Why Is Hiring Taking Longer? New Insights from Glassdoor Data

Dr. Andrew Chamberlain

June 18, 2015

The time required for hiring processes has grown dramatically in recent years, both in the U.S. and internationally. What factors are driving this trend? Which job seekers face the longest delays and why? This study presents a statistical analysis of trends in hiring times based on a unique data source: reviews of job interview experiences from Glassdoor.

Based on a sample of 344,250 interview reviews spanning six countries, we examine a variety of factors affecting the length of interview processes: industry factors, company factors, country factors, differences in job titles, and even the changing mix of job interview “screening” methods used by employers.

Key Findings

  • There are large international differences in time required for interview processes. The average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S. But jobs in France, Germany and the United Kingdom each take on average 4 to 9 days longer than in the United States and Canada.
  • Job interview processes are getting longer, both in the U.S. and abroad. Average interview processes have grown by 3.3 to 3.7 days since 2009. This trend remains even after controlling for differences in job titles, companies, industries and many other factors.
  • Hiring policies of employers can have a large effect on the length of the interview process. Choosing to require group panel interviews, candidate presentations, background checks, skills tests and more each have a positive and statistically significant effect on hiring times.
  • Personal characteristics of job seekers—including gender, age and highest level of education—have zero statistical effect on interview lengths. All of the recent growth in hiring processes appears to be driven entirely by economy-wide shifts in the composition of employers, job titles, hiring industries, and company HR policies.
  • Employee background checks, skills tests and drug tests are becoming more common among employers. This increased reliance on job candidate “screening” methods is a likely contributor to the recent trend toward longer interview times.

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