Kiwi jobseekers becoming more impatient during recruitment process

Robert Half research has found New Zealand’s financial jobseekers are becoming increasingly impatient during the recruitment process. Read more here. 

  • 82% of New Zealand CFOs say candidates have become less willing to wait to find out if they got the job compared to 12 months ago. 
  • Top reasons why finance candidates are more impatient during the hiring process: Number of interview rounds has increased (63%), change in candidate attitude (61%) and increase in counteroffers (52%). 

New Zealand’s financial jobseekers are becoming increasingly impatient during the recruitment process. According to new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half, 82% of New Zealand CFOs say candidates have become more unwilling to wait to find out if they got the job compared to 12 months ago.

What is causing candidate impatience? 
In a skills-short market where 93% of New Zealand CFOs say it is challenging to find qualified finance staff, top candidates are in a more favourable position during the recruitment process. However, rather than speeding up the time it takes to hire high-calibre professionals and to prevent them from going to the competition, the main reason why candidates are losing patience during the recruitment process is that the number of interview rounds has increased – this is according to almost two in three (63%) finance employers. The next reason, according to 61% of CFOs, is candidates’ attitudes have changed – which is a wider reflection of the power balance shift towards candidates in a market characterised by an ongoing war for talent. 

Other reasons why finance candidates have become more impatient during the hiring process include an increase in counteroffers (52%), an increase in jobs available for finance candidates (43%), and an increase in the total duration of the hiring process (9%) – which are all firm indicators that New Zealand employers need to streamline their hiring process and make a decision fast once they have found a suitable candidate in order to secure the best talent for the role. 

Megan Alexander, General Manager of Robert Half New Zealand said: “Because companies want to make sure they’re choosing the right person for the job, they tend to extend the duration of the hiring process. However, as jobseekers are confronted with longer hiring processes, they are less likely to wait around if they haven’t received a timely response before accepting an offer elsewhere.”

“In order to secure the best talent for the role, hiring managers need to act fast, streamline their hiring practices and extend the offer to the candidate once they have found a match – or else risk losing their preferred candidate to the competition.”

Jobseekers understand they might have to wait longer than expected to receive a job offer. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing jobseekers can do to accelerate the hiring process. Here are three ways how candidates can potentially help the employer to come to a decision more quickly:

1.    Don’t leave the interview without knowing next steps
Job applicants should not leave the interview with the hiring manager until they have confirmation the hiring manager has all the information he/she needs, as well as sufficient information about the next steps in the hiring process.

“Making sure the hiring managers have all the information they need allows job applicants to address any concerns the employer may have about them before they have a chance to make their decision. Asking for confirmation on next steps can also set a clear timeframe for when they can expect to hear an update on their application,” added Megan Alexander. 

2.    Follow up 
The best way for job applicants to remain top of mind with the hiring manager is by following up with a thank-you note within 48 hours of the first interview – it’s a nice touch and can help applicants stand out and reaffirms their interest in the position. 

“Communication goes both ways, so if a jobseeker hasn’t heard back from the hiring manager after a week, they should pick up the phone and call them. If the employer has no update, they can ask when they can expect to hear back and again stress their interest in the role.”

3.    Make it clear that your search is moving forward
One additional way for jobseekers to potentially speed up the hiring process is to remind the hiring manager that they are still job hunting. Candidates should inform the hiring manager they have received interest from and have been interviewing with other companies (only if this if the case, of course). 

“Setting clear expectations to the hiring manager helps to send a clear signal that candidates are not sitting idly and waiting by the phone forever — and it lets the employer in question know they’re not the only business competing for their talents.” 

“It’s important to remain patient during the recruitment process and remember that companies only want the best person for the job. Yet jobseekers should not slow down their job hunting efforts until they have an offer in hand,” concluded Megan Alexander. 

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About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 CFOs from companies across New Zealand. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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