The Impact of Delayed Hiring

How It’s Affecting Your Bottom Line & What to Do About It

How long is your average hiring process? This innocuous question is more crucial than many might consider and could be the key to unlocking the success your team, department or entire business have been missing. This article looks at the costs of delay, mistakes made, and techniques you can use to guarantee a superior recruitment process.

Speed is critical when hiring top talent, like an Olympic 100M sprint. The leading candidates are typically off the market within 10 days, according to Regardless, a comprehensive study by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team analysed over 400,000 hires on their platform, studying candidates who applied for jobs from June 2020 to March 2021. What is the average time taken to hire across all industries? 41 days.

Ask Yourself the Question

An experienced hiring expert might argue that the question on every leader’s lips should be, “How can we shorten our recruitment process?” Alarmingly, the delay can start before the process has even begun, as some ponder whether the hire is necessary in the first place. The mistake of delayed hiring and a slow recruitment process negatively impact companies in more ways than your bottom line. Some aren’t measurable and surreptitiously harm your company while the next hire is in the pipeline.

Let’s create a hypothetical example. You’re trying to hire a Senior Biostatistician to help with a new oncology trial. Due to the skilled nature of the job and the candidate’s willingness to move, it can take 2 – 8 weeks for your internal team to present a shortlist of favourable candidates. With the list in place, you take one to three months to work and manage the campaign, including; candidate selection and several stages of interviews. Great, you’re making progress. At this point, you’ve chosen your candidate and offered them the position. Queue the confetti! You’re thrilled as they’ve accepted the job. Now you must wait 3 – 6 months for their notice period and (remote) onboarding to begin. If we streamline the process and go with the lower tier estimations, the procedure lasts 4-5 months, with the longer assessments just shy of a year.

74% of US organisations are struggling to find skilled talent for open roles, according to the ManpowerGroup survey. When you break down the entire process and account for the onboarding time – say roughly six months before you can ‘realise’ the ROI – hiring can be one of the most costly tasks a company manages. And if poorly done, that 100M sprint starts looking like a marathon, with each passing step draining your resources.

3 Detrimental drawbacks

Decreased Productivity & Revenue – Delays can directly impact timelines, manufacturing and marketing. Hiring delays can wreak havoc with your bottom line, from running late on fulfilment to sizeable lapses in projected timelines.

Damaged Company Reputation
 – Job site vacancies left untouched for months, a promising series of interviews that fall flat – these lead candidates and industry players to talk. A drawn-out hiring process can affect a company’s reputation and steer top talent elsewhere. Delays may lead HR managers to make desperate decisions, resulting in a bad

hire, further tarnishing your reputation. All the while, your competitor swoops in and sails the skilled candidate through their streamlined onboarding.

Diminished Employee Morale
 – The knock-on effect of an under resourced team is a heavy workload and employees feeling indignant that their job role now includes a plethora of additional responsibilities unrelated to their title. A culture of burnout is a nesting ground for job hunting elsewhere.

So what are your options?

Contractors  When needing a swift hire, speaking with contractors to cover the workload is typical. While most bring professionalism, experience and the ability to adapt quickly, this isn’t always guaranteed. It’s also an expensive alternative and can lead to further complications, such as decreased employee morale and a lack of cohesion within the team. Additionally, contractors may have a different level of commitment and engagement than permanent employees, which can negatively impact the quality of work.


Get Active! – Much like exercising is better than waiting to get healthy. Actively searching for candidates is more productive than passively waiting for ad responses. According to LinkedIn, 70% of the global workforce is passive talent, with the remaining 30% actively seeking jobs. Accessibility to the market’s finest is at your fingertips. With 875 million members, LinkedIn improves the likelihood of actively finding candidates. And while the pandemic has shaken the global economy, some argue it’s benefited many by opening the door to remote working. Those who may have rejected the no-caller ID phone call now make themselves available for conversations.


Work With an Agency – Given the constantly growing network of fine-tuned talent they cultivate and the deep-seated relationships, they share with their clients. The right recruitment agency is the pathway to the dream employee wonderland your company has been searching for so badly. As the CEO and owner of King Executive and King Recruit, Helen Plumridge, suggests, “Instructing a recruiter now to headhunt a particular skill or qualification could produce very positive results with more candidates shortlisted than before.

Okay, let’s wrap things up. The cost of delaying hiring decisions or hesitating to offer a live candidate a job can be substantial. It can negatively impact business productivity, revenue, company reputation, brand, and employee morale. While it may seem like a cost-saving measure in the short term, it is essential to consider the long-term consequences and the benefits of hiring the right person for the job.

If you’re looking for a specialist Life Science recruitment company to help with your search, AL Solutions covers various disciplines across the industry. Please reach out to one of our professional consultants today at

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