June 18, 2015


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Research Reveals Hiring Times in U.S., Canada, Major European Markets and Australia Growing as Employer Screening Methods, Including Background Checks, Drug Tests, Skills and Personality Tests Have Risen

MILL VALLEY, CALIF., (June 18, 2015) Recruiters and job seekers often want to know why the hiring process takes so long. According to a report out today from Glassdoor Economic Research, it’s only getting worse as the average interview process has increased globally 3.3 to 3.7 days since 2010. In the U.S., the process now takes 22.9 days while hiring in France, Germany and the United Kingdom each takes four to nine days longer on average than in the United States and Canada (22.1 days).

“Right now hiring delays can represent money left on the table both for workers and employers. There has been surprisingly little research on ‘interview durations’ from the job seeker’s perspective, and how company HR policies influence delays in job matching throughout the economy,” notes Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor Chief Economist. “This Glassdoor Research report helps fill this gap by providing new insights about the time required for job matching from the individual job seeker’s perspective.”

In the new report titled Why is Hiring Taking Longer?1, Chamberlain looked to tackle just that by taking a fresh look at the hiring process through the eyes of the candidate. The study, spanning six countries, presents a statistical analysis of trends in hiring times based on a unique data source: interview reviews direct from job candidates who shared their experiences on Glassdoor.  The report evaluated four key areas: average hiring process in the past year, changes over time, factors that have contributed to delays, and why changes occurred. In addition to differences by country, the study looked at these four areas by company size, job title, metro location and sector.

Hiring Times Vary, Yet All Have Grown, Throughout the World

The time required for a candidate to progress through the hiring process varies widely around the world. In the United States, the process took an average of 22.9 days overall in 2014, up from 12.6 days in 2010. Only job candidates in Canada report shorter hiring times at 22.1 days on average. By contrast, job candidates in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia all report significantly longer hiring processes. French job candidates report the longest duration at 31.9 days, followed by Germany at 28.8 days, the United Kingdom at 28.6 days, and Australia at 27.9 days.

Trends in Average Length Intv Process. Glassdoor Econ Research Report

Growth in Employer Screening Methods Impact Hiring Times

While there has been little change over the years in most interview techniques, job candidates report a rise in several types of employer screening techniques. For example, in the U.S., candidate background checks increased from 25 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2014. Other hiring screening techniques that became more common include skills tests (16 percent in 2010 to 23 percent in 2014), drug tests (13 percent in 2010 to 23 percent in 2014) and personality tests (12 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2014).

Each of these additional employer “screens” added a statistically significant amount to average time required for candidates to go through the hiring process, in some cases adding a full week. To the extent that employers directly control their own hiring process, this is one factor affecting time to hire that is entirely within the control of company HR and recruiting departments.

Employer Size, Sector and Location Matters – Big Companies and Government Take Longer

Hiring duration, when viewed from the candidate’s perspective, lengthens when employer demographics such as industry, office location and employee size are taken into account. For example, government job candidates report the longest hiring process ranging from 49.5 days in Australia to 60.4 days in the U.S., whereas franchise candidates secure a job the fastest as it takes eight days in Australia and 10.6 days in the U.S. This also may explain why job candidates in the Washington D.C. area report a slow hiring process as government jobs in this region tend to be more dominant – candidates in the nation’s capital report the hiring process takes an average of 34.4 days, which is roughly twice the time it takes candidates in Miami (18.6 days) to get hired.

Additionally, employers with 10 to 49 employees, candidates experienced a hiring process that took between 15.2 and 16.9 days across the U.S., Canada and UK. For comparison, for employers with more than 100,000 employees, candidates experienced a hiring process that took between 23.0 and 36.1 days across these three countries.

press release 2

All Jobs Are Not Equal When Interviewing – Police Officers Most Time Intensive

Jobs that take the longest for candidates to go through the hiring process were typically government, academic or senior executive positions. In the U.S., police officers report the longest process (127.6 days), followed by patent examiners (87.6 days), assistant professors (58.7 days), senior vice presidents (55.5 days) and program analysts (51.8 days).

The shortest process is typically found among more routine, lower-skilled job titles. The shortest hiring times were for entry level marketing jobs (3.9 days), followed by entry level sales (5.4 days), servers and bartenders (5.7 days), entry level account managers (5.9 days), and dishwashers (6.9 days).

Candidate Demographics Show Zero Impact on Interview Duration

As part of the study’s effort to evaluate impacts to hiring, Glassdoor Research also looked at individual job seeker characteristics such as gender, age, and highest level of education. In all cases, the research showed that demographic characteristics have zero statistical impact on hiring times.

See the full Glassdoor Research Report “Why is Hiring Taking Longer?” including insights on how hiring times are impacted by industry, job title and company size:


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