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Why People Leaders Need to Focus On Their Recruiting Conversion Rate

With the jobs landscape still heavily weighted in workers’ favor, recruiters are facing more challenges than ever. Organizations seeking to close skills gaps and future-proof their workforces are struggling to quantify everything from Quality of Hire to recruiter value. 

Recruitment Metrics Are Shifting

One metric coming under more direct scrutiny is the recruiting conversion rate. With overall fewer candidates applying to more jobs, most recruiting metrics have been shifting dramatically over the past couple of years. For example:

  • The number of job applicants fell by 30% between 2020 and 2021
  • The view-to-applicant rate dropped from 7% in 2020 to 3% in 2021
  • The applicant-to-interview rate jumped from 15% in 2020 to 20% in 2021
  • The interview-to-hire rate rose from 9% in 2020 to 11% in 2021

While these metrics can be useful for identifying where in a recruitment funnel candidates may be self-selecting out of the process, they don’t tell hiring managers one very important thing they need to know about their recruiters: namely, how well they are performing.

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Understanding the Recruiting Conversion Rate

To identify top performers in the recruitment workflow, it’s necessary to arrive at the recruiting conversion rate for each recruiter. This encompasses all stages of hiring but focuses most closely on job openings assigned compared to roles filled. 

To start, the job conversion rate is the percentage of successful placements made from the total jobs that have been worked on by a specific recruiter. 

A recruiter’s recruiting conversion rate is key to how well they are performing. The higher the job conversion rate percentage, the better, as that points to a positive return on investment (ROI) when it comes to the recruiting budget. A low job conversion rate percentage indicates a recruiter who isn’t performing as well, and who could benefit from redirection or additional training.

Recruiter conversion rates can be compared across all recruiters, and adjusted for difficulty; for example, recruiters trying to fill high-level positions, or those attempting to fill roles that demand scarce skill sets (such as many tech roles) may have lower job conversion rates due to the complexity of their tasks.

Likewise, someone filling open roles with temporary workers will have a higher recruiting conversion rate than a recruiter who solely focuses on landing long-term candidates. However, an average should be easy enough to achieve for each type of recruiter, and a benchmark created to measure new recruiters against to evaluate their performance.

Digging deeper into recruiter conversion rates

In addition to the job conversion rate, people leaders need to look at other key conversion rates for each recruiter. This can help identify where they may be having difficulty finding or keeping good candidates in the hiring funnel, as well as whether or not they really understand the requirements of the job.

A recruiter with a poor overall job-hire conversion rate, but a high conversion rate from recruiter interview to hiring manager interview suggests that interview techniques may be failing them when it comes to separating high-quality candidates from low-quality ones.  

HR Pipeline Management Survival Guide

A recruiter with a poor interview-to-hire rate and low overall job post-to-hiring rate may not be properly understanding an employer’s brief on the job posting or requirements. They may benefit from working more closely with the department head and even team members who will be working with the new hire.

A recruiter with high conversion rates but low volume may need to be more heavily utilized and possibly incentivized. Recruiters with low conversion rates and high volume compared to their colleagues may need to be cut from the team to make room for a better performer.

Other areas to examine are time to hire, which is how long it takes to hire for an open job, and Quality of Hire, which speaks to the recruiter’s ability to identify and nurture top talent through the recruitment funnel and ultimately have them accept an offer. 

Meeting Recruitment Challenges

Time to hire is the number of days between when a job is identified as needing to be filled (and/or approved to be filled) and when an offer is accepted. Currently, this is taking 41 days on average, costing companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity.

Time to hire is a significant challenge for recruiters, who are pressured to find and acquire talent as quickly as possible but who are also responsible for sourcing high-quality talent. Each phase of recruitment has its own specific bottlenecks that can slow down the process, and lead to candidate drop-off.

Recruiters can improve their conversion rates, shorten time to hire, and improve Quality of Hire by streamlining repetitive and time-consuming processes:

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) as a marketing tool

More than 85% of HR professionals feel that recruitment is becoming more like marketing. This means learning to use tools and technology to market jobs to potential candidates. An ATS can be more than just a tool for storing and organizing candidate data. It can also be used as a connector tool that integrates with job boards directly and even share job descriptions on social media. This reduces the time a recruiter must spend listing jobs.

[Related Article: 5 Pro-Tips to Become a Better Recruiter with Marketing]

Candidate rediscovery

Instead of gathering candidate information and discarding it or ignoring it once a post is filled, consider organizing this data to create a talent pool that can be readily revisited for other roles that need filling in the future.

Easy application processes

The workforce is increasingly tech-savvy and comfortable with technology like chatbots. Making applying for a job easy enough to do from a smartphone can widen the pool of candidates and attract a broader, more diverse range of workers.

Consistent candidate outreach

Automating candidate outreach prevents drop-off attributable to candidates assuming an employer is disinterested due to lack of contact. Use pre-set triggers to ensure candidates are contacted when they apply, send additional information, complete a test or assessment, or show up for an interview. This can help keep candidates engaged while waiting for the next step and improve the overall candidate experience.

Speedier interview scheduling

Many candidates drop off because they lose hope while waiting for an interview. Prevent this and make life easier for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers by implementing tools that automate interview scheduling, quickly syncing different parties’ calendars, and finding the earliest available time that works for everyone.

[Related Article: 8 Processes You Can Automate in Your Recruiting Funnel.]

Digitized reference checking

Reimagining reference checking as more of a full-fledged candidate checking process and digitizing it for faster results can streamline the process and reduce the time recruiters have to spend on what was formerly a tedious chore. Crosschq 360 makes candidate checking easy, fast, and more effective, delivering data that can be used to make better hiring decisions.

Collaborative hiring

Collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers is key to an efficient hiring process. TalentWall™ by Crosschq converts the ATS candidate pipeline into a real-time, interactive card wall, helping all stakeholders track and understand how hiring is going. Hiring managers and recruiters can work seamlessly together to improve conversion rates and bring in high-quality talent to the organization.

[Related Article: Why Recruiters Shouldn't Fly Solo: The Argument for Collaborative Recruiting.]

Using technology to improve recruiter and candidate experiences can shorten time to hire, improve Quality of Hire, enhance hiring manager satisfaction, and raise recruiting conversion rates. 

To learn more about how Crosschq can help your hiring professionals improve recruiting conversion rates, ask for a demonstration today.

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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