Interview Process Taking Longer

If it seems like the interview process takes longer than it used to, it’s not your imagination. A new report from job site Glassdoor finds that worldwide, on average, it takes more than a day longer: 23.7 days thus far in 2017, compared to 22.5 days in 2016.

Source: Dmytro Lastovych / iStock / Getty

While that may not seem like a big increase, the report finds length of time varies globally, as well as within the United States. It also varies significantly by industry and job category.
The study is based on nearly 84,000 interview reviews from 25 countries, shared on Glassdoor by job candidates from January 1, 2017 to June 13, 2017.

Global Differences

The interview process takes the longest in these countries:

  • Brazil
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • 39.6 days
  • 38.9 days
  • 37.6 days

And it takes the shortest amount of time in these countries:

  • India
  • Israel
  • Romania    
  • 16.1 days
  • 16.9 days
  • 19.2 days

The United States falls on the shorter end of the spectrum; it’s No. 18 on the list, at 23.8 days, which also coincides with the global average.
What accounts for the differences?
“Glassdoor’s study found that the more regulatory hurdles companies face within their local labor markets, the more difficult it will be to hire – and fire – employees, directly impacting how long it takes to fill open roles,” said Andrew Chamberlain, PhD, chief economist for Glassdoor. “The longer it takes to hire, the greater the productivity loss for employers. And, the longer money is left on the table waiting for potential candidates.”

Differences from City to City

Within the United States, not all cities take the same amount of time to interview job candidates. The interview process in Washington, D.C., home of many federal government agencies, takes the longest at 32.2 days, followed by Albany, New York, and Richmond, Virginia, at 33.2 days and 27 days, respectively. Conversely, the fastest cities to hire are Kansas City, Kansas, at 16.9 days, followed by Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 17.9 days, and Akron, Ohio, at 18.0 days.
“While interviewing for one of the many government sector roles in Washington, D.C., job candidates could undergo several extra steps that lengthen the overall interview process, including additional written and verbal exams or background checks to secure various levels of security clearances, among other requirements,” said Chamberlain.

Industries with the Longest and Shortest Interview Process

Employers in the government sector are the slowest to hire at 53.8 days, which is more than twice the U.S. average.
Among slow to hire industries, aerospace & defense is next, at 32.6 days; energy & utilities follows at 28.8 days; biotech & pharmaceuticals is fourth at 28.1 days; and the nonprofit sector is in fifth place at 25.2 days.
Industries with the shortest interview processes are restaurants & bars, 10.2 days; private security, 11.6 days; supermarkets 12.3 days; automotive 12.7 days; and beauty & fitness at 13.2 days.

Job a Factor

Jobs with high turnover tend to have a faster interview process. The interview process for waiters is 8.0 days, while for retail representatives and delivery drivers it is 8.5 days.
By contrast, other jobs have an interview process that takes far longer than average. These include business systems analysts at 44.8 days; research scientists, 44.6 days; flight attendants, 43.6 days; and communications specialists at 42.5 days.
Which job has the slowest interview process?
The interview process for professors takes 60.3 days, more than twice the average for all jobs.

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