Breadcrumbing? Candidates Are Tired of Waiting

2.19.2021 | Job seekers are facing another challenge amid the pandemic – breadcrumbing.

Breadcrumbing is when an employer strings a candidate along without making a job offer. According to research from staffing firm Robert Half, one-third of senior managers surveyed said their company is taking more time to hire candidates in today’s environment. To maintain engagement, survey participants said candidates are kept busy via multiple rounds of interviews, skills tests, and online training.

Cities With the Most and Least Breadcrumbing Activity

The research looked at 28 U.S. cities and found breadcrumbing varies by region.

Cities with the highest percentages of employers taking longer to hire:

  • San Diego (48%)
  • Boston (47%)
  • Dallas (46%)
  • Sacramento (46%)
  • Cleveland (41%)

Cities with the highest percentages of employers hiring as quickly as they did before the pandemic:

  • Cincinnati (81%)
  • New York (77%)
  • Washington, DC (77%)
  • Los Angeles (75%)
  • Portland (74%)

Why the Hesitation?

Perhaps employers hesitate to hire because they have too many options due to an overwhelming increase in applicants. Perhaps they are leery of commitment due to an uncertain economic future. Regardless, candidates aren’t having it.

Candidates Are Losing Interest, Ghosting

In a separate survey, 62% of professionals said they lose interest in a job if they don’t hear from the employer within two weeks of an interview. As the wait increases, the interest decreases; by three weeks, 77% of survey participants lose interest.

Additionally, candidates who feel they’ve been breadcrumbed will:

  • Ghost the employer (49%)
  • Blacklist the company (41%)
  • Vent on social media (27%)
  • Post negative comments on review sites (26%)

Stringing candidates along benefits no one.

“By stretching out the hiring process, companies waste critical time and resources and may lose out on the best talent,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “Employers who are transparent with candidates and move efficiently through the process will create a positive experience for potential hires and gain a recruiting edge.”

Source: Robert Half

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