How Long Is Too Long for the Interviewing Process?

Man in a wheelchair being interviewed by three smiling people

During the interviewing process, top candidates are vetting your company just as much as you’re considering them. Indeed recommends that candidates apply for up to 15 jobs a week or two to three jobs per day. That means, by the time you get around to offering a job to a candidate, they may have already moved on or are at least considering other opportunities.

Average Time To Hire

How long is the average interview process today? According to Get Hired by LinkedIn News, average hiring processes last three to six weeks. The Jobvite Employ Quarterly Insights Report Q3 2022 states the average time-to-hire, according to 85% of talent acquisition professionals, is four weeks or less.

Taking Too Long To Hire

For prominent roles like executive-level positions, the process can take longer — up to several months depending on the number of applicants and steps in the process. Keep in mind, for any business, an interview process taking too long can end up creating bad hiring practices.

Risks in Lengthy Hiring Practices

What are the risks involved with lengthy hiring practices? In 2022, the BBC reported candidate “ghosting” of employers is on the rise, with 28% of candidates saying they’d dropped off from employer communication without notice. 

In 2021, Business Insider reported as many as 90% of candidates didn’t show up for interviews. Some new hires didn’t show up for their first shift, and many quit after just a few weeks.

Hiring that takes too long could be the reason why your organization may be losing out on top talent. Are slow interviewing practices hindering your hiring? Here’s what to consider and how to streamline the hiring process to keep top candidates engaged.

How Long Is Too Long To Hire?

There’s no single answer to how long is too long. That’s because factors that include industry, role, and market competition, can influence how long it takes an organization to make an offer:

For example, jobs with the federal government may require extensive background checks and candidate screening compared to a manager role at a local mom and pop shop.

Do Big Organizations Take Longer To Hire? 

As to whether large organizations can take longer to hire, it depends. Certainly, a robust human resources team can help speed up processes. But why some companies take a long time to hire may also depend on the steps needed to complete the process.

The Society for Human Resources Management has a time-to-hire/time-to-fill calculation spreadsheet you can use to calculate the average number of days it takes to hire and fill a position. You can also use industry research to answer how long the interview process may take for your type of company.

Consider the Hiring Practices of Industry Peers

Look at industry hiring surveys. Search for professional chatter and LinkedIn discussions on hiring. 

Ask for Feedback

During onboarding and exit interviews, ask for feedback about the hiring process and what you can do to improve it.

Best Practices to Hasten Hiring Processes

In 2022, CNBC reported a record number of people quit their jobs in the United States, totaling around 50.5 million people who contributed to “The Great Resignation.” Many candidates are in the driver’s seat today, so when they wonder why some companies take so long to hire, they may move on to something new altogether.

To keep candidates engaged during the hiring process and speed it up, use these best practices.

1. Create Hiring Standards

First, get organized. Create a recruitment and hiring process flowchart that maps out your process and how long each step should take.


  •  A goal for how long it should take to hire each position
  • Timelines to help you achieve your goal
  • Candidate communication methods that ensure continual two-way communication throughout the process

Make Hiring a Priority

Train your human resources team and anyone involved in the hiring process on your methods and timelines. Hiring should be a priority, since the quality of your candidates will determine the future success of your business. Ensure that your hiring staff has the bandwidth needed to meet hiring timelines.

Share Hiring Timelines With Candidates

Communicate hiring timelines immediately with candidates. Let them know how long they can expect the process to take, so they don’t stay involved up to a point and then ghost you later. Communicating deadlines also helps keep your team accountable, so they stay on track.

2. Write Clear, Detailed Job Descriptions

Make sure candidates understand the role, your company, and what’s expected of them. This is important to cultivating the best talent pool. In addition to listing details about the role and your company, be transparent about salary, benefits, and perks you offer.

Be Transparent About Salary and Benefits

When you provide salary and benefits information up-front, you create clear expectations for candidates and can get more relevant applicants.

According to a 2022 report by CNN, compensation is typically candidates’ top concern. Protocol reported in 2022, the main reason candidates ghosted a company was low salary, which was cited by 29% of candidates. 

3. Publicize the Position

You can also speed up interviewing and hiring processes by targeting better candidates through channels such as:

  • Local colleges and universities for entry-level positions
  • Your company’s social media channels, including LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Industry job boards

Ask your employees for candidate referrals. According to a 2023 report by Zippia, 88% of employers rate employee referral programs as the best source of applicants. You can motivate employees to refer their contacts by offering a set reward or other forms of recognition.

4. Use Technology

Technology can help you streamline recruitment, interviewing, and hiring processes while keeping candidates engaged with increased transparency. 

Consider virtual candidate dashboards that show candidates:

  • Where they are in the hiring process
  • Next steps to complete for moving forward
  • How they can contact you with questions and get information they’re looking for about your company

Virtual tools also help your HR and hiring teams stay organized and aligned. You can see where your current candidates are in the process and stay on top of deadlines using the dashboards.

5. Establish a Preboarding Process

Preboarding is the period of time between a candidate accepting a job offer and starting their first day on the new job. This time is crucial to ensure the candidate stays committed to your business after committing to being hired.

This period of time, which may last about two weeks if a candidate has given two weeks’ notice at their previous employer.

Be sure to provide the new hire with:

  • Resources about your organization to help them get comfortable
  • The best way to contact you with questions
  • Details on what their first day, first week, and first weeks will look like on the job

You can also move onboarding tasks like filling out benefits and payroll paperwork to the preboarding stage. Consider having the new hire’s future teammates welcome the new employee with a video, gift basket, or other token of appreciation and anticipation.

Prioritizing Hiring In Your Company

Hiring doesn’t have to take a long time. When you make hiring a priority, you can help your company be more effective and productive with better workers.

To summarize, you can streamline by using these tips:

  1. Get organized.
  2. Create clear and transparent job descriptions.
  3. Target relevant applicants.
  4. Use technology to improve clarity in the process.
  5. Keep candidates engaged from hire to start date.

Train your team on the importance of fast and effective hiring. Provide them with tools that help them succeed and present your company in the best light to candidates.

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