Why the hiring process is broken

November 8th, 2022

We’re reminded daily that the way people want to work has taken a dramatic turn. Thanks to more remote work options, the rise of the gig economy, increases in contingent work opportunities, and the after-effects of pandemic-driven disruption, people across the world have been re-evaluating how, where, and when they want to work. Alongside this shift change, organisations across all industries and regions have been facing a variety hiring challenges.

To develop a deeper understanding of what’s driving today’s hiring, background screening trends, and where opportunities may exist to improve current recruitment practices, Sterling conducted a study and turned the data we found into a report called ‘Hiring Reimagined.’ The report is a realistic outlook on the state of hiring, background screening, and candidate experience — as expressed by more than 1,200 HR professionals and over 3,700 recent job seekers from around the world. .

What’s causing hiring challenges?

It’s no secret that the country’s talent deficit is becoming critical, with 69 percent of UK-based employers admitting to experiencing skill shortages. For this reason alone, it comes as little surprise that most HR professionals reported that they are currently experiencing hiring challenges, with our EMEA-specific data revealing that 46 percent of businesses have been struggling to find enough qualified candidates to fill positions. However, skills shortages are not the only challenge impacting hiring teams. It’s also worth highlighting that 28 percent of HR professionals believed that they were missing out due to direct competitors winning the talent they wanted to hire, while 24 percent revealed that they were facing hiring complications due to new types of work emerging such as gig and remote work. In contrast, only eight percent of participants stated that they had no major hiring challenges, which highlights just how many HR professionals and businesses are struggling with hiring in some form.

A disconnect between employers and candidates

The research also identified a disparity between employers and candidates, particularly when asked why candidates would consider dropping out or going on to actually leave the hiring process. What is particularly interesting here is that the majority of candidate responses relate to the complexity of the hiring process (33 percent), or were indicative of a time-consuming experience for the end-user (35 percent), rather than a decision to simply take another role elsewhere or stay at a previous job. To provide some perspective on this disparity, only nine percent of HR professionals believed that candidates would find their hiring process complicated.

Our study indicates that candidates tend to see issues with getting through the final stages of the hiring process, suggesting the experience for the end-user isn’t as positive as it could be. There’s been a wealth of speculation that individuals are getting counter-offers which leads them to drop out of the hiring process due to opportunities elsewhere. While this may be the case, the insight from applicants themselves suggests there’s more to this issue that needs to be addressed swiftly. Businesses simply cannot overlook how important it is to provide an efficient, engaging hiring process for candidates, particularly with skills in short supply across the UK. For HR and talent professionals, now truly is the time to steer organisations down the right path and demonstrate the potential impact that inefficient hiring processes can have on a company.

Streamlining hiring with Digital Identity

Background screening is often overlooked and thought of as just another step to complete in the hiring process. However, the way that searches are conducted can actually have a major impact on how candidates perceive the overall hiring effectiveness of an organisation that they are considering joining. In fact, the majority (54 percent) of our candidate respondents agreed that their background screening experience made them feel more confident about working with the organisation or pursuing the job.

Making the switch to Digital Identity will be a critical component towards not only speeding up the hiring process and making it simpler for all parties, but also providing candidates with full confidence in their safety, which is certainly cause for concern among job seekers. Opting for a digitalised Right to Work process will mean that once the employer sends the request to the applicant that’s the end of their responsibilities. This revised ‘one touchpoint’ process removes the need for the documentation to also be verified by the employer, saving valuable time for all parties and safely streamlining an often ‘clunky’ process.

At this point in time, hiring may be a struggle, but HR professionals have opportunities to alleviate challenges by looking at the hiring process and candidate experience with fresh eyes. To triumph in the future of hiring, it will be important for talent experts to recognise job seekers’ frustrations with the process and to invest in areas that will accelerate and simplify the candidate experience.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.

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