April 11, 2018 – Companies are conducting fewer job interviews, but continue to see higher percentages of offers to candidates as well as hires, according to Jobvite’s latest “Recruiting Benchmark Report.” The percentage of interviews that resulted in offers grew from nearly 20 in 2016 to 28 in 2017. Offers-to-hires, meanwhile, went from 83 percent in 2016 to 90 percent last year.
The jump in job offers represents the biggest increase in Jobvite’s data for 2017, said the report. The San Matteo, CA-based software and recruiting company attributed the change to an increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which spared recruiters from having to perform the more mundane, operational aspects of their jobs. Instead, they could focus on relationship building and nurturing passive candidates.
“When looking at the nine percent increase in overall interviews-to-offers conversion rates, it’s clear to me that companies are becoming more efficient by leveraging data, AI and automated workflows to focus on candidates who are a better fit,” said Ronen Shetelboim, director of demand generation and marketing operations for Jobvite. “This allows them to conduct fewer interviews to get to the right hire. This improved efficiency is impacting several stages of the recruiting funnel.”
Decisive and Efficient
The report, which was written by Mr. Shetelboim and senior engineer Weijen Hsu, is based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of 2017 data from Jobvite’s database of 55 million job seekers and 17 million applications.
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The jump in offers-to-hires, for its part, further suggested that companies were hiring more decisively and efficiently. “This is a sign that the market is competitive and companies aren’t messing around,” said Jobvite. “They’re giving out the best offer possible, and quickly – often before the candidate even leaves the office. At a rate of 90 percent, the benchmark shows that offers are being accepted at an almost 1-1 ratio.”
Applicants-to-interviews dropped from 15 percent in 2016 to 12 percent in 2017. But that’s not necessarily bad news, said Jobvite. The next-step percentage increase in interviews-to-offers means that recruiters are conducting fewer interviews to get to an offer.
The reasons for such change are interrelated: On one hand, said Jobvite, there are simply fewer applicants. Each open requisition had an average of 52 applicants in 2016, down to 36 last year. “The decline in applicants per open requisition is likely due to macroeconomic reasons, including an uncertain economy and low unemployment rate,” said the report. “This also may be an indicator of improved retention, as companies are becoming more savvy in identifying potential churn and creating a positive employee experience.”
Plus, more tools, data and AI are also available to help recruiters identify the right people and screen candidates more quickly, said the report. And since recruiters are better equipped to weed out unqualified candidates earlier in the process, candidates who reach the interview stage are more qualified.
Another positive sign from the report was that the average time to hire continued to drop. In 2015, it took an average of 41 days to complete a hire. In 2016, it was 39 days. Last year, it dipped to 38 days. “While one day may not seem like a dramatic improvement, it’s another signal of increased efficiency,” said Jobvite. “It’s one more day of productivity by a new employee, and one more day of recruiting resources devoted to hiring other employees.” Bottom line: It represents time and cost savings.
Jobvite stressed that for companies to stay competitive, pursuing new ways of engaging candidates, especially the growing number of passive candidates, was critical. Jobvite calls this new approach to recruiting “Continuous Candidate Engagement,” or CCE.
“CCE is all about improving the quality, speed and effectiveness of engagement across the candidate journey, from the moment a candidate is aware of your employer brand and extending seamlessly into employee engagement once they are on board,” said Jobvite.
The report offered 10 ways for organizations to apply a CCE strategy to their recruiting processes in order to optimize every stage of the recruitment process:
1. Understand the Extended Candidate Journey
Modern recruiting calls for an extended candidate journey that starts from the first look at your career website to the first day on the job.
2. Put Candidates at the Center of Your Recruiting Strategy
Gone are the days of administrator-centric strategies and simply filling requisitions. A candidate-centric strategy calls for engaging with candidates at the right time, in the right way, throughout the entire extended journey.
3. Create a Branded Career Website
A branded career website that accurately reflects your employer brand creates stellar engagement from a candidate’s first interaction. It’s your first chance to attract a competitive candidate.
4. Enable Social Recruiting
Harness the power of your existing employees through social referrals, enabling them to post job requisites directly to their social media feeds.
5. Turn Passive Candidates into Employees
Create a talent pool of passive candidates who are continuously nurtured through social and email campaigns, so your brand is top of mind at all times.
6. Streamline the Application Process
Sixty percent of applicants abandon complex online applications. The fewer clicks in the application process, the more submissions you’ll receive. Enable one click and apply applications to get the highest number of applicants.
7. Take Advantage of AI
Use new levels of automation, including AI and machine learning, to automate tedious tasks throughout the recruiting funnel. This frees recruiters to spend more time on the human, strategic work–the meaningful moments with candidates.
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8. Make Speed a Priority
Candidates are always seeking and you’re always hiring, so you need to move fast throughout the entire funnel to keep those top candidates. Rising innovations in screening — text interviewing, chatbots, and on-demand video — take days, if not weeks out of the process, helping recruiters find top talent faster than ever before.
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9. Streamline Communication
Ensure that all parties—the hiring team and the candidate—are on the same page at all times. Track all communication with the candidate in one place so everyone is aware of where in the process the candidate sits.
10. Don’t Dismiss Onboarding
A signed offer is never the finish line. A pile of administrative papers that a new hire needs to painstakingly fill out on their first day isn’t either. Streamline the process with digital forms and priority tasks that new hires can complete before their first day.
Jobvite also provided five key “takeaways” from the report, which companies can employ for reaching and exceeding their hiring goals:
1. Create collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters
Before you start your search for new candidates, sit down with your hiring manager and get specific details on the criteria for the role.
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2. Take the time to do a mini addressable market analysis
If your hiring manager is looking for five marketing managers, for example, with more than 10 years of experience who are fluent in English, Hebrew and Italian, you should conduct a mini addressable market analysis before you go hunting: How many people with these characteristics are out there?
3. Look at productivity
It’s not only about getting the hire; it’s also about productivity of new hires.
This means you need to measure beyond the number of new hires: How many fully productive employees have you added? How long does it take from the hiring day to have fully productive employees? How can you improve that?
4. Measure hiring manager success
Keep track of how all hiring managers are performing and establish a benchmark – for example, new hire churn spanning all hiring managers — in order to drive accountability and ensure success for new hires. If the churn rate is higher under a particular manager, you can delve deeper into understanding why and provide those hiring managers with the resources they need to ensure a proper onboarding and ramp-up process for candidates.
5. Determine candidate affinity
Out of the pool of all the candidates in your addressable market, it’s valuable to know who is already interested in your company—insight you can leverage as an existing pool of “warm” candidates. Through social media, for example, you can easily determine: Who “follows” or “likes” the company? Who shares relevant content? Who has first-degree connections?
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media