The Cost of Slow Hiring

In a survey conducted by the MRI Network in 2016, lengthy hiring practices were cited as the number one obstacle to hiring. 

While it is important to make the best hiring decision, long delays in doing so adversely affect company performance and revenue.  Below are several reasons why a quicker hiring process is beneficial:


Economic and Emotional Effect

Revenue Loss — Extended vacancies in revenue-generating positions directly impact a firm’s profit.  Not only can open positions result in lost revenue, but also lead to lost customers. 

Lower Productivity — Each day equals more work not done.  Multiple vacancies will not only affect the output in individual jobs but will affect the productivity of the whole team.

Hidden Costs – A long hiring process can raise “hidden” recruiting costs. A hiring process requiring multiple interviews comes at the expense of increased employee time spent interviewing. These costs are often “hidden” from the usual cost-per-hire calculation.

Co-worker Stress — Employees must work harder and longer when positions on their team remain open. The pressure and overwork may also lead to more errors, reduced productivity, turnover, and unhappy staff.

Loss of Talent

More will drop out — Candidates will have abundant time to rethink whether they want to join your firm, change jobs, relocate, leave their current projects and team, etc.  In addition, personal and family issues can surface which preclude changing jobs and/or relocating.   Candidates may also receive offers from other firms or a promotion or salary increase from their current firm. 

In fact, according to the MRI Network, 47% of declined offers in 2015 were due to candidates accepting other jobs.

Candidates apply to other firms —Applicants will have more time to continue applying to other firms.  However, stipulating at the onset that a hiring decision will be made quickly – even sharing the amount of days – will dissuade candidates from applying to other firms.

Diversity in hiring — Highly-skilled diverse candidates are valued and in high demand.   A slow hiring process can lead to such candidates accepting other offers.


Although conventional wisdom says ”hire slow, fire fast” this is not always the best approach.  As shown above, there are clear benefits to hiring faster to save money, ensure employee satisfaction and increase quality hires.

So, what steps should be taken to hiring faster?

Stay tuned for our upcoming article:  Steps To Avoid Slow Hiring