How Does Turnaround Time Impact Applicant Retention?

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

February 10 2020

Companies are constantly competing for the best talent. Each time you post a job advert, there are likely several other businesses looking to fill the exact same role. Every hiring manager wants to snap up the most qualified candidate before the competition—but how? If two identical organizations are hiring for an identical role, what determines who the candidate chooses?

Traditional wisdom tells us that the interview process, benefits, and, of course, salary determine which business a candidate will choose. But there is another, often over-looked factor in the hiring process that could be hampering your recruitment efforts: the time it takes to find and onboard a candidate. The early bird gets the worm—and the business with a quick turnaround time through the hiring process usually gets the candidate. Here are four turnaround time pitfalls that could be impacting your talent fullillment.


1. Lengthy Applications Lose Candidates at the Start 


would never seek employment at a company again after a bad application experience

First impressions are everything, and your job application process is your organization’s first (and sometimes only) chance to hook your next superstar employee. Dr. John Sullivan, known as the “Michael Jordan of hiring”, reports that at Fortune 500 firms, 9 out of 10 potential applicants drop out because they encountered a frustrating application process.

What’s worse, a survey revealed some startling results:

  • 42% of candidates said they would never seek employment at a company again after a bad application experience.
  • 22% said they would actively encourage others not to work there.

So, in order to convert more candidates—and potentially protect your organization’s reputation—create an intuitive  application process.

One simple solution to this is investing in resume-parsing software that auto-fills into your application. This allows candidates to upload their resume and simply review for accuracy, rather than having to upload their resume and then fill out their entire work and education history. Even better, make use of ‘one-click apply’ features on websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor. 

2. Mobile Unfriendly = Missing Candidates

These days, we do everything on our phones. We can check our bank account, make a dinner reservation, or do our grocery shopping all from a device that fits into our pocket. Research shows that 90% of today’s candidates have conducted part of their job search on their phones. In order to net the greatest number of candidates, your application process should be optimized for mobile devices.

Employers who utilize mobile recruiting save their applicants time and receive twice as many qualified candidates. By making it simple to enter your recruitment funnel right from their phones, you get them on track to being hired. This lowers turnaround time and greatly increases applicant retention, ensuring your organization doesn’t miss out on your next stellar employee.


3. Slow Background Checks Trip You at the Finish Line

Most businesses utilize background checks, and with good reason. Pre-employment screening helps ensure the continued safety of your business, staff, customers, and assets. The risk of making a bad hire is too great to consider skipping them entirely, but a slow background check process could trip your organization right before the finish line. A candidate who spends a week waiting to be cleared for work might receive another offer—costing you an excellent new employee. 


of applicants think more than two interviews is unacceptable

A variety of other factors also influence the time it takes to return a background check; delays can be caused by incorrect or incomplete information provided by the candidate, court closures, rural jurisdictions, inclement weather, and more. The industry standard for background check turnaround time is 3 days, though InfoMart deploys processes and technology that ensure quick turnaround times well
below that.

By partnering with an accurate background screening provider with a quick turnaround time, you can drastically reduce your organization’s time-to-hire.


4. Repetitive Interviews Exhaust Candidates

Interviews are the heart of the hiring process. They’re how managers judge which candidate will be the best fit for the position and the team, and their importance can’t be overstated. On average, this process takes around 23 days. Stretching it further with multiple interviews can lead to candidates becoming frustrated or disinterested with the job. In fact, according to Adecco, 87% of applicants think having to attend more than two interviews is unacceptable.

When beginning to interview for a position, look critically at who should be involved in the decision-making process. Who will be their direct supervisor? Will they be part of a team, and if so, who should be included?

Evaluate your recruitment process from end to end in order to determine where candidates could fall off. By optimizing your process for applicant experience and ensuring quick turnaround time, you greatly increase your business’s chances of securing top talent before your competitors.

Are you certain your background screening provider is helping you secure the best talent with quick turnaround times—or are slow background checks or a bad candidate experience costing you great employees? InfoMart’s background check audit will make sure you’re receiving the superior service you deserve. 

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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