves HR with the time to twirl their giant black handlebar mustaches and laugh “moo-hah-hah” in evil delight.


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