The hiring process can be a challenge for small businesses and job seekers alike. According to recruitment statistics, it can take weeks to find the right candidate—and there’s no guarantee they’ll even accept the job or stay after the onboarding experience.

A great recruitment experience starts with research. Understanding how job seekers search for work, their priorities, and their mindset can put you ahead of the competition. Putting extra time and care into your candidate search shows prospective employees that you care about their experience as much as your own, which makes your small business an attractive prospect for anyone.

To successfully onboard candidates with the right skills, experience, and culture fit, check out the statistics below.

1. New positions take an average of 42 days to fill

When an employee gives their two weeks’ notice, it’s your cue to start the recruitment process. Unfortunately, it can take anywhere from weeks to months to fill a new position. The average position takes 42 days from the start of the search to selecting a candidate, but it also depends on the industry. For example, hiring someone for an engineering position can take as long as 62 days, or just over two months. The right employee is worth the wait, but your small business should be prepared for the long haul when trying to attract new talent.

2. 73% of job seekers find the process stressful

Job hunting is stressful. In fact, 73% of job seekers say that it’s one of the most stressful events of their entire lives. That’s a staggering recruitment stat—but it’s also an opportunity for your small business to shine. If you can make your hiring and onboarding process easier for job seekers, your preferred candidate is more likely to think positively of your company and accept your offer.

3. 83% of candidates prefer having a clear timeline of the hiring process

A great way to make the job search easier for candidates is to give them a clear timeline. Before you post a job opening, take the time to outline the process for your team. How many interviews will there be? What format? Who will conduct them? How long will you wait between each round? Communicating this information to candidates will set their minds at ease.

4. Almost 90% of applicants find job openings through social media

Social media isn’t just for looking at pictures of your friends’ babies and your sister’s cats. It’s how 86% of job seekers find job openings. Target potential candidates where they’re most likely to see your listing.

5. 76% of candidates believe diversity is an important factor to consider when evaluating a company

When you interview candidates, it’s important to remember that they’re also interviewing you. Over three quarters of applicants consider a company’s diversity when deciding whether to accept an offer.

6. 84% of recruiters believe culture fit is an important factor when hiring

Attitude is nearly as important as skills and experience. Cultural fit—that is, how well an employee interacts with an organization’s culture and practices—can determine whether a candidate will be hired. 84% of recruiters consider a good culture fit to be important.

7. Brand reputation is important to 86% of women and 67% of men

The way your company presents itself is crucial to recruiting top talent. In fact, 86% of women and 67% of men report that they would not consider applying to a job where the company has a bad reputation. Before you post that job listing, take a moment to evaluate how your business responds to reviews, social media posts, and more.

8. 44% of recruiters are prioritizing remote work options

Working remotely is here to stay. According to recent recruitment statistics, 44% of recruiters are now prioritizing remote work options for their teams. Not only do employees love the flexibility, but it’s a great opportunity to broaden your talent pool.

9. 69% of new hires will stay for 3 years after a positive onboarding experience

The cost of a “bad hire”—someone who will leave your company in less than a year—can be high. You need to critically evaluate your onboarding process to ensure that you not only find but retain the best candidate. Remember that 69% of new hires who have a positive onboarding experience stay at their new job for over three years.

10. New hires are twice as likely to look for a new job after a poor onboarding experience

What happens if the onboarding process is less than stellar? Your new hire is twice as likely to look for a new job. Again, this highlights the need for a smooth interview, hiring, and onboarding process.

11. 40% of job seekers are leaving jobs for more money elsewhere

Money talks. One of the biggest reasons people leave their job is to find a higher salary elsewhere. In fact, according to a recent report, 40% of job seekers are searching for a better salary, and a whopping 96% of respondents said they are looking for a new job in 2023. To stay competitive, your company needs to offer an attractive salary and benefits package… or risk losing your dream hire to a more generous firm.

12. Your hiring cycle can be 60% shorter with an optimized recruitment process

The hiring process is tough for candidates and companies alike. To cut down on the time it takes to find your perfect employee, optimize your recruitment process. Refining your methods—improving the job posting, removing barriers to application, outlining the hiring process, and more—can shorten the hiring cycle by 60%. In other words, you could cut that 42-day hiring process down significantly.

13. 62% of recruiters think living in a different city than your workplace is a problem

Although remote work is on the rise, recruiters raise the red flag when someone lives in a different area than the job: 62% think that’s problematic. Compare that to 25% of job seekers who feel the same way. If your company can support remote work, it’s a good way to ensure you’re not missing out on the perfect candidate.

14. Women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men

According to a 2019 study, women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men–they only apply when they feel they meet 100% of the requirements, while men will apply when they only meet 60%. To attract more women to apply at your firm, consider separating your “must have” requirements from your “nice to have” skills and experience.

15. Less than one third of recruiters have specific diversity and inclusion initiatives

Just 30% of recruiters say they have specific policies and goals for hiring for racial and gender diversity. If your company plans to work with a third-party recruiter and diversity is important to you, make sure you ask what kind of policies they have to support those goals.

16. 46% of employers say that resume gaps are acceptable

It used to be that resume gaps were treated as a red flag, but that’s fading. In 2021, only 38% of employers thought that resume gaps were okay. As of 2022, that number has gone up to 46%. After the COVID-19 pandemic’s widespread unemployment and furloughs, employment gaps aren’t necessarily a sign of anything but global affairs.

17. 38% of recruiters say finding diverse candidates to interview is the biggest barrier to improving diversity

Although only 30% of recruiters say that they have specific goals for gender and racial diversity, 38% of recruiters claim that actually finding diverse candidates to interview is their biggest barrier to improvement. 

18. Black (71%) and Hispanic (72%) employees say their employer should be doing more to increase employee diversity

Significantly more Black and Hispanic/Latino employees say their employers should be increasing their diversity and inclusion initiatives. Meanwhile, just 58% of White employees feel the same.

19. College degrees are the 8th most important characteristic when interviewing candidates

A college degree used to give candidates a significant leg up on the competition–but today, it’s the 8th most important factor in the screening and interviewing process. That’s down a spot from 2021, when it was the 7th most important factor. The number one factor? Interview presence.

20. Hiring is the top way employers reduce skill gaps in the workforce

66% of employers say that hiring new employees is the main way they address and reduce skill gaps at their company. Just 56% reported that they use skill building, which could help reduce the need to hire new employees.

Pay attention to what the data tells you

The recruitment statistics don’t lie: hiring can be a lengthy, stressful, and expensive process for small businesses. The right candidate is out there, but finding them can be a challenge. Taking the time to critically evaluate your hiring goals and processes will help your company stand out from the crowd. When you understand what candidates really want—clarity, competitive wages, diversity, remote work, and a great brand reputation—it’s easier to tailor the experience to your dream employee.

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Sources for Statistics

Stats listed by the reference number in the article.

1. Workable: Time to Fill and Time to Hire Metrics FAQ

2. Small Biz Genius: 70 Recruitment Statistics for Attracting Top Talent in 2022

3. Career Arc: Future of Recruiting Study

4. Glassdoor: Glassdoor’s Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey

5. Glassdoor: What Job Seekers Really Think About Your Diversity and Inclusion Stats

6. Talogy: ‘Hire for culture, train for skill’

7. Glassdoor: 40+ Stats For Companies to Keep In Mind for 2021

8. Monster: The Future of Work

9. SHRM: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Good Onboarding

10. Wixstatic: Super CIO

11. Monster: New Year, New Career

12. LinkedIn: Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2021

13. Monster: New Year, New Career

14. CNBC: The ugly truth behind why men are more likely to get noticed by job recruiters, according to new LinkedIn study

15. LinkedIn: Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2021

16. Monster: The Future of Work

17. LinkedIn: Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2021

18. Glassdoor: 40+ Stats For Companies to Keep In Mind for 2021

19. Monster: The Future of Work

20. Glassdoor: 40+ Stats For Companies to Keep In Mind for 2021