Most applicants reject job offers if hiring takes longer than four weeks

The human touch is just as important as an efficient recruitment process, says Randstad

The majority of jobseekers in southeast Asia are prepared to turn down offers of employment if the hiring process takes longer than four weeks, according to new research by Randstad Singapore.

A month is too long for nine out of ten candidates (89 per cent) across Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, suggesting that HR and recruitment professionals need to address the length of the hiring process or risk losing out on talent.

Despite the increasing use of automation in recruitment, the average hiring process has more than doubled – from 30 to 68 days, over the past few years, said the recruitment agency – and applicants are acting with their feet.

The survey found that almost half of jobseekers (44 per cent) would reject a job offer if the process took between four and eight weeks, and a further 45 per cent would bow out of the process if it took longer than eight weeks.

Singaporeans were the least willing to wait, with 91 per cent saying they would decline an offer if the process took more a month.

The majority of all respondents (73 per cent) said they expected the process to take between two and four weeks.

“Automation helps improve efficiency in many ways along the recruitment process for a value-added experience,” said Michael Smith, managing director, Randstad Singapore.

“However, we need to be both flexible and balanced in the way we engage with the candidates to meet their expectations for a more personal experience. When it comes to human resources, personalisation is key to success,” he added.

Smith said the results of the survey sent a clear message to hiring managers that more effort should go into engaging with job applicants, and that automation needed to go “hand in hand” with the human touch.

Insights from Randstad Singapore’s latest WorkMonitor, published last week, revealed that many employees have felt the need to seek advice on their careers at some point during their employment, with seven out of 10 employees across Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia having reached out to specialists.

Employees in Singapore were mostly likely to seek advice, with 83 per cent of employees doing so, compared with the global average of 46 per cent, while 72 per cent of employees in Malaysia and 58 per cent in Hong Kong said they sought advice.

Men were more likely to seek career guidance – but only by a small margin for. Employees aged between 18 and 34 years old were more likely seek advice than those aged 35-54.

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