New research reveals Singapore’s jobseekers’ biggest frustrations in recruitment process

Businesses around the world are missing out on top talent because they are alienating candidates with poor communication and long hiring practices.

  • Top three frustrations of Singaporean jobseekers about the recruitment process are slow feedback (47%), poor communication (44%) and delayed decision-making (44%). 
  • 79% of Singaporean jobseekers regularly receive multiple job offers when searching for work, highlighting the need for companies to effectively manage the recruitment process to secure the best candidates.

Businesses around the world are missing out on top talent because they are alienating candidates with poor communication and long hiring practices, new research from Robert Half reveals.

In the poll of 500 jobseekers across Singapore, Robert Half has found that the biggest frustration with job applications is slow feedback from prospective employers about progress through the application process. This was cited by almost half (47%) of candidates. Other frustrations include:
Singaporean jobseekers were asked: “What are your biggest frustrations about the recruitment process when applying for a new role?”

Slow feedback to get an update about where I stand in the recruitment process 47%
Poor communication about the required steps in the recruitment process 44%
Delayed decision-making 44%
Doing multiple job interviews with the same employer 41%
Keeping track of multiple job interviews/opportunities with different employers 39%
Lack of transparency on rewards and benefits 35%
Disappointment with contractual terms 31%
Changing role requirements 26%
Difficulties scheduling interviews 25%

Source: Independent survey among 500 jobseekers in Singapore – multiple answers allowed.

When professionals are looking for a new job, they do so actively with 42% of jobseekers applying for ten roles or more at the same time. However, in a market where 98% of Singaporean CFOs say they find it challenging to source skilled talent, they need to act fast or risk losing talent. The research indicates almost eight in 10 jobseekers (79%) regularly receive multiple job offers when searching for work, with 36% “often” or “always” getting more than one offer.

“In a market characterised by an ongoing skills shortage, businesses should avoid alienating job applicants with a long, drawn-out interview process if they want to secure the best candidate for the job,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore.

“Singaporean companies would benefit from balancing their recruitment process against the expectations and frustrations of jobseekers, whilst simultaneously streamlining their application and interview process. This will help them ensure that delays and other frustrations are not costing them top candidates,” Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard continued.

With slow feedback and poor communication being top frustrations for Singaporean jobseekers, 52% of them generally do not even receive feedback from their potential employers about their performance in interviews and 61% do not receive feedback about the reason why they were not offered the job. 

Companies need to be wary that the implications of slow communication and the lack of feedback can be far-reaching with 47% of jobseekers saying they would not recommend a company as a potential employer and 49% even willing to withdraw their application if they have not received a timely response about the status of their application.

“Job applicants who do not receive timely feedback or who are on the receiving end of poor communication from a business could potentially impact the company’s reputation and even future business opportunities. Job applicants who have had a negative experience with a company are likely to withdraw their application. Furthermore, disengaged applicants could potentially even give negative feedback of the organisation, significantly damaging the company’s reputation as an employer of choice. While multi-stage interviews and a lengthy recruitment process are unavoidable, it is crucial for companies to provide prompt feedback and timely communication throughout the application progress in order to avoid any negative consequences,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard.  


About the research
The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in December 2017-January 2018 by an independent research company among 500 jobseekers in Singapore.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]