Efficient Recruitment Processes Are A Necessity In The 2024 Hiring Market

Australian companies are shifting towards slow hiring processes, returning to the norm after a recruitment frenzy in 2021 and 2022—when the ‘great resignation’ was triggered by people re-evaluating their careers and lifestyles after the pandemic. According to Andrew Hanson, NSW managing director of recruitment firm Robert Walters, employers have been dealing with the fallout from these hasty hires for the last two years. And in 2024, they are switching back and taking time to assess candidates properly and ensure they are the right fit. (Black, 2024)

However, job seekers are increasingly unwilling to participate in lengthy hiring processes. A 2023 survey from WorkPro showed that 44% of respondents would not wait more than a week to hear back after a second interview. (Masige, 2023) So, in this tight employment market, where both job seekers and recruiters are struggling, employers must find a balance between satisfactory employee vetting and efficient recruitment timelines.

Companies losing potential employees over lengthy hiring processes

As of mid-last year, the average time to hire an employee in Australia was 44 days, a number that has risen consistently for the past four years. And companies with these long application wait times are likely to be ‘ghosted’, as seven in 10 candidates report doing so when potential employers took ‘too long’ getting back to them. (Tilo, 2023)

The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) lengthy hiring system is well-known in the industry, with potential recruits complaining of its ‘incredibly tedious’ application process being an attempt to put off those who are not fully committed. An ADF spokesperson has rejected this sentiment, stating that they use ‘a variety of different methods to increase the likelihood of candidate success without compromising entry standards’. (Kuper, 2023)

Regardless of the ADF’s intention, their drawn-out hiring process is a major barrier to solving their current employee shortage. As of February 2024, the ADF is short 4300 personnel—and with their year-long recruitment process and the pressure of recent hiring time expectations, the organisation may remain short-staffed for a while. (Caines, 2024)

The new generation of job seekers have a different approach

According to Peter Holland, professor of human resource management at Swinburne University of Technology, the younger generation of job seekers are not looking for a ‘job for life’. He says, ‘they have loyalty to their own careers, not to an organisation’ and are more conscious of building and developing skills, then moving elsewhere. (Masige, 2023)

This focus on short-term stays allows younger job seekers to be less attached to particular roles and less likely to commit to a long application process. According to Holland, ‘If an employer has been making a potential candidate wait for two or three weeks or doesn’t get back to them, then there’s a gap there, a perception that this isn’t a good company or ‘I can go and look for another job’’. (Masige, 2023) This is supported by the WorkPro report, which found that 55.8% of respondents would settle for a less-preferred job if their top choice was taking too long. (WorkPro, 2023)

Speeding up recruitment without compromising necessary steps

Considering the aftermath of the ‘great resignation’ hiring frenzy, it seems unlikely that reducing hiring standards to the bare minimum is the answer to young job seekers’ preferences. Surprisingly, that has been liquor chain Dan Murphy’s approach for two years running.

Their annual ‘Hire Week’ involves offering on-the-spot, 10-minute interviews to any job seeker over 18 who walks into one of their outlets. The strategy has been outwardly successful, as they almost reached their target of 2200 new employees in 2022. (Evans, 2022) However, the culture fit needs to be more certain for permanent roles, and insufficient background checking and skills appraisal is always a risk—especially in industries with more complex compliance regulations.

Recruitment is an expensive business, often costing between 25 to 40 thousand dollars per hire (not including the time cost). (WorkPro, 2023) So, not only does a shorter hiring time make potential employees more likely to accept, but it also saves companies money—as long as they don’t cut corners.

Reducing hiring timelines with smooth digital systems

In the WorkPro survey, 90% of respondents said technology simplified the hiring process for them. Which makes sense, because in 2024, candidates are mostly digital natives between the ages of 25 and 44, struggling to find time for job hunting during the busy work week. (WorkPro, 2023)

Sophisticated recruitment technology streamlines companies’ hiring processes, managing to reduce the time-to-hire while maintaining a steady workflow. Introducing this technology can lower the workload for internal teams and create an experience that gives candidates confidence in the company. Kinatico has a suite of smart recruitment solutions, get in touch to learn more.


Black, E. (2024, January 7). Job hunters no longer calling the shots in a softening labour market. Australian Financial Review. https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/workplace/job-hunters-no-longer-calling-the-shots-in-a-softening-labour-market-20240104-p5ev6g

Caines, K. (2024, February 14). Australian Defence Force short 4300 personnel as it takes nearly a year to get new recruits into job. The West Australian. https://thewest.com.au/politics/defence/australian-defence-force-short-4300-personnel-as-it-takes-nearly-a-year-to-get-new-recruits-into-job-c-13584401

Kuper, S. (2023, December 20). ‘Recruit in, not screen out’ – Defence defends recruitment strategy, outcomes. Defence Connect. https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/joint-capabilities/13348-recruit-in-not-screen-out-defence-defends-recruitment-strategy-outcomes

Masige, S. (2023, November 9). Employees no longer willing to wait through lengthy hiring processes: report. Human Resources Director. https://www.hcamag.com/au/news/general/employees-no-longer-willing-to-wait-through-lengthy-hiring-processes-report/466041

Tilo, D. (2023, June 3). Time to hire hits all-time high. Human Resources Director. https://www.hcamag.com/au/specialisation/recruitment/time-to-hire-hits-all-time-high/448058

Evans, S. (2022, September 5). Dan Murphy’s on-the-spot job interviews aim to hire 2200. Australian Financial Review. https://www.afr.com/companies/retail/dan-murphy-s-on-the-spot-job-interviews-aim-to-hire-2200-20220905-p5bfdq

WorkPro. (2023). IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU: Challenging the Status Quo of Australia’s Hiring Landscape. https://irp.cdn-website.com/3f5c3df1/files/uploaded/WorkPro%20Whitepaper%20-%20It-s%20Not%20Me-%20It-s%20You%202023.pdf

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