The recruiting, interviewing and hiring process is a familiar song and dance to recruiters, hiring managers and candidates alike. Regardless of which side of the table you’re on, you likely have tons of experience either trying to find a job or tracking down the right applicant to fill a vacant position.

With recruiting being such a commonplace part of the workforce, it can be easy to fall into highway hypnosis encouraged by going through the same motions over and over again. But finding the right fit for your company isn’t something you want to rush. This seems to be an increasingly popular sentiment among hiring managers, as the average time spent shopping for a potential new employee is going up.

Here are some of the factors that are influencing the amount of time and energy required to pick the perfect candidate.

The lengthy business of hiring
When businesses have a position to fill, it requires more than just posting a job listing on a website and waiting for the applications to roll in. Sure, that is part of the strategy, but the sheer volume of job-seekers in today’s market – not to mention the numerous ways business practices in general are evolving thanks to the Internet – means that effective hiring is definitely not a fire-and-forget affair.

In fact, according to Human Resource Executive Online, the average amount of time companies were spending filling positions has doubled between 2009 and 2013. The trend seems to be continuing, with the average hiring time rising to almost 23 days at the end of 2014 compared to 12.6 days just five years ago.

What are companies looking for?
So why are hiring managers taking their time, especially in an age when finding the best candidates among a growing pool is an increasingly competitive endeavor? HRE Online indicated that it’s due to companies wanting to find the best fit for a position, even if it means going for longer without hiring an applicant.

To this end, the use of things like background checks and pre-employment assessments are becoming more common. HR professionals are taking a preventive approach to hiring and retention, abiding by the concept that hiring smartly is better than hiring quickly.

Of course, staying on top of HR services trends and best practices is daunting, especially for small-business owners who may lack an HR background. Fortunately, PEO companies can help smooth this speed bump, offering expert HR solutions without the associated cost of an in-house staff.