The battle for UK talent is heating up again. Stuart Stone reports

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Research by a leading UK job board has revealed that nearly half of employers are reducing the length of their recruitment process in order to hire new staff more quickly.

In response to news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that unemployment had reached an 11-year low; Totaljobs, which deals with 3 million job applications per month, surveyed 180 employers and recruiters as well as more than three thousand jobseekers across September and October as part of their ‘Understanding Talent’ series.

The survey found that 46% of employers said they have reduced the length of time it takes to recruit a candidate as competition for top talent becomes increasingly fierce, with 28% claiming candidates had been put off by the time it takes to make an offer.

More than half of participating employers said the length of time between a role being advertised and the first round of interviews was less than a fortnight, with less than 1 in 10 taking longer than a week to make an offer once interviews had concluded.

The emphasis on rapid recruitment places extra pressure on the technology employers use in the hiring process. For example 10% now use Skype interviews with a quarter using psychometric testing as a means of quickly determining how a candidate will fit with a company’s culture.

TotalJobs’ director John Salt said: “With employers cutting the length of their attraction and recruitment process to draw in the best talent, the role that technology plays in delivering a more agile experience will continue to grow in significance.”

This makes it all the more surprising that employers are behind the curve on technology as basic as mobile optimisation. Only 47% say their company website is optimised despite the fact 70% of jobseekers say they use their smartphone to hunt for their next role.

While employers have already moved to address the difference of opinion with jobseekers over speed of recruitment, the insight into technology flags another area where work needs to be done.

Salt adds: “Helping candidates find the jobs they love and employers hire the talent they need – fast – is essential, especially as the candidate market continues to tighten.”