•    37% of candidates decide whether to take a job after the first communication or early during the interview process
•    Even after accepting a position, 91% are willing to quit within the first month and 93% during the probation period if the job doesn’t match their expectations

LONDON, 13 June 2018 – More than a third of candidates worldwide make a decision about a job within the first five minutes – or even sooner – according to independent research commissioned by specialist recruiter Robert Half.

In a study of 9,000 candidates in 11 countries across four continents, nearly half (47%) admit they decide whether they would or wouldn’t accept a position straight after the initial meeting. Highlighting that first impressions count, a further one fifth (20%) know if they are interested after the first communication (call/email), while 17% typically decide within the first five minutes of the interview.  Less than one in 10 (9%) wait until they have completed subsequent interviews to decide and merely 7% decide during contractual negotiations.

“In today’s market, top candidates are receiving multiple job offers and therefore have a host of criteria beyond pure remuneration. Companies need to sell the job, the company culture, benefits and reasons why they are a great place for a prospective employee to build their career,” said Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half

“While candidates need to put their best foot forward, so do hiring managers. Recruitment is a two-way street. It starts with providing candidates an efficient and timely recruitment experience and extends throughout the onboarding process to ensure new hires are motivated, engaged and quickly contributing to the business.” 

Even once candidates have accepted a role, 91% admit they would consider leaving a job within their first month and 93% during their probation period.

Reasons for leaving during the first month include poor management and/or a discrepancy between the job in practice and how it was advertised (both 44%). Thirty-eight per cent would consider leaving because of a mismatch with corporate culture, a lack of proper onboarding (36%) or they received a more attractive job offer (23%). 

“Organisations must think of their attraction, recruitment and retention practices holistically. Long, drawn out recruitment processes magnify the opportunity for a candidate to change their mind – which in turn costs the company time and money. Businesses that are serious about finding the best talent need to commit to providing an efficient and engaging experience at every stage – from initial contact through onboarding and beyond,” concluded Weston.


Related content

The key element to retain employees for the long-term

By Matt Weston, UK Managing Director

In today’s skills crisis, every organisation in the UK is fighting a war to secure the best candidates. In a candidate-short market, it can be a struggle to source, interview and hire the best talent. But the task doesn’t end there – it’s critical that the employee starts their new career in the best way possible.

Research methodology 
The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in December 2017 - January 2018 by an independent research company among 9,000 jobseekers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (2022). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.