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Businesses are spending one whole year of an employee’s time interviewing graduate candidates

  • 1,900 hours a year are spent on average by firms interviewing for graduate roles
  • An average of five candidates are interviewed per graduate position
  • In 48% of interviews, employers will have more than one senior team member present

Recent research into recruitment inefficiencies has revealed that businesses are investing significant amounts of high-value time into the interview process.

According to survey data from emerging talent and reskill partner, mthree, in 52% of businesses, interviews with prospective graduate employees comprise more than one stage, and in 48% of interviews more than one senior staff member is present.

Additionally, businesses are typically interviewing multiple candidates for each graduate position, with the average number being five interviews for just one role. However, in 44% of businesses, six or more candidates are interviewed for every one role available and this figure rises to at least 10 for 14% of UK firms.

With businesses hiring an average of 95 graduate-level employees per annum, the research revealed that organisations are spending an average of 1,900 hours interviewing graduate candidates across just one year. This is equivalent to the number of hours worked in a year by the average employee.

Becs Roycroft, senior director at mthree, commented: “Our research into the recruitment process across the UK has revealed just how much time is being spent per organisation on finding the right graduate candidate.

“After the struggles of the past 18 months, many businesses are now emerging from the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit and looking to grow their workforce, with graduate vacancies significantly higher than last year. However, in addition to up front recruitment costs – such as recruitment agency fees and job advert expenses – it’s important for businesses to keep track of the less obvious time and monetary cost of the interview process, particularly when hiring a large number of graduates.

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“Whilst finding the right person for the job is the goal for any business, there are more effective and efficient ways to effectively shortlist and interview the best candidates.

“Instead of relying on an extended interview process comprised of multiple parts, considering whether each stage is essential and implementing a more stringent application and assessment process can help to minimise the number of candidates that are invited to interview per role.

“For example, implementing initial aptitude tests to identify which candidate is right for the job before inviting them to interview is a possible solution.

“Finally, deciding whether senior-level executives are required in interviews with prospective junior employees can also work to reduce the amount of senior business time spent within the interview process and allows their expertise to be used elsewhere.

“Organisations are constantly needing to find ways to improve time management and their overall business efficiency, and re-evaluating the graduate recruitment process is a great way to start.”

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