How Long Is Too Long?

In recent months I have noticed the interview process for hiring managers is getting longer and longer. I specialise in IFS contract recruitment and in my experience, the interview process, as standard, has included a one-stage telephone interview before an offer is made. It appears that this is no longer the case with most of my customers now operating a 2-3 stage process. Elongating this process arguably has both positive and negative effects.

I have also noticed many customers are losing out on their ideal candidate because they are reacting too slowly. The IFS contractors will normally sign the first contract that is offered and will not sit around waiting for a customer to make a decision over 2-3 weeks as they undertake a 2-3 stage interview process.


There are several reasons why an employer might not give you a job offer right away:

  • Firstly, he or she may have more candidates to interview depending on scheduling and the number of candidates. This part of the process can take a while.

  • Another delay in receiving the next IFS ERP job offer can be a formal human resources (HR) process requiring HR sign off on several steps.

  • It is not uncommon that the job opening itself may also get delayed or rethought, depending on internal issues within the company i.e. management changes, budgets, and changes regarding the person who is vacating the position.

  • Finally, the hiring manager might also simply be busy with other projects and might not make this hiring process a priority, as frustrating as that is for an IFS Contractor in the application process.

In the world of permanent recruitment, the elongated interview process is perfectly normal and acceptable, however, in the world of contract recruitment there is a famous saying.

‘Time kills all deals’

Time allows people to second guess. It allows people to consider other offers or candidates.  It allows people to get inside their own heads or be influenced by outside forces. Time allows people to take what was once a logical course of action and convince themselves it was illogical. Budgets can change. Circumstances can change. People can change. In short, the more time that passes between the initial conversation and the offer, the chance of a deal being done will decrease significantly.

For the reasons discussed, I am actively encouraging customers to decrease the number of stages and time it takes to interview and produce an offer to secure the IFS contractor you need. Customers think adding more layers will ensure they find the correct candidate, when in fact it means you may lose out on the ideal candidate as another opportunity arises for them, especially in the contract world.


Whenever someone insists on needing more time to make a decision or tries to create more time in the process for decision-making, I advise them to be aware that the end result is unlikely to favour them, compared with the outcome of making a decision today.

I would be interested in hearing the thoughts and feedback from IFS contractors who have experienced similar lengthy processes and the problems they cause.

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