Are Slow Hiring Decisions Dragging You Down?

Today’s talent market has employers pulling out all the stops to compete for workers– such as ramping up benefits, focusing on the employee experience and easing qualifications–but all of those efforts may be for naught if hiring managers don’t act quickly and decisively enough.

The evolving role of the hiring manager was the target of a recent report from Gartner. As the world of work is rapidly redefined, the No. 1 skill for hiring managers needs to be decisiveness, which the organization defines as “focusing on prioritizing future talent needs, broadening the candidate funnel and sharing hiring decisions with experts across the organization.” However, its research found that about three-quarters of hiring managers don’t embody that quality–and it’s hurting their companies’ bottom lines.

Gartner found that, in 2018, the average time between the initial job interview and the hiring manager making an offer was 33 days–an 84% increase since 2010.

“The longer decision-making stage is causing a 16% reduction in candidates accepting offers,” says Lauren Smith, vice president of Gartner’s HR practice. “Ultimately, hiring managers are losing out on prime candidates because of this lag in decision-making.”

Smith says hiring managers traditionally knew their hiring needs and, after recruiting turned over a shortlist, were able to make a more “straightforward final decision.” But, today’s world has “more options and less certainty,” leading to the downward trend in timely, high-quality decisions.

Decisive hiring managers, Gartner found, hire 10% more high-quality candidates and 11% fewer low-quality candidates than traditional hiring managers–and ultimately reduce time-to-hire by 17%.

The research identified a number of recommendations for organizations to refine their hiring decisions:

  • Diversify input: Hiring managers alone shouldn’t be the only decision-makers. Gartner advises to have recruiters network with business leaders, workplace-planning team members and analytics professionals to define future talent goals–so decisions are made just on short-term needs.
  • Engage with candidates: Gartner found that candidates trust a hiring manager to provide important information nearly four times more than a recruiter, so hiring managers should prioritize candidate engagement.
  • Align hiring with expertise: Companies should consider that the traditional hiring manager may not be the best person to make the final decision; alternate decision-makers can be evaluated based on skill sets and experience with a particular role.



Avatar photo
Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected]