Lengthy hiring practices and misconceptions about what motivates top candidates to make a job move are causing companies to lose out on high performers in an already tight talent market, according to the 2016 a Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study. Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent will need to revisit their interviewing and talent management approaches to create a strong employer brand, the report says.

The study found 86% of recruiters and 62% of employers feel the labor market is candidate-driven in their industry sectors. In this environment, candidates confidently reject undesirable job offers, with recruiters and employers listing “accepted another offer” as the primary reason for offer objections, according to the report.

Half of the companies cited the lack of suitable talent as their No. 1 challenge to hiring. However, recruiters complained that companies take too long to hire, even when they do meet ideal candidates. Employers now extend offers between three to six weeks from the candidate’s first interview, a shift from one to four weeks that was observed in the second half of 2015.

Additional highlights and conclusions from the survey:

Employers and recruiters agree newly created positions are still the primary reason for job openings followed by vacancies from resignations.

Recruiters indicated vacancies from retirements are increasing.

In addition to accepting other offers and low compensation packages, employers listed counteroffers as a top reason for rejected offers.

The web-based survey included 239 recruiters and was conducted between May 3 and May 17. A focus group of 54 human resources professionals and hiring managers additionally provided insight.

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