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4 Key Reasons Behind Long Job Hiring Process

Written by HRCap, Inc.

July 6, 2023

[HRCap] 4 Key Reasons Behind Long Job Hiring Process

Many job seekers have been wondering, “Why am I not getting hired anywhere?”

The number of unemployed people reached 5.5 million in May 2023. In a separate survey conducted by Harris Poll, nearly half reported applying to more than 50 positions, and more than 70% of those looking for a new role said it was more difficult than they had anticipated.

After submitting dozens of job applications and going through multiple rounds of interviews, job seekers are finding themselves in a never-ending cycle of applying for jobs, getting interviewed, and receiving rejection letters or no feedback at all. This can be quite discouraging, especially for the unemployed who have been job-seeking for as long as 27 weeks with no job offer in hand.

Though some attribute the long job hiring process and unemployment to the fault of the company or the recruiter who has ghosted them, it is important to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in shaping the labor market and impacting the job hiring process.

Key Reasons Behind Long Job Hiring Process

The pandemic had profound effects on the economy and job market, which consequently has impacted the length of the job hiring process.

1. Qualified Employees but More Vetting

Due to the high employee turnover rate and looming recession, companies are now even more meticulous with their hiring process to hire the right person for the job, longer-term. Employers are requiring multiple interviews, assessments, and presentations.

According to the Talent Board's Candidate Experience Research report, 82% of companies are using some type of pre-employment assessment test that stretches out the hiring process.

[HRCap] Pre-Employment Assessments that Companies Use

2. Faster Technology but More Competition

As technology has allowed for more remote jobs, it has also expanded the reach of open positions, thereby increasing the amount of competition and applications for a single job posting.

Based on Glassdoor’s 2015 research, the average corporate online job application was 250 candidates. Currently, with advanced technology improving the job hiring process and making remote options available, some current job postings have garnered more than 1,000 applications.

3. More Applicants but Fewer Recruiters

During the pandemic, there was an increasing demand for recruiters to help the company expand its workforce. In July 2021, Amy Schultz, global head of talent acquisition for Canva, said that there were 364,970 ‘Recruiter’ jobs advertised on LI worldwide.

In fear of an economic recession, however, companies implemented hiring freezes and layoffs, which often started with recruiters and HR professionals. On average, tech companies downsized about 50% of their recruiting staff. Consequently, as a result of the slowing economy, postings for general HR jobs declined 23% over the past year.

[HRCap] Companies that Laid off Recruiters and HR Professionals
Companies that Laid off Recruiters and HR Professionals

Even though there are companies that are actively hiring for critical talent, recruiters are struggling to keep up with the influx of applications because of the reduced workforce.

4. New Job Postings but Ghost Jobs

Though companies are not immediately hiring, they are still putting up new job postings to build a future talent pipeline. However, employers are also doing this for not-so-obvious reasons:

[HRCap] Uses of Job Postings by Managers

7 Ways Job Seekers Can Raise Their Chances of Getting Hired

Though there are many factors that are slowing down the hiring process that are outside of the job applicant’s control, there are ways that job seekers can raise their chances of getting hired.

1. Customize Resume with Keywords

Job seekers should customize their resume with keywords that are mentioned in the job description. Since many companies use an Applicant Tracking System, they may filter out resumes that do not contain keywords or skills that are part of the job description.

2. Personalize Cover Letter

Writing a personalized cover letter can raise the chances of getting noticed. Job seekers should write a cover letter to reveal their motivation for joining the company and highlight professional achievements that are relevant to the position they are applying for. Even if the applicant does not have a strong resume, 83% of HR leaders say cover letters can change hiring decisions and secure job applicants an interview.

3. Ask the Right Follow-up Questions

After an interview, it is important to ask the right follow-up questions to understand the expected timeline of the next steps in the hiring process. By asking this question, job seekers can know when to follow up with the company if they do not hear back from the hiring manager.

4. Send a Follow-up Thank you Letter

Following up an interview with a thank you letter is important because it can show hiring managers that the job seeker holds a genuine interest in the organization and is willing to go the extra step. As important as it is to write one, it is important to write one that provides specific details mentioned during the interview and is free from grammatical errors.

5. Apply to Multiple Jobs

Though job applicants may be tempted to take a break and wait to hear back from one company, they should diligently apply to multiple job openings to raise their chances of landing an interview and an ideal offer. Those who sent 1-10 applications have a 61.7% of getting at least one interview, while those who sent 81 or more have an 85.2% chance of getting an interview. Therefore, instead of waiting to hear back from one company, job seekers should continue to apply.

6. Network with Others

Networking with others can help job seekers to learn more about the job expectation, company culture, or open opportunities that are not yet public. In fact, about 80% of job seekers shared that their network has helped them find work. Job applicants should consider networking by attending industry-specific conferences, seminars, and job fairs.

However, it is important for job seekers to do their due diligence in researching the company and position because of fake job scams. In the first quarter of 2022, around 14 million people had fallen victim to a job-related scam.

7. Work with a Recruitment Agency

Recruitment agencies can help job seekers by coaching them on how to improve their resumes, cover letters, and interview skills. Additionally, recruitment companies can provide job applicants with available job opportunities that would be the best fit for them based on their work experience.


Although the job market is challenging, job seekers must continue to not only find the right next job but also proactively develop one's career. These 7 intentional steps will enable job seekers to build better communication and networking skills that will go beyond the job search.

As a Top 10 Executive Search & Top 10 HR Consulting Company in APAC company, we are committed to helping you find the next job and build your career with our career consulting and resume writing services. Begin by joining our STAR Network to get connected with the right job opportunities.

Source: HRCap, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bloomberg, Harris Poll, SHRM, Criteria Corp, Glassdoor, Business Insider, LinkedIn, Wall Street Journal, Resume Lab, Zippia, The Balance, Forbes


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