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‘Breadcrumbing:’ The new job search hurdle you may need to overcome

Have you been ‘breadcrumbed’ by a potential employer?

Competing for a new job in Canada’s current market can be challenging enough, and new research shows there’s another pitfall in the process that can make getting hired more difficult for candidates: being breadcrumbed — or strung along — by potential employers.

This practice involves keeping candidates on the hook – without actually making them a concrete job offer. It’s the catch-and-release form of recruitment while employers drag their feet making a decision.

Almost half, 40 per cent, of senior managers surveyed buy Robert Half said their company is taking more time to hire in the current environment despite having access to a deeper talent pool.

When asked to reveal how they keep candidates engaged during the hiring process, they indicated the trail of breadcrumbs they make potential hires follow in order to keep them engaged during the prolonged process. Common steps included scheduling multiple rounds of interviews, conducting skills testing, and keeping applicants busy with online training.

It can end up being weeks after the initial interview with candidates still waiting to hear whether or not they will be receiving a job offer.

“When employers unnecessarily draw out the hiring process, it can be extremely frustrating for job seekers and some may drop out to pursue other opportunities,” said David King of Robert Half, the company behind this research. “Hiring managers need to move quickly and be transparent and responsive to candidates — from their first point of contact until a timely hiring decision is made — to secure the best talent.”

How long will candidates wait?

In a separate survey, 72 per cent of professionals said they lose interest in a job if they don’t hear back from the employer within two weeks — or 10 business days — after the initial interview. That number jumps to 87 per cent if there is no status update within three weeks.

“Companies with long and arduous hiring practices open themselves up to negative consequences, including online complaints that can damage their credibility,” added King. “By creating a positive recruitment experience, organizations can avoid losing skilled candidates while strengthening their reputation as an employer of choice.”

How long does it take to get hired for a new job in Canada right now? Depends on what line of work you’re in. Here is a look at the sectors and jobs where it takes the most (and least) amount of time to get hired.

See the full study from Robert Half.

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