Study: You need 86 can­di­dates to hire that one right per­son

The Denver Post - - JOB & EDUCATION - By Gene Marks

Find­ing the right em­ployee is not easy and a new study proves why.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search by re­cruit­ing software ser­vice Lever, a typ­i­cal small busi­ness em­ploy­ing fewer than 200 peo­ple needs to go through an aver­age of 86 ap­pli­ca­tions to find that one right per­son for the job. The study looked at data from about 1.5 mil­lion can­di­date con­sid­er­a­tions and 15,000 hires at 600 of Lever’s cus­tomers through­out most of 2016. Al­though re­view­ing that many can­di­dates sounds like a lot of work, this rate is ac­tu­ally bet­ter than most larger com­pa­nies, who need to see an aver­age of 100 can­di­dates be­fore hir­ing some­one.

Find­ing new peo­ple, espe­cially for a small busi­ness, is a long process. The study shows that com­pa­nies only of­fer in­vites for an ini­tial con­ver­sa­tion to 17 per­cent of all can­di­dates. The group of ap­pli­cants who get to the screen­ing stage most of­ten (al­most 60 per­cent of the time) are those that come by way of re­fer­ral or a staffing com­pany. Those who make it to the onsite in­ter­view get an of­fer about 30 per­cent of the time.

But the study found that 31 per­cent of those who were of­fered jobs de­clined them, with the worst of­fend­ers be­ing en­gi­neers, product man­agers and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment peo­ple — all who re­ject their of­fers about 60 per­cent of the time. The best ac­cep­tance rates come from, again, re­fer­rals.

The eas­i­est peo­ple to hire, it seems, are sales peo­ple. Sales can­di­dates are most likely to re­ceive a screen­ing (i.e., re­view) of their re­sume, and 44 per­cent of sales can­di­dates progress from get­ting their re­sumes screened to re­ceiv­ing an onsite in­ter­view. They also re­quire the fewest num­ber of re­sume screen­ings. Best of all, 74 per­cent of sales peo­ple ac­cept an of­fer when they get it.

So, the take­aways? Brace your­self to see a lot of peo­ple for that one job you’re of­fer­ing. If you’re look­ing for good peo­ple, look to those you know. “This re­search shows busi­nesses must si­mul­ta­ne­ously nur­ture their net­works for re­fer­rals, source pas­sive can­di­dates, im­prove the qual­ity of their in­com­ing ap­pli­ca­tions and have backup of­fers at the ready, said Sarah Nahm, chief ex­ec­u­tive and co-founder of Lever.

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