Lost talent

CIOs work to reduce time to hire

Lost talent

Asia Pacific


Research from Robert Half in Hong Kong has shown the average length of the hiring process for IT roles is three months for staff-level professionals and four months for management-level staff. However, the vast majority (95 per cent) of Hong Kong CIOs are actively taking steps to reduce the length of their hiring process.

When asked what the main reasons are contributing to delayed recruitment processes, almost half (48 per cent) of Hong Kong CIOs cite too many interview rounds, closely followed by 47 per cent who say the search for candidates with the right skills is challenging and 44 per cent believe too many stakeholders are involved.

Confronted with a shortage of talent, the vast majority (92 per cent) of CIOs find it more challenging to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago. Hong Kong CIOs find it particularly hard to source talent within IT security (52 per cent), business transformation (41 per cent), digitisation (40 per cent) and IT management (37 per cent), emphasising the need for CIOs to streamline the hiring process and act fast once they find a match.


Adam Johnston, managing director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Organisations understandably think investing more time during the hiring process is the best way to secure the right people for their teams. However, in a market characterised by extensive skills shortages, hiring managers who fail to make timely decisions are confronted with a number of consequences, most notably losing top candidates.

“Companies often unnecessarily draw out the hiring process, adding days, weeks or even months to the recruitment process,” he continued, “and with Hong Kong being a globally competitive employment market, with many local jobseekers and expatriates acutely aware of their value within their respective industry, they are not likely to wait around during a lengthy hiring process – so companies need to act fast if they want to secure the right talent.”

The vast majority (95 per cent) of Hong Kong CIOs are actively taking steps to boost their companies’ chances of securing top talent and reducing the length of the hiring process. Almost half (48 per cent) of Hong Kong CIOs have set up a pipeline of qualified candidates so they don’t have to restart the hiring process from scratch if required. More than four in 10 (45 per cent) have improved their communication with candidates about the recruitment process in order to keep them engaged in the process and one in five (20 per cent) are conducting more initial interviews via phone or video conferencing to be able to create a shortlist of preferred candidates faster.

In addition, to offset future delays in the recruitment process, one in three (33 per cent) respectively are planning to limit the number of internal stakeholders involved, reducing the number of interview rounds and conducting more teleconference interviews.

“To streamline the recruitment process, hiring managers should identify where the delays in the process are coming from and take proactive steps to address the problem,” Adam Johnston added. “This will not only increase the efficiency of the hiring process, but also the chances of landing a company’s preferred candidate. By having a well-defined hiring process with a limited number of internal stakeholders and interview rounds, companies can ensure they are on the front foot to win the IT war for talent.”



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