While we were in the recession, legal employers had the luxury of time. There were ample candidates, and with few opportunities, firms could take their time when making hiring decisions. It seemed that no matter how long they took to extend an offer, the candidate was excited to receive it.

Fast forward a few years and the market has changed. Skilled candidates are being courted by multiple employers. Top candidates are getting multiple offers, and others are being much more selective with their decisions. As a result, firms that can’t make hiring decisions quickly and present a competitive offer in a timely fashion are losing out to firms that have sped up their hiring process.

As a result, firms and corporate legal departments should revisit their hiring process. How quickly are you responding to candidates? How long are you making them wait between interviews? When are you letting them know that you would like to extend an offer?

Even if the delay is only a few days, that can feel like an eternity to a candidate who is hearing from other firms in the meantime. A quick phone call or email with an expected timeline of the interview/hiring process can often manage a candidate’s concern that interest is waning. Also, this update may buy the firm time to extend an offer when other offers may be on the table or imminently forthcoming.

In the recruiting business, we say “time kills deals.” It seems that this is more true than ever in 2016. Remember, if you aren’t quickly moving a top candidate through your hiring process, in all likelihood, another firm may be trying to scoop them up!