UK businesses are missing out on top talent because they are alienating candidates with poor communication and long hiring practices, new research from Robert Half UK reveals.

A poll of 1,000 jobseekers found that the biggest frustration with job applications is slow feedback from prospective employers about their progress through the application process. This was cited by over half (52%) of candidates.

What are your biggest frustrations about the recruitment process when applying for a new role?

Slow feedback to get an update about where I stand in the recruitment process 52%
Poor communication about the required steps in the recruitment process 44%
Delayed decision-making 39%
Doing multiple job interviews with the same employer 35%
Keeping track of multiple job opportunities with different employers 33%
Difficulties scheduling interviews 23%
Lack of transparency on rewards and benefits 19%
Changing role requirements 16%
Disappointment with contractual terms 15%

*Mutliple responses permitted.

When professionals are looking for a new job, they do so actively with almost half (46%) of jobseekers applying for ten roles or more at the same time. However, in a market where 93% of businesses say they find it challenging to source skilled talent, they need to act fast or risk losing talent. The research indicates that seven in ten jobseekers (71%) regularly receive multiple job offers when searching for work, with 35% “often” or “always” getting more than one job offer at one time.

“With increasing concerns around a growing skills gap and top talent in short supply, businesses can’t afford to alienate prospective employees with drawn-out interview processes,” commented Matt Weston, Director at Robert Half UK.

“A company’s recruitment process needs to be balanced against the expectations and frustrations of jobseekers. Companies should be thinking about how they can streamline application and interview processes to ensure that frustrations such as delays in providing feedback and poor communication, don’t cost them the best candidates,” Weston continued.

With slow feedback being the biggest frustration for jobseekers in the UK, 38% of them generally do not even receive feedback from their potential employers about their performance in interviews and 46% do not receive feedback about the reason why they were not offered the job.

Companies need to be wary that the implications of slow communication and the lack of feedback can be far-reaching with 52% of jobseekers saying they would not recommend a company as a potential employer and 36% even willing to withdraw their application if they have not received a timely response about its status.

“While multi-stage interviews might be unavoidable, timely communication throughout the application process is key to keeping candidates interested in the role. A negative experience during this process can have long-term detrimental effects on the company’s reputation too. Disengaged job applicants who have had a negative experience with a company are not only more likely to withdraw their application, they could potentially speak negatively of the organisation at hand, jeopardising the attractiveness of the company as an employer of choice and even potential business,” concluded Weston.