Job search lengthens as employers add extra hurdles

The time taken to secure a job has increased by 25 per cent in the past five years for job seekers in the legal and financial sectors, research says.

Candidates now spend an average of 10 weeks and four days searching for a position, a sharp increase from 2008 when eight weeks and three days of job hunting would secure candidates a job.

Paul Turner, director of Garfield Robbins Legal Recruitment, said: “In terms of employers taking a little longer, they are tending to add in an additional process – we have been seeing it for quite some time. It is down to firms being cautious and looking at workflow and being ready to adjust.”

The number of interviews and assessments for a position has also risen. For a junior position candidates typically undergo 2.4 interviews, compared to a 1.6 average five years previously. Senior candidates now face 3.7 interviews for a role, compared to three in 2008.

Research by Randstad Financial & Professional also revealed that employers now spend six weeks and four days searching for a candidate. This has risen by 84 per cent since 2008 when the figure was three weeks and four days.

Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad, said, “The evolution of interview processes in the financial services, legal and finance world over the last five years should not be underestimated. In a tighter recruitment market employers are taking their time and seeing as many appropriate candidates as possible.

“It would be fair to say the old-school first and second interview stage process is dead. In 2013, entry level candidates will have to navigate the same type and length of interview process as our experienced candidates would have faced in 2007.”

Read Lawyer2B’s guide on how to make the best of careers services (17 October 2012).