Every hiring manager and recruiter knows that the hiring process can be long and arduous, but it hasn’t been this long and arduous in many years. According to Dice Holdings, a career sites provider, the average length of time it takes to fill an open position has increased by a whopping 73 percent, from 15.3 working days at the height of the recession in July 2009, to 26.5 days in August of this year.
Surprising, given this increase, is the fact that there are more jobs listed now than in the last 13 years. The Dice report follows a U.S. Labor Department report on job openings and turnover, which shows that there are more openings in the country now (4.7 million as of the last day of June) than at any time since 2001. In addition, the report said there’s been a net gain of 2.4 million jobs over the last 12 months, as businesses reported a total 55.7 million hires, minus 53.3 million separations (voluntary departures, lay-offs, and terminations).
Of the industries that have a longer hiring time, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) job vacancies take almost twice as long to fill as non-STEM vacancies, according to a Brookings Institution study. Filling a STEM job requiring professional degree averages 50 days, compared to the 26.5 day average for a non-STEM job. The study concluded that STEM skills are in high demand in the workplace and there aren’t enough skilled workers available to fill these jobs, especially in metropolitan areas where it may take months to fill a STEM position.
Yet STEM jobs aren’t the only ones that are proving harder to fill. Other industries that require specialized skills, such as health services (average 45.8 days), financial services (average 42.5 days) and government (average 41.3 days) are also taking longer to fill their openings. This is compared to a relatively short vacancy duration in industries that don’t require as much training, education, or specialized skills and that can offer quick and easy training, like retail trade (average 20.4 days) and construction (average 10.7 days).
While the problem of longer hiring times is evident, the cause is not so clear. Economists and employers say there is no single cause for the country’s current slow hiring pace, but there are a few challenges that have lead to this stalemate, such as:
Has your company experienced longer hiring periods in recent months? What challenges are you finding make the process take longer when recruiting and hiring candidates?