It takes 128 job applicants to make a successful hire – here’s how to hire better and faster

Hiring the right people is key to building your business – but how to do it well can still seem like a secret

Lever’s latest recruiting benchmarks report focused on businesses with less than 200 employee starts and analysed 12 months of data from approximately 600 companies and 1.5 million candidate considerations.  Amanda Bell, Director of Recruiting at Lever discusses what the research found.

  1. Almost one in every three candidates (31 percent) declines their offer

Discovering what your candidate’s motivations are is absolutely key. What are they looking for in their next opportunity? To broaden their skill set? Move into management? Once you have that understanding, you can ensure your meet their desires throughout the recruiting process, and showcase how your organisation is uniquely positioned to meet them. Instead of “hard selling” during your negotiations, you can reaffirm the conversations you’ve had all along.

Remember, every single touch point is a chance to create a remarkable candidate experience and show candidates why your opportunity is the perfect fit for them. Consider things like your job description, timely communication, the onsite experience and transparent negotiations.

  1. It takes 128 applicants to make a hire

It takes significantly more applicants to reach a hire (128) than it does sourced candidates (64), agency candidates (25) or referrals (see more on referrals below).

So, does this mean you should reduce your focus on applicants? Not necessarily. The key is to focus on improving applicant quality. Make sure you are specific about roles and the results expected. Job descriptions are a tool for candidates to filter themselves in or out of the role. If it’s too broad, or could apply to any company, then it’s of no use.

Also, be very intentional about where you post a job opening. Not everything belongs on LinkedIn, and not everything belongs on other job boards. Be selective, just like you want your candidates to be.

To go a step further, some of the most innovative companies are pioneering recruitment marketing — creating compelling and targeted content that makes the right talent come to them. Employee-authored blogs and videos that highlight your team and company, events and even paid advertising campaigns to leverage quality company content can be powerful tools for attracting talent who identify with your culture and mission.

  1. It takes 12 referrals to make one hire, making them more than 10 times as efficient as applicants

This stat only proves what every recruiter already knows: referrals are golden. The problem is, they’re in short supply. So how can you get more?

The best employee referral programs are those that get specific, so take time to become familiar with your employees’ networks. You’d be surprised how often a potential referral comes to an employee’s mind with a little bit of prompting. A good opportunity to fit in these personal sessions is during company onboarding. If that’s not feasible, “referral jams” open to all employees are a great substitute.

When educating your employees about available roles, don’t just hand them a job description – tell them in detail what you’re looking for so lack of clarity is never a limiting factor and make sure they know the correct process for referring potential candidates.

More than anyone, small businesses and start-ups in resource-strapped environments can benefit from the time savings of data-driven recruitment. With it, smart organisations can tighten up their recruiting process and go head to head with larger, better-known brands for talent. Ultimately, such insights help drive toward what every company wants: high quality hires, as fast as possible.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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