Infographic: Data Shows That Recruiting Slows as Companies Grow

Last October, we released our first ever recruiting benchmarks report to help talent leaders assess their company’s performance and inform their strategy in 2017 and beyond.

With data from 1,000 companies across 12 months and 4 million candidate considerations, we found answers to questions like how many candidates it takes to reach a hire, the most efficient sources of hire, average time to hire, and more.

When we broke the data down by company size (number of employees) we saw that recruiting behavior and patterns noticeably change as companies grow.

Take a look at our infographic to see for yourself.

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Larger companies have to sift through more candidates for every hire they make

It makes sense that larger companies have more candidates per eventual hire than smaller ones, because they’re more well known. They can count on relatively fuller pipelines, but that also means they have more screening and interviewing work to do for every hire they make.

Larger companies rely the most heavily on applicants

The 129:1 candidate to hire ratio for companies with over 1,000 employees is likely because they receive more inbound applicants. It makes sense that applicants, then, represent a greater proportion of hires than they do in smaller companies. But our research shows that over half – 52 percent – of all applicants are underqualifed. That’s compared to 22 percent for sourced candidates and 30 percent for referred candidates. Not only are larger companies sorting through more candidates per hire, they’re likely sorting through more unqualified ones, as well.

From the moment a successful candidate enters their pipeline, the recruiting process at larger companies is simply longer

Through factors that we can see in our data and those that we cannot, larger companies wind up with a hiring process that’s about eight to nine days longer than their smaller peers. When candidates are juggling other fast-moving processes and facing pressure on existing offers, that extra time is significant.

Tips on staying nimble

The longer it takes your organization to hire candidates, the more expensive it is. You might have suspected that recruiting is slower at larger companies, but now there’s proof. If you’re still under 1,000 employees, it helps to know about these efficiency sinks so you can guard yourself against them as you grow. If you’re already there, there are some things you can do to gain back some of your lost speed.

  • Make recruiting a priority. Recruiting well takes the entire village, but if recruiting hasn’t been embedded into your culture as a priority from the top down, it will be tough for recruiters to get the help they need from key stakeholders. Help your recruiters by making it clear that hiring is the entire team’s responsibility. Tactically, this can mean things like showing leadership how recruiting ties back to overall business goals, having hiring managers write job descriptions, making sure that interviewing teams make room on their calendars, and that interviewers commit to submitting feedback within a certain timeframe.
  • Invest in data-driven hiring. Using data to understand your recruiting performance allows you to unearth the inefficiencies and bottlenecks in your process. Are you passing too many unqualified candidates through to interviews, and therefore taking up more of your team’s time than you need to be? Is your offer acceptance rate low, and are there things you can do to boost it? Are you filling your pipeline with candidates from your highest-converting sources to improve your overall candidate to hire ratio? With the answers to these questions, you can constantly improve and streamline your process.
  • Think very carefully about who to involve in your hiring process. As a leader, you might be tempted to give every person on your team the opportunity to meet a candidate. But involving too many people in the vetting process adds interview time and bogs down the process. Don’t cut the essential people, but also avoid setting the expectation that every single member of the team will be involved in making a hire.
  • Assess the impact of your sourcing team. Sourced candidates represent 32 to 33 percent of hires at companies with less than 1,000 employees, compared to only 24 percent of hires at larger enterprises. Consider building a sourcing team or giving your existing team more tools for success if your talent bar is high. In today’s competitive recruiting landscape, much of the best talent is passive.
  • Get the offer out quickly. The last thing you want is for your recruiters to still be sorting out, and getting approval for offer details when you’re ready to make an offer. Make sure your recruiters are ready to extend an offer as soon as your team has made a ‘yes’ decision.

For more insights to help shape your recruiting strategy, access the full report: The Little Grey Book of Recruiting Benchmarks.