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Why efficiency is the key to winning Hong Kong candidates over

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Lengthy hiring process and false expectations are one of the repelling reasons that drive candidates and new hires away, as job seekers’ attitudes towards job interviews are changing according to the latest research by Robert Half.

According to the report, 83% of Hong Kong CFOs say candidates have become more unwilling to wait to find out if they got the job compared to 12 months ago. And even after accepting a position, 91% are willing to quit within the first month if the job doesn’t match their expectations.

Attitudes towards job interviews are changingHong Kong has long battled a skills shortage, particularly within the financial sectors – which is putting top candidates in a more favourable position during the recruitment process. When asked why finance candidates have become more unwilling to wait to find out if they got the job, almost half (49%) of CFOs cited a change of attitude in job applicants – which is indicative of the power balance shift towards candidates in a skills short market.

Other reasons why finance candidates have become more impatient during the hiring process include an increase in counteroffers (43%), an increase in jobs available for finance candidates (36%), an increase in the number of interview rounds (22%) and an increase in the total duration of the hiring process (10%) – which are all firm indicators that Hong Kong 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.

Adam Johnston, managing director of Robert Half Hong Kong said: “In today’s skills-short market, top candidates are receiving multiple job offers and are therefore in a power position when looking for and negotiating job offers. Because of this, attitudes towards the recruitment process are changing, leaving top candidates unlikely to wait around if they haven’t received a timely response before accepting an offer elsewhere. In addition, companies need to sell the job, the company culture, benefits and reasons why they are a great place to work to prospective employees or risk losing their preferred candidate to the competition.”

First impressions countIn a further study of 500 jobseekers across Hong Kong commissioned by Robert Half, little over four in 10 (41%) admit they decide whether they would or wouldn’t accept a position straight after the first meeting. Highlighting that first impressions count, a further one fifth (18%) know if they are interested after the first communication (call/email) or even within the first five minutes of the interview. One in 10 (11%) wait until the contractual negotiations or until they have completed subsequent interviews to decide.

“Recruitment is a two-way street. It starts with providing candidates an efficient and timely recruitment experience and extends throughout the onboarding process to ensure new hires are motivated, engaged and quickly contributing to the business,” added Johnston.

Even once candidates have accepted a role, 91% admit they would consider leaving a job within their first month and 94% during their probation period. Reasons for leaving during the first month include a discrepancy between the job in practice and how it was advertised (48%), followed by poor management (46%). More than four in 10 (42%) cite a mismatch with the corporate culture and 29% refer to a lack of proper onboarding. Little over one in five (22%) say they would leave if they receive a more attractive job offer.

“Organisations must think of their attraction, recruitment and retention practices holistically. Long drawn out recruitment processes magnify the opportunity for a candidate to change their mind – which in turn costs the company time and money. Businesses that are serious about finding the best talent need to commit to providing an efficient and engaging experience at every stage – from initial contact through onboarding and beyond,” concluded Johnston.

READ MORE: The top frustrations for Hong Kong jobseekers

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