Employers have limited window to impress new starters

08 June 2018

New global research finds more than a third of candidates worldwide make a decision about a job within the first five minutes – or even sooner.

Even after accepting a position, 91% are willing to quit within the first month and 93% during the probation period if the job doesn’t match their expectations.

According to independent global research (commissioned by specialist recruiter Robert Half), 47% admit they decide whether they would or wouldn’t accept a position straight after the initial meeting. Highlighting that first impressions count, a further 20% know if they are interested after the first communication (call/email), while 17% typically decide within the first five minutes of the interview. 9% wait until they have completed subsequent interviews to decide and merely 7% decide during contractual negotiations.


Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half said:

“In today’s market, top candidates are receiving multiple job offers and therefore have a host of criteria beyond pure remuneration. Companies need to sell the job, the company culture, benefits and reasons why they are a great place for a prospective employee to build their career.

While candidates need to put their best foot forward, so do hiring managers. Recruitment is a two-way street. It starts with providing candidates an efficient and timely recruitment experience and extends throughout the onboarding process to ensure new hires are motivated, engaged and quickly contributing to the business.” 


In the study of 9,000 candidates in 11 countries across four continents, it found that even once candidates have accepted a role, 91% admit they would consider leaving a job within their first month and 93% during their probation period.

Reasons for leaving during the first month include:

  • poor management
  • a discrepancy between the job in practice and how it was advertised
  • a mismatch with corporate culture
  • lack of proper onboarding
  • received a more attractive job offer

 “Organisations must think of their attraction, recruitment and retention practices holistically. Long, drawn out recruitment processes magnify the opportunity for a candidate to change their mind – which in turn costs the company time and money. Businesses that are serious about finding the best talent need to commit to providing an efficient and engaging experience at every stage – from initial contact through onboarding and beyond,” concluded Weston.