Latest Survey of MRINetwork Recruiters Finds Companies are Taking Longer to Hire

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Employee Retention Efforts May be Holding Back Recruitment

2015 2nd Half MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study

It is now taking longer for candidates to receive an offer; 3-6 weeks from the candidate’s first interview compared to 1-4 weeks in previous years of the survey.

Many companies have been in growth mode throughout 2015, focusing on key strategic hires to support their expansion. While an average of 230,000 new jobs were created monthly in the overall labor market, the hiring process has slowed in the executive, managerial and professional sector, according to new data from the 2015 2nd Half edition of the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study. The biannual employment landscape survey, which polled 446 MRINetwork worldwide recruiters, reveals it is now taking longer for candidates to receive an offer; 3-6 weeks from the candidate’s first interview compared to 1-4 weeks in previous years of the survey. Lengthy hiring practices are common among many employers, but further extension of the process, suggests that recruitment may be competing with employee retention efforts. Employers are now faced with making fundamental changes to prevent their talent management efforts from outweighing recruitment of the brightest talent in 2016 and beyond.

An extensive, drawn-out approach to hiring is a protective measure that many companies have kept from the recession, but it is no longer effective to recruit top candidates who expect a swifter process. This is particularly the case in the executive, managerial and professional labor market which has become increasingly candidate-driven since 2011, and in 2015 reached an all-time high. Remaining unchanged from survey findings in the first half of 2015, 90 percent of respondents feel the sector is candidate-driven. In this environment, top candidates have the advantage, because they typically have multiple job offers, and the ability to reject less desirable work opportunities.

As the hiring process lengthens, rejected job offers continue to rise and a growing number of companies are losing shortlisted candidates who decide to join other organizations. According to the survey, 44 percent of participants listed “accepted another offer” as the primary reason for offer rejections, up from 37 percent in the first half of 2015. The close relationship between the time to hire and the availability of skilled candidates was further supported by recruiter insight about what is holding managers back from holding. Lengthy hiring practices (27 percent) and an inability to find suitable talent (31 percent) were listed as the top reasons keeping managers from hiring.

Additional highlights and conclusions from the MRINetwork survey:

  •     Key strategic hires, followed by employee engagement and retention, were identified as top priorities for employers in 2016.
  •     Newly created positions continue to be the primary reason for job openings (51 percent), followed by vacancies from resignations (30 percent).
  •     Vacancies from retirements are increasing, rising four percentage points since the first half of 2015. This coincides with succession planning which MRINetwork recruiters indicated will be important to employers in 2016.
  •     In addition to accepting other offers, low compensation packages and counteroffers were also top reasons for rejected offers.
  •     The time between the first interview and the rejected offer is shrinking, with a six percentage point increase from the second half of 2014, for candidates that rejected offers after two weeks from the first interview.

Although the study results demonstrate the labor market is highly favorable toward top performers in the executive, managerial and professional space, recruitment and retention will continue to be challenging for overall hiring as the job market expands. Employers who truly want to expand their teams, and not feel burdened by retention issues, will need to create modern, full-cycle practices that look at recruitment and talent management strategies as an inter-connected process, rather than two separate efforts.

About the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study:
The 2015 2nd Half MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study is created from a web-based survey, conducted between October 30 and November 14, 2015, with a total of 446 recruiters responding. All survey data has been rounded to the nearest tenth. The survey has a 6.1 percent margin of error with a 90 percent confidence.

The survey was conducted by MRINetwork and compiled by Nysha King (215.282.8821 | nysha.king(at) of MRINetwork. This was the 9th edition of the study, which is conducted on a biannual basis. Parties interested in viewing the most recent report can download the study at

About MRINetwork®:
Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. A subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global provider of engineering & technology solutions and professional staffing services, MRINetwork has approximately 600 offices in over 40 countries. Visit MRINetwork at For franchising opportunities, visit

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Nysha King
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