How long is the average hiring process?

how long is the hiring process
Posted on 26 June 2024 In Recruitment

The last few years have seen significant shifts in the ways people work and hire. Technology, emerging skills, the lasting effects of the pandemic and labor regulations are all affecting the time it takes. As a general timeline, the hiring process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The Global Talent Climate Report shows the average time to hire has actually risen from 40 days in 2019 to 44 in 2023. That’s because this timeline is influenced by many factors, including company size, the job’s complexity, and internal hiring procedures. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the nuances of the hiring process, explore the variations across industries, and provide insights on how to effectively streamline hiring procedures.

How Can Hiring Process Times Vary Across Different Industries?

Every industry has unique intricacies and requirements that affect the average hiring process. For instance, the government, energy or pharmaceutical sectors can take as long as 67 days due to the stringent requirements and multiple rounds of interviews. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how different sectors handle their hiring timelines and how they differ.

Professional Services

In professional services, such as law, finance, engineering or consulting, the hiring process can be lengthy and meticulous compared to others. Companies in these sectors often look for candidates with industry-specific qualifications and experience and the talent pool is also smaller than other industries. The average global time for hiring within professional services can be as high as 47 working days or as low as 25 but also varies from country to country. The stages typically include:

  1. Initial Screening: Resumes, cover letters and portfolios are reviewed and screened for potential candidates. This process can take an average of two weeks so that applications can be scrutinized for highly specific skills, qualifications and experience.
  2. Phone Interviews: Preliminary phone interviews are scheduled and conducted. This usually happens within another one to two weeks.
  3. In-Person Interviews: Once candidates have been narrowed down, there are multiple rounds of in-person interviews that can extend the timeline by several weeks.
  4. Background Checks and References: Because this relies on third parties and other companies to respond, these processes can add two to four weeks.


The booming tech industry also has a comprehensive hiring process, but can sometimes be faster due to the competitive nature of the market. It’s also an industry which undergoes a lot of changes due to evolving technology and criteria. These constant changes, especially with the emergence of AI, can drastically change the time according to the specific role – junior programmers can average 30 days while experienced engineers average 47 days. Generally, the steps are:

  1. Resume Review: Resume, cover letter and portfolio reviews take about one week.
  2. Technical Assessments: These positions require a show of technical skills, so coding tests or technical assessments must be done, usually lasting one to two weeks.
  3. Interviews: There are multiple stages, including technical and behavioral interviews, which can span three to four weeks.
  4. Offer and Negotiation: Once a candidate is selected, offer negotiations and final checks can take another one to two weeks.


The healthcare industry has a moderate to lengthy hiring process due to the critical nature of the roles. Typically recruiters and hospitals need to be extra-assured of the candidates. The latest figures from 2023 show an average of 44 days to hire. The key stages are:

  1. Screening: The initial resume and experience review usually takes one to two weeks.
  2. Interviews: There are multiple rounds of interviews with many potential stakeholders, including technical, HR, and hospital administration and takes three to four weeks.
  3. Credentialing: The crucial step of verifying qualifications and background checks generally adds another two to four weeks.
  4. Final Decision: Making a hiring decision and offer negotiation typically happens within one to two weeks.

Manufacturing, Logistics and Supply Chain

In the manufacturing sector, the hiring process can be swift for entry-level positions but more prolonged for specialized roles. For example, the fastest hires happen within 25 working days but can take up to 44 days on average. Supply chain disruptions in the last few years have impacted this, so average times are dropping. The key stages include:

  1. Resume Screening: This process is typically faster than previously mentioned industries, taking around one week.
  2. Skill Tests: Practical skill assessments are important and vary depending on the complexity of the job or if candidates need to operate specific tools or machinery. This can take one to two weeks.
  3. Interviews: Once skills have been verified, interviews are often just one or two rounds, lasting one to two weeks.
  4. Final Checks: This happens with a quicker turnaround once a decision is made, usually within a week.


Hiring in education can also be complex and time-consuming. For example, hiring for a professorial role in the US can take more than 60 days, but the global average time for all educational roles is 43 days. Some of the reasons for this include alignment with academic calendars, a shortage of specific teaching skills or subject knowledge, changing curriculums, and the urgency of the role. The key stages include:

  1. Job Posting: This has to align with school or university terms, so could take about two weeks.
  2. Screening and Interviews: A detailed process involving multiple rounds with staff and board members, spanning over three to four weeks.
  3. Background Checks: Extensive checks are done due to the nature of the work, and can take two to four weeks.
  4. Hiring Decision: A decision is finalized well in advance of the start date, usually within a month.

Hiring Process Timeline

Understanding the breakdown of each stage helps in identifying potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement so you can effectively plan according to your needs. Here is a more detailed hiring process timeline with average turnaround times for each stage:

Stage 1: Job Posting and Application Collection

Duration: 1-2 weeks

Posting the job advertisement on relevant platforms and collecting applications is the initial step. The time taken here depends on the visibility of the job posting and the final number of applicants.

Stage 2: Initial Screening

Duration: 1-2 weeks

During this stage, resumes and cover letters are reviewed to shortlist candidates for the next phase. As this is a critical filtering step, it can be time-consuming, especially for roles with a high number of applicants.

Stage 3: Phone/Online Interviews

Duration: 1-2 weeks

Preliminary phone or online interviews are conducted to further narrow down the pool of candidates. This may be with the hiring manager, recruiter or manager of the job in question. Each interview might last 30 minutes to an hour.

Stage 4: In-Person Interviews

Duration: 2-4 weeks

This is done once candidates have been selected on previous criteria. In-person interviews often involve multiple rounds, including technical, behavioral, and panel interviews. Scheduling these interviews can extend the timeline so that everyone is accommodated.

Stage 5: Background Checks and References

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Verifying a candidate’s background and references is crucial but it can be a lengthy process, especially if there are delays in response from previous employers or institutions. If the role calls for complex work such as the healthcare or engineering fields, it can also lengthen the process.

Stage 6: Final Decision and Offer

Duration: 1-2 weeks

This consists of making the final decision and extending an offer to the successful candidate. As well as the time for the candidate to consider and hopefully accept the offer, negotiations on notice period and salary can lengthen this process, as well as settling on the finer details of the offer.

Common Bottlenecks and Solutions

Bottleneck 1: Delays in Application Review. Going through applications and resumes is a vital step, so cannot be rushed. This has traditionally been done manually, with the recruiter or hiring manager reading through each resume and application with the job criteria in mind. More recently though, this process has been improved with application screening technology – but this technology must be monitored fastidiously and programmed with the right criteria so that potential candidates aren’t overlooked.

Solution: By automating initial screenings using AI-powered tools and machine learning you can quickly sift through resumes and identify top candidates. As humans, we have unconscious biases that may impact who we choose without realizing it. To avoid this issue, machine learning and AI need to be used in conjunction with human oversight and nuance. Diverse training data and criteria should also be used so that the machine learning platform does not replicate any human biases.

Bottleneck 2: Scheduling Conflicts for Interviews. This can be very unpredictable, as there are potentially many different people involved over different time zones. Different roles also require a more or less involved interview process and hiring in the professional sector often comprises multiple interviews – meaning that there are many factors and timescales to navigate.

Solution: Use scheduling software to coordinate availability, contact the relevant people, and streamline the interview process.

Bottleneck 3: Slow Background Checks. Often getting a reply from institutions or organizations can drag on longer than anticipated.

Solution: Plan ahead as much as possible and partner with reliable third-party services that can expedite the background checks and provide timely reports.

What Are the Best Ways to Expedite the Hiring Process?

Everyone wins when the process is made more efficient, but it also needs to be done in such a way that good potential candidates aren’t skipped over. A timely and efficient hiring process is essential for attracting top talent and maintaining a competitive edge. Broadbean’s software and platform were developed specifically with this in mind and offer several innovative technology solutions that can improve the recruitment process – let’s see how this can be done.

1. Job Distribution

Broadbean’s job board aggregator enables employers and recruiters to post vacancies across multiple job boards, social media channels and search engines. With more than 7,000 job boards in over 100 countries, it will broaden your reach and help maximize your candidate pipeline. By guiding you to narrow down which platform, portal or site to post to for the best results, it saves time and spares painstaking research. With insights into which channels produce the best candidates, recruiters can focus their efforts on the most effective platforms for specific industries. 

Depending on what platform you already work with, Broadbean’s job distribution platform seamlessly integrates with 120 ATS and CRM systems. You can centrally access the details of your requests in Broadbean, either directly or with one of these integrations.

You need to plan ahead and know which strategies, platforms and processes work best, and for that, you need accurate insights. Our platform provides real-time insights through source tracking, activity reports, and performance analytics to optimize your recruitment strategies, speed up the hiring process and cut future costs.

2. Talent Search

A lot of time is taken up by reviewing disparate resume sources that vary in terms of relevance and quality. Broadbean’s Search Package simplifies this by creating a central, internal database of resumes with convenient, descriptive tags. This tool allows recruiters to search for and match applicants with their ideal roles quickly. By tagging resumes with relevant skills, experience, qualifications and other chosen criteria, recruiters can filter candidates efficiently and reduce the time spent on initial screenings. There’s no need to go through each candidate and take the time to either flag or message them separately – you can set up automatic emails to be sent according to the criteria that you set.

3. Applicant Ranking

In addition to managing the database, you also want to be able to rank candidates without having to go through each one manually. Broadbean uses machine intelligence to rank candidates based on custom and bespoke criteria such as experience, specific skills or knowledge. This feature helps in prioritizing the most suitable candidates, reducing the time spent on manual evaluations and ensuring a more objective and efficient selection process. You can filter by the advert, ranking strength or flagging all in one central place.

Additional Tips for Expediting the Hiring Process

Leverage Technology: With a unified and connected platform like Broadbean, technology is here to help and not hinder you. One of the best ways to expedite this process in today’s technology-driven workflow is to utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage applications and candidate communications.

Enhance Communication: Maintain clear and prompt communication with candidates and third parties to keep them engaged and informed throughout the process. You want to be sure they have received and understood important information and can respond in due time.

Standardize Interviews: Develop a standardized interview process with set questions and evaluation criteria for consistency and speed. It not only ensures a fair approach but also eliminates time and energy spent with each interview. This also depends on the industry, and how in-depth you need to go.

Improve Onboarding: Simplify the onboarding process so that new hires can start their roles promptly and efficiently. This may require liaising with employers, or having onboarding documentation ready so that the candidate is properly prepared.


The hiring process is a critical component of any organization’s success, and understanding its timeline is essential for both employers and job seekers. While the typical hiring process can vary widely depending on the industry and specific role, there are common stages that most hiring processes follow. By identifying potential bottlenecks and leveraging tools like Broadbean’s talent attraction platform, recruiters can expedite the hiring process and secure top talent more efficiently.

Broadbean’s suite of products, including job distribution, talent search, and applicant ranking, offers comprehensive solutions to enhance the overall efficiency of hiring processes. By adopting these innovative tools and strategies, organizations can reduce the time-to-hire so they attract the best candidates in the market. For more information on how Broadbean can help your recruitment efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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