Extended recruitment processes are proving a major stumbling block for employers in a market that is witnessing a real battle for talent.

The CIPD’s 2013 survey, Resourcing and Talent Planning, states that larger organisations are most affected, with 57 per cent of companies with more than 5,000 employees reporting they have lost potential recruits due to the length of the process.

While there has been a shift in the recruitment process, with online selection tests used by a fifth of organisations and an increasing number of interviews carried out by telephone, employers need to be smarter if they want to secure top talent.

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG report points to an acceleration of both permanent and temporary placements, especially in the South East. Permanent placements are reported at a five-month high, with temporary placements at a seven-month high.

Wayne Brophy, Managing Director of specialist recruitment company, Cast UK, commented: “This market buoyancy may sound like good news for employers, but with a shrinking talent pool, there is heightened competition to attract the best talent. This is particularly challenging in larger organisations, which can sometimes be weighed down by bureaucracy and can lack the agility of more entrepreneurial counterparts.”

This skills gap is reiterated by the REC and KPMG report which points to the sharpest decline in permanent candidate availability since the survey commenced in 1997.

Wayne added: “These statistics should remind employers of the value of using recruitment partners who specialise in their designated markets. It is also an opportunity for organisations to focus on creating true ‘employer brands’ and to think hard about how they tackle the entire recruitment process.”