Since the financial crisis of 2007, economists have kept a steady eye on employment statistics in hopes that a positive trend would emerge. In some ways, the last year has given them more hope, as the unemployment rate fell below 6.5 percent for the first time since October 2008. Still, there are almost 10 million unemployed Americans who desperately need jobs to save their own economic well-being. Even though companies are hiring more people, they are taking longer to find the right people to fill positions. That leaves employers and potential hires in quandaries they don’t always know how to solve.
Time to Fill Open Positions Reaches a 13-Year High
Currently, U.S. employers spend an average 25 working days looking for the right candidate before filling vacant positions. Companies with more than 5,000 employees face an even longer delay at 58.1 working days. That’s a 13-year high that frustrates many job seekers who believe they have the right skills and yet can’t seem to get a foot in the door.
Since human resource departments often feel that they must take a more selective approach to hiring new people, they are only training new hires who are perfect matches for open positions. It seems that some companies are willing to wait, even though U.S. employers posted 4.7 million job openings in June – an amount unheard of since 2001.
What Causes Prolonged Hiring Delays?
Many companies don’t want to wait nearly a month to hire employees. Ideally, they would fill positions as quickly as possible to meet customer demand and improve services. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have the right tools to recruit applicants, choose qualified candidates, and decide which person matches their job descriptions perfectly.
Today, companies have a wealth of tools that they can use to recruit and select great employees. A lot of companies, for instance, have started using social media sites to find and recruit professionals who already have jobs. While having unlimited employment tools sounds like a real advantage, it can actually slow the hiring process without yielding better results.
The truth is that many HR managers don’t realize that there are better tools that could make hiring more efficient. Instead of using as many hiring tools as possible, employers need to focus on the techniques that yield the best results. Choosing better tools can help companies shorten hiring delays while still choosing the absolute best candidates for open positions.
Reducing Hiring Delays
There is no magic bullet that can solve this problem for every employer, but there are effective ways for companies to reduce delays without losing top recruits.
As recently as 2013, for instance, 18 percent of job applicants reported that they had participated in video interviews within the past year. About 25 percent of candidates 39 or younger reported that they had taken part in video interviews. Even better, 91 percent of candidates said the video interview created a favorable impression of the employer.
Companies should consider this approach because it lets recruiters prerecord questions for first interviews. Instead of sitting down to conduct live interviews with every candidate, hiring managers can make one video recording that gets distributed to qualified applicants. After they have narrowed their choices, they can conduct live video interviews with their favorite candidates. This approach saves the manager — and the company — a lot of time without having a negative effect on recruitment.
The country’s economic stability relies on the success of employers and employees. While there seem to be more jobs available, some economists worry that high recruiting fill times will stymie growth. Since many Americans have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with a webcam, it makes sense for businesses to use video interviewing as a tool that helps them find the right job candidates more efficiently while controlling costs.