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Average Duration of Hiring Process For Software Engineers: 35 Days 179

itwbennett writes: Despite the high demand for tech workers of pretty much all stripes, the hiring process is still rather drawn out, with the average time-to-hire for Software Engineers taking 35 days. That's one of the findings of a new study from career site Glassdoor. The study, led by Glassdoor's Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, analyzed over 340,000 interview reviews, covering 74,000 unique job titles, submitted to the site from February 2009 through February 2015. Glassdoor found that the average time-to-hire for all jobs has increased 80% (from 12.6 days to 22.9 days) since 2010. The biggest reason for this jump: The increased reliance on screening tests of various sorts, from background checks and skills tests to drug tests and personality tests, among others.
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Average Duration of Hiring Process For Software Engineers: 35 Days

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  • Drug Tests. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 25, 2015 @06:35PM (#49990575)

    Of course hiring process takes time. A friend of mine had to quit smoking weed for like 10 DAYS to get the job.

    • I don't use drugs. But a PC refresh job required that contractors get tested for drugs because the company was afraid that the brand new computers would go out the back door. The funny thing is that the company wasn't drug testing their regular workers, who were stealing everything else out the back door.
  • Hardly Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday June 25, 2015 @06:35PM (#49990577) Journal

    This is hardly surprising:

    - It seems like an unwritten rule that the tools and websites (third-party and homegrown) that business use for hiring are horrible. I have to assume they're designed to be a gauntlet so that only the most stubborn and persistent candidates make it to the end.

    - Automated tools that scan resumes looking for specific things have led to people putting all sorts of crap on their resume, just in hopes of getting a foot in the door. This leads to interviews like "So it says you have a lot of experience in SQL. Can you elaborate on that?" Candidate: "Oh, yeah, I took an online class a few years ago and I did some SELECTs!"

    - Most recruiters have a clear conflict of interest and some of them take a scattergun approach that interviewers need to filter through.

    - Wishy-washy managers always want to wait and put off giving an offer "in case something better comes along" (I've heard that many times in post-interview discussions).

    - Internal politics when there's any kind of restriction on how many open seats will be filled leads to infighting between groups, delaying an offer because nobody knows who they'd work for yet.

    I could go on and on, but suffice to say that HR at most places is filled with depressing things, but the hiring process is one of the worst.

    • hr should have nothing to do with the hiring process. the whole department was started to give daughters of executives jobs.
    • HR at most places is filled with depressing things, but the hiring process is one of the worst.

      The hiring process is filled with depressing things, and the HR department at most places is one of the worst.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      If the hiring process involved some kind of online form filling or the interview is a barrage of tests, I know that job isn't for me and I don't want to work at that company.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Waiting if something better comes along can be a very bad thing. What you need to do is set a final time as to when you take the decision. e.g. in month or whatever. That gives you the timeframe and you hire the best candidate that you found.

      I have hired the only person that showed up. I do not care to see X people if that one person is what we need.

      I have also NOT hired people, even when we needed staffing. I will not hire just to get the FTE count to budget. At that moment it is better to set a new date

  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Thursday June 25, 2015 @06:38PM (#49990597)

    Brought on three software developers in the last four months. Once the verbal offer is accepted it's about a month for our company. Background checks, references verifications, etc make it a lengthy process indeed. I just agreed to bring on a contractor who already has a background check, and he won't land for three weeks even though he's on the bench.

    • by CatGrep ( 707480 )
      You give the verbal offer and *then* do the background & reference checks?
      • by geoskd ( 321194 )

        You give the verbal offer and *then* do the background & reference checks?

        Thats pretty normal. The offer is contingent upon favorable results of the various checks. It allows the hiring company to keep an applicant from straying, without having to commit the resources to the checks until after you know the employee will accept the position.

        • It allows the hiring company to keep an applicant from straying, without having to commit the resources to the checks until after you know the employee will accept the position.

          Except that it doesn't keep the applicant from straying. If he gets a better offer from the time he accepts and the other company gives him a firm start date of next Monday while the first company still has two more weeks to go of dicking around with their internal paperwork, odds are the first company is going to get a phone
          • Right so what do you do instead? A background check takes a long time. Do you delay the interview for a couple weeks, or delay the start of work for a couple weeks? Very often candidates want a week or two before starting anyway (but the workaholics won't). For my last job the results didn't arrive until after I had already been working there. I have run across a couple of cases where an employee was terminated within the first month when problems showed up with the background checks. I've seen it hap

            • Interviews, downselection, possible second interviews, verbal offer with requirement of passing background and reference checks, checks performed, written offer. Then start date set, usually two weeks or more out.

              That's why it takes so much time.

            • Right so what do you do instead? A background check takes a long time.

              Pay more for the background check, apparently. They shouldn't take a long time, especially since they're mostly worthless.

              • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

                Pay more for the background check, apparently. They shouldn't take a long time, especially since they're mostly worthless.

                No, paying more doesn't help.

                I know of several background check companies. One of them checks everything in your resume - they verify that yes, you attended College U. between those dates you claimed, and that yes, you were in the right department (that information's mostly public). They even go and verify your past employers. When you hire people from other countries, it takes even long

            • If I find out that a place fires people after they start when the background check finally gets done and comes up with something bad, I'm going to be very reluctant to accept an offer. My background is positively boring for those people, but I don't know them and don't trust them not to get me confused with somebody who had a more interesting past.

      • You give the verbal offer and *then* do the background & reference checks?

        Yeah, I was wondering about that too. WTH?

        Hopefully the verdict is in before he gives notice at his old job ...

        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          You give the verbal offer and *then* do the background & reference checks?

          Yeah, I was wondering about that too. WTH?

          Hopefully the verdict is in before he gives notice at his old job ...

          I assume it takes a month because all of the background checks take two weeks and then they have to wait for the employee to give the current employer a two week notice. That is what happened in a company change I made earlier this year, although it only took a week for the background checks.

      • Background checks can be expensive, so I suspect those get done last. I had my results arrive after my first day on the job. I remember back in the day that for jobs requiring security clearances that the employee would be hired and paid but have no actual job assignments for a few months until the FBI background checks were completed.

      • Yes, but the verbal offer is explicitly contingent on passing the background check.

  • Now you know one of the prices you are paying for legal protections. Legal protections are a good thing. Good things cost you. Knowing what good things cost you can help you decide how many good things you can afford.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 25, 2015 @06:52PM (#49990697)

    Say you interview at two companies. You're awesome, and they both love you. One gives you a firm offer the next day. The other sends you a firm offer 35 days later, which isn't even slow for the industry.

    Are you still waiting on day 35 for that second offer? Probably not.

    Nimble companies will score the best employees. The real question: does the slow-as-hell hiring bureaucracy weed out bad employees and help the company overall? If not, they're at a competitive disadvantage.

    • That depends on the offer.
    • I had a situation where two companies made offers but I wanted to work at a third company, stalled them for a few days, and then the third company came through with an offer. One company was understanding that I accepted a higher paying job elsewhere. The other company was pissed that I accepted a higher paying job at a much smaller company rather than work at a MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR company (a fact that the hiring manager repeated two dozen times during the interview). The funny thing is that the smaller co
  • Subject tested positive for a personality.

  • What is this, a job for Scientology Programming?

    • I'm guessing "personality test" simply means you're trying to screen people out who have horrible personalities that won't work well with others. If you've had the misfortune of working with people like that before, you might understand the reasoning behind that sort of test.

      I can't personally conceive of how such a test might work, short of just getting a few members of the team together to chat casually with the interviewee for a while, and even then, most antisocial people probably know how to behave pr

      • I can't personally conceive of how such a test might work

        Young, white skin, doesn't speak with an accent. Passing grade is 2 out of 3 or better.

        • Are companies hiring H1B's in droves or are they discriminating against brown-skinned people with accents?

          • It's OK to have slaves if they are brown. But you shouldn't give them stock options, a retirement plan or a path to promotion.

            • We have made great progress in creating a color-blind slavery system, they come in all colors across all industries. The H1B issue - specifically the subset of H1Bs that are Indians working in low-wage IT jobs - is comparatively minor in scale.
            • And for bonus points, like Disney [slashdot.org] or Edison, have your old white guys being laid off train your brand new brown imported slaves.

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        And checking references. And checking calling up "Joe" who worked with you at company X and is now at the same company the candidate is at to see what "Jo" thinks. If you have an area where tech workers are concentrated and people circulate from one employer to the next you can look someone's reputation up. It is also easy to 'blackball' someone if they burn you. I've heard of it, the casual get together at the bar, the exchange of banter, and a brief mention that "Tom" isn't working out so well because he

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        They are all bullshit and easy to game so it's just an indication that the HR folk have never been anywhere near a psychology textbook or even listened to someone who has.
        It's also solving a non-problem. Having a mixture of personalities in a workplace is better than having a monoculture - for instance Enron with hard driven floor trader types that had never grown up was like a high powered fighter jet pointed directly at the side of a mountain. Selecting for such types resulted in an epic failure with a
      • It helps to have some idea of what personality they're looking for when taking the test. As a long-time role-player, I'm used to keeping spare personalities around.

        I have a friend who was very nervous going into her first job after getting her doctorate. She went to the interview as her character in a secret agent campaign, out to infiltrate the hiring organization, and it worked.

  • Hiring managers read about how Google would bring a candidate back several times and have them talk to dozens of people. Hey, if that works for Google it must be cool, so we need to do it too.
    • Totally this.

      The last time I went through the ordeal of looking for a job (about a year ago), it was pretty common for them to make me come back for a second afternoon of interviews. What balls these people had to make me take a second half day of PTO to interview with them! Pad the schedule for the first round next time, I have better things to do! And I'm not talking about cool companies you'd really want to work for here, not Google or Apple etc, but some pretty mediocre places.

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Thursday June 25, 2015 @07:11PM (#49990843)
    HR is Lucy holding the football. Charlie Brown is everyone trying to get work done.
  • Wait... Some companies actually give programmers a drug test?

    And they actually manage to find any? Wow, impressive! Or rather, can I get a list of these companies so I can short their stock, since they apparently resort to people that desperate for a job?

    Our (illegal) drugs-of-choice vary, but I can count the number of programmers I know who don't use anything on one finger (and even she has "tried" weed, "back in college").
    • My first employer out of college did, and presumably still does. I've never seen it as a downside. They offered higher pay and better benefits than any of my other job offers did, and so the company itself was quite attractive. I consume a fair amount of alcohol and caffeine, but nothing more exotic than that. In a 70,000 person company, and even among the 300 in my office, I'm sure that there are some that partake. I don't know anyone that would have a problem giving up an illegal habit for a short time to
      • Give it up? LOL, that's where UrineLuck comes from...
        • Which doesn't work on some forms of screens, apparently (according to the product page). It seems like a lot of trouble to go through for something that isn't that important, anyhow.
          • It's very important if your job suddenly has a "random check" and you have partaken within the past 30 days...either that or getting fired. And if your job is paying for your test to be ran through a mass spectrometer. your already screwed / under serious suspicion.
    • > Wait... Some companies actually give programmers a drug test?

      One of the tricks of doing this is that it reveals medical issues and medical history, which can be quietly collected and assessed even if discrimination is technically illegal. Much like the interview and job description tuning that be used to select only for H1B visa holders instead of hiring American, the paperwork and even the tests themselves can reveal productivity and medical cost relevant conditions such as gender, age, pregnancy, dep

  • I couldn't see in the article but what are the time measurements between? Is it from job going live to someone accepting? In which case 30 days for a high level role is REALLY REALLY low. Some of the roles I hunt for take 3 months just to find someone who can do the job...

    • I'm pretty sure they're talking about from the time an applicant sends in an application or interviews to the time the job is offered. Longest for me personally was a little over three months.
  • So a job listing website has a "Chief Economist" on staff?

    What the fuck for? Its a job listing website.

    • Re:Economist? (Score:4, Informative)

      by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @12:04AM (#49992343)

      >> So a job listing website has a "Chief Economist" on staff? What the fuck for?

      I'll bite. Back in the back I was an intern for an economist at a huge phone company. We were part of the marketing division, and our job was to parse economic trends to figure out things like which regions were growing fastest (so we could reallocate resources there to capture market share), which seasonal trends were emerging (e.g., non-Christian holidays) and which corporate markets were healthiest based on indicators like sector stock performance. It was never double-digit percentage revenue stuff, but at a very large company it made sense to spend a million on economists to capture a few extra dozen million or so in revenue.

  • is now less than one microsecond.

  • With all the regulations and civil litigation around termination, and articles on the psychological "harm" caused by being too honest with certain types of people (read: millennial special snowflake types), is it any wonder that companies that have to go through an act of congress to fire someone are more wary of hiring someone without a lot of verification? Consider also that since about the late '90s, when someone called you as a reference for someone, you could only say, "Yes, that person worked here on

    • Meanwhile back in reality it's very easy to get rid of people when they fuck up. If they don't and you just don't like them or want to get someone cheaper it's not that hard to get rid of them in some places and a bit more difficult in others. The power very much lies with the employer and it has to be a very incompetent manager indeed that leaves themselves open to legal action from firing an employee, mostly only those people that think they should be able to do it on a whim. Sadly there are a lot more
      • I've got to second this. I've seen so many people where I currently work get laid-off but we all know they were really fired. (The company didn't feel like building up the case for termination with cause. Since they're an at-will employee that's ok, the company just had to pay for unemployment.)
  • by thisisauniqueid ( 825395 ) on Thursday June 25, 2015 @10:03PM (#49991921)
    I'm in this process right now. It has taken between 3 and 4 months to get to the end of the interview process with each of the big companies in Silicon Valley, depending on the company. Google alone has had me onsite for 8 separate interview days, not counting 3-4 phone screens. I'm highly qualified (PhD in CS from MIT, postdoc at Harvard Medical School, and as a Xoogler, I technically don't even have to interview to return to Google), but that hasn't expedited things. The hiring climate right now is ridiculously stringent. It wasn't this way even 3 years ago, I could walk into almost any job, and go from sending in a resume to getting an offer in a week or less.
  • Personality tests are voodoo that's very easily gamed and do we really need HR folk going over our Facebook posts for many hours to see if we are a "good fit"? As for drug tests - are you driving a forklift? Handling explosives? No? Does it fucking matter then? It's very intrusive for almost zero gain and is also starting to be gamed (eg. artificial urine is a thing that really exists to fool drug tests).
    So why all the extra bullshit that current employees didn't have to go through apart from HR empire
    • Drug testing doesn't have to be about strict liability. Depending on how competitive the market is that your company does business in corprate espionage may be a real concern. An illegal drug habit can make for strong blackmail material.

  • One of the elephants in the room in hiring tech these days is Google. Many interesting people in technology today put in applications for the variety of roles Google advertises. But Google apparently doesn't interview for the particular roles, and they have an _extraordinarily_ long time between application and phone screen that may be for a different job, another period of weeks or even months before scheduling the on-site interview that again is often for a different job, and weeks or even months before m

  • One HR skype interview (~1 hour)
    One technical skype coding interview (~1.5h hours)
    One manager skype interview (~1 hour)
    One home exercise (~8 hours over one week)
    One on-site interview

    It took some time (around 40 days), but I thought the overall process was fair. The worst part was that after every interview it took around one week to get any response from the company, they should had really streamlined the process so I could take the several interviews in a row and take the home exercise in a single day.

  • Background checks. SKILLS CHECKS - isn't that what the hiring manager is supposed to ascertain via the a) resume, b) phone interview, c) personal interview?

    This, actually, points directly to where the problem is: HR, who DO NOT KNOW what they company does or what they're hiring someone to do, AND DON'T CARE TO LEARN. To paraphrase the old line from SN, they're ignorant sluts, Jane".

    Here's another point: it takes 35 days (is that business days, or calendar?). Then, in a lot of cases, they'll be there 3 years

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