Employers are taking an average of five weeks and six days to recruit new employees, according to figures published by recruitment consultancy Randstad.
This is a rise from an average of three weeks and four days when the same survey was conducted in 2008.
According to the survey, the number of interviews that employers conduct for each role has risen over the past five years. Junior roles now require an average of 2.4 interviews (up from 1.6), while candidates for senior roles face an average of 3.4 interviews (up from 2.6).
Mark Bull, UK chief executive officer of Randstad, said: “Employers have become increasingly selective when it comes to interviewing staff. Prospective employees have to jump through many more hiring hoops today than they did pre-recession.”
An increasing number of employers now require candidates to take aptitude or technical tests. These figures have more than doubled in five years, from 14% to 29%.
Vetting of credentials such as qualifications, criminal records and references has also lengthened the recruitment process.
However, although the average interview process has increased during the past five years, it seems that many potential candidates perform little, or no pre-interview research.
According to Randstad, 18% of candidates didn’t research the role prior to their interview, while 35% conducted an internet search and only 20% of people asked employees or former employees about the role they were applying for.
Bull added: “The importance of thoroughly researching a potential role can’t be overstated. A Google search is simply not enough in today’s competitive market. It’s clear from our research the longer people prepare from a wider variety of sources, the more likely they are to be the successful applicant in the shortest possible time.”
During 2012, candidates who successfully changed their jobs spent 27% longer going through the interview process for the same role compared to figures in 2008.
Randstad claims that because of this, it has taken jobseekers much longer to find employment. Many applicants spend an average of 10 weeks and five days in the process of finding, interviewing and securing a job.
Exactly half of candidates interviewed said they believe the recruitment process to be more difficult than five years ago.
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