Job hunters must jump through more hoops – and higher – plus endure longer interviews to land a new job, research has found.
Post-recession employers can afford to be choosy and are grilling candidates for their long-term potential as well as their ability to do the job advertised, according to research by recruitment firm Randstad. As a result, every stage of the interview process has lengthened and become more gruelling.
It now takes an average 10 weeks five days to find and secure a job, up almost a quarter. The interview process has also extended by more than a quarter, with candidates spending seven hours preparing and taking part in interviews – an increase of 1.5 hours compared to five years ago. And the number of roles requiring psychometric, aptitude or technical testing has doubled to 29%.
Candidates must also attend more interviews. Five years ago, a junior role required an average 1.6 interviews, while the same role now requires 2.4 interviews. It’s a similar picture for senior roles, rising from 2.6 interviews five years ago to 3.4 today.
Not surprisingly, all this hoop jumping has taken its toll on job seekers, with more than half saying the process was harder than five years ago.
“Employers are often looking for more bang for their buck, and a skill set that was satisfactory for a job five years may no longer be now, as employers look towards the long-term potential of new hires,” said Mark Bull, UK chief executive of Randstad,.
“It’s not enough to demonstrate you can do the job they’re currently advertising for – you need to show you can develop in the role and bring something valuable to that organisation in the future.”
Despite the increasingly laborious nature of finding a job, many candidates fail to do their homework beforehand – in fact one in five did nothing more than read the job specification and application. Many relied on the company website and Wikipedia to provide answers.
While a Google search undoubtedly provides valuable insight, talking to former employees or recruitment consultants are key to filling in the blanks, said Bull. “In today’s marketplace it is the candidate who understands the nuances of an organisation’s culture and skills requirements that really stands out.