How’s your hiring process? 5 key benchmarks

With unemployment bumping along near all-time lows, it’s a job seeker’s market. That means if candidates encounter just one bad experience with your recruiting/hiring process, they’ll be quick to give you the “thank you, next” treatment.

So what do candidates expect in the recruitment process? A new survey by Zety, a résumé-support website, asked 1,000 job seekers. Use these points to benchmark your own process:

1. Where candidates look. Job boards and company websites, followed by referrals and social media, are the most popular places to find out about new jobs. But a recent Jobvite Recruiting report says the “best and most effective candidates” arrive from (in order) internal hires, custom campaigns and staff referrals.

2. Length of application. People are willing to spend up to two hours preparing and submitting their application (118 minutes) for a serious job proposal. The more educated the applicant, the more time they’re willing to spend. Men typically spend 15 minutes more than women.

Key point: A CareerBuilder study says 60% of candidates are likely to abandon the process halfway if it’s too long or too complex.

3. Length of hiring process. More than half (55%) of candidates believe it should take between one to two weeks after the first interview to be offered a job. How does this compare to real life? The Jobvite Benchmarking survey says the average time-to-hire after an interview is 38 days. So that’s about twice as long as the majority of candidates would expect.

4. What motivates the ‘I’ll take it.’ When presented a list of 15 items, applicants say salary is the top factor in choosing an offer, followed by job duties and location (see chart). Surprisingly, the least important factor is company size, with only 25% saying it’s important.

Top factors affecting job choice

5. Favorite perks. When given a list of 12 potential benefits, candidates say paid time off is most important, with women and Gen Xers wanting it most. That’s followed by health insurance, 401(k) plans, bonus incentives and training opportunities. The trendy “free food and drink” benefit was last.