Why does the interviewing process take such a long time before a decision is finally made?

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Human resource professionals and hiring managers in digital and direct marketing know all too well that recruitment procrastination can be a talent killer, not to mention the economic loss that can occur when a critical position remains unfilled over a prolonged period of time. Slow decisions also increase the potential for a counteroffer, further reducing the odds of a successful hire.

While it's true that digital and direct marketing employers are having trouble finding qualified individuals for some of their open positions, they're not willing to compromise on the time they're taking to carefully evaluate candidates. After two years of layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs, companies are taking a very close look at the core skills needed in new hires in order to rebuild their staffs now that economic recovery is taking hold. For a lot of employers that means putting candidates under the interviewing microscope.

While those are extreme examples, the interviewing winds are definitely blowing toward the side of caution. Businesses demanding more accountability from their senior leaders have less tolerance when hiring decisions go bad, particularly when you consider that the cost of a failed hire can be equal to many times a person's base salary. If someone leaves, the initial discussion is now less about "how fast can we fill it," and more about "let's decide if we need it."

HR staffs, which have been pared to the bone, are burdened with increased work loads, so follow-up and other less critical tasks get lower priority.

Here's one way to possibly ease your frustration: Simply take whatever you're told, and double it. If a company says they'll get back to you in a week, figure two weeks, which is not unrealistic. That way if they get back to you sooner, you'll feel like you're ahead of the game. l

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