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A Good Man(ager) is Hard to Find

It takes an average of 12 weeks and costs £11,000 to fill a senior management vacancy, according to a study by industry journal Employment Review.

The survey of recruitment specialists at 97 organisations, with a combined workforce of 520,000 people, found little difference between the public and private sectors in the time it takes to fill a top-level vacancy. But there was widespread variation between different employers of all types in the time taken and the costs involved.

One in four organisations spent £20,000 or more to fill a senior management role, and typically took 17.5 weeks or more. At the other end of the spectrum, one-quarter of all those surveyed spent £5,000 or less and took a maximum of 9.25 weeks.

One in four organisations (26 per cent) taking part in the survey identified the long timescales involved in filling senior management roles as a problem. And while most employers regarded the delay as inevitable, some admitted that they could do more to speed up the shortlisting and interview process.

Tough Selection Criteria Keep Quality Up

Candidates for senior management jobs can usually expect lengthy and repeated visits to the interview office, and to be questioned by a panel rather than an individual.

All organisations taking part in the study conducted at least one interview for senior manager roles, with three out of four (75 per cent) interviewing each candidate at least twice. At least one of these interviews was with a panel of interviewers in every organisation.

Half the organisations questioned (51 per cent) also tried to find out more about the background of job applicants. While most of these took up references or made Criminal Records Bureau checks where appropriate, two out of five (40 per cent) carried out web searches for work-related information, and one in eight (13 per cent) checked sites such as Facebook or MySpace.

Contact: Ally Charles


Published: 12th April 2008

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