How to Stress Test Your 2019 Hiring Plan

You’ve got your company’s hiring plans for 2019. Now you have to plan out your talent acquisition staff headcount to meet those goals. It can feel like looking into a crystal ball with only your best guess coming back to you. You could be at least a little bit worried about meeting your targets—after all, it’s your performance goals on the line, not just your company’s. On top of that, your time-to-fill could be longer than you want, the candidate experience might need improvement, and you may remember a time when the hiring goals were more than your team could handle and your company ended up scrambling and paying a lot for outside sourcing help.

Alas! There is help. Our new recruiting capacity model gives you a basic framework for planning recruiting staff. By mapping out your current team against future plans (based on their historical performance) you can uncover gaps and see how many staff members you need to add to meet those goals. Using this model, you should be able predict how many more recruiters you need at each level in order to fill your company’s hiring needs. But recruiters are not the only factor that influence how fast and how many people you can hire.

Consider the Whole Recruiting Function

As you know, technology and business processes are always changing. The biggest changes in recruiting in the last few years have been in the realm of candidate experience and sourcing.

The Talent Board North American Candidate Experience 2017 Research Report found that taking a customer-centric approach to recruiting is a growing trend, along with clear communication through the hiring and onboarding process. And with unemployment at its lowest since 1969, proactive sourcing is more important than ever. Let’s look at both of these three areas to understand how they impact your hiring plans, make recruiters more efficient and help you get better hires in the door.

Candidate Experience

Adding one or more recruiting coordinators, or what we call “Candidate Experience Specialists” here at Lever, can free up recruiter’s time, make the process more efficient, and improve your interview ratings.

Here at Lever, our Candidate Experience Specialists have ownership of the on-site candidate experience, run the candidate survey, and create interview guides for candidates. This frees up the recruiters to do what they do best: identify the best talent, with the confidence that they’ll be treated well and guided through the interview process.

How to determine if/how many recruiting coordinators you need

Consider these factors:

  • The number of hours recruiters currently spend on tasks like scheduling and orienting candidates
  • Interview ratings
  • Declined offers and candidates who voluntarily drop out of interview process
  • Attrition, particularly turnover in less than a year
  • Costs of technology that facilitates recruiting coordination, candidate surveys

Then, ask these questions:

  • How many more positions could an individual recruiter fill by freeing up time from tasks a coordinator could do?
  • How much could our interview ratings improve if we created a better candidate experience by having staff that focused on it?
  • How much could we improve recruiting coordinator capacity if we gave them tools to help them be more efficient and create a better candidate experience?

With Lever, Medallia has seen a 2x increase in coordinator productivity.




There’s no doubt that sourcing in the current environment is time consuming. Recruiting staff members have to float between sourcing channels, email, and your ATS. Perhaps your company has outsourced sourcing to agencies, resulting in high agency costs. But it’s your own staff who know the culture best and could be more effective at sourcing, if only they had the time.

How to determine what you need to do to improve sourcing

Consider these factors:

  • What is the application-to-hire ratio of your sourced candidates, referrals, and direct applications? How much time do recruiters devote to each of these hiring channels?
  • Is there any difference between offer acceptance rates of sourced, referred, and direct hires?
  • How much are you spending on outside agencies?
  • Are you investing in any technology that facilitates sourcing, and what is the annual cost?

Then, ask these questions:

  • How many additional hires could a recruiter make with more efficient sourcing practices?
  • How much could we save if we brought more sourcing in-house?

Since implementing Lever Nurture, Medallia increased sourced hires by 43%.


Recruiting efficiency isn’t just about the number of recruiters on staff. As you look to 2019, consider how adding or adjusting the responsibilities of people that support the recruiting function can help you meet your goals. In addition, look to how recruiting technology can improve the candidate experience and sourcing efficiency, helping your team meet and exceed its hiring goals.

Kickstart your planning today with a free copy of our Capacity Model Cheatsheet.