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How Hong Kong bosses are driving candidates away

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The evidence is clear companies are struggling to attract and retain top talent and yet long and complex recruitment processes have them losing out.

According to independent research commissioned by recruitment firm by Robert Half, the study that analysed responses from 500 Hong Kong jobseekers found that more than seven in 10 (72%) of candidates have taken a second-choice job offer because their preferred employer took too long to give them an answer.

Despite 72% of job seekers saying that they lose interest in the role if the hiring process takes too long, the research also found that hiring managers are taking their time to get back to jobseekers. More than half (54%) of candidates have waited longer than a month to hear back about a role for which they have interviewed, while 27% have waited longer than six weeks – and 21% even over two months. Merely 6% got feedback on the same day.

This contrasts sharply with candidates’ expectations of the hiring process. The overall majority (88%) believe it is reasonable to wait up to one month – from initial application to getting a final offer. Only 12% think it’s acceptable to wait for over a month.

“Hong Kong companies are in a fierce war for talent and are competing to find the right skills and talent. To take their business forward, employers cannot afford to alienate potential workers with long drawn-out hiring processes,” said Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong, in a press release.

“High-calibre jobseekers know they are in demand, so the fact that so many of Hong Kong’s jobseekers are turning down their dream job because they’ve been left waiting for so long is concerning.”

“The process of narrowing down candidates during the hiring process can be time-consuming. However, if hiring mangers fail to adapt their recruitment process to the expectations of today’s candidates, they will increase the risk of losing out on the best talent on the market,” continued Johnston.

“To strike the right balance for today’s candidates, businesses need to conduct an in-depth review and streamline their entire interview process from initial outreach to final job offer.”

ALSO READ: 3 essential hiring strategies

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