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Three-quarters of candidates would drop out of lengthy or complex hiring processes, new survey finds

New data reveals that 78% of job seekers would drop out or consider dropping out of long or complex hiring processes, putting extra strain on the UK’s skills crisis.

A survey by HR software company, Sterling, found that 39% of those who decided to drop out of their most recent hiring experience said the process was too long and 37% said it was too complicated, with 27% citing an issue with the background screening process.

The research also identified that only 9% of the surveyed HR professionals believe that candidates would find their process complicated, highlighting a disparity between views of employers and candidates.

“This suggests the experience for the end user isn’t as positive as it could be. There’s speculation that individuals are getting counter-offers which is leading to them dropping out. While this may be the case, the insight from applicants themselves suggests there’s more to this issue that needs to be addressed. In the current economy, it’s simply not a viable option to overlook how important it is to provide an efficient and engaging hiring process for candidates." President International at Sterling, Steve Smith.

What reasons are candidates giving for dropping out of the hiring process?

The process was taking too long - 39%

The hiring process was too complicated - 37%

There were too many touch points in the process - 27%

I had an issue with the background screening - 22%

The role ended up sounding different to what I expected - 19%

I decided the company was not a good fit for me - 18%

I didn’t feel a connection with the people I met during the process - 16%

I took another job instead - 9%

I stayed at my previous job - 6%

During a talent shortage it is critical to align your hiring processes with the current expectations of job seekers. As the workforce continues to change and evolve, hiring practices need to adapt.

If you would like to explore how you can improve your current processes, we offer a free no obligation consultation.

From talent insights, market conditions, latest trends, salary bench marketing and demand analysis, our experienced specialists can help you review your practices, KPIs and benchmarks to identify where you can improve. Book yours here.

Get in touch on 0330 335 0464 or email


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