How Can You Improve Your Applicant To Interview Ratio?

As a recruiter, one of your biggest challenges is selecting the right candidates to present to hiring managers. Even if you have a long list of candidates who seem to fit the bill, it won’t do any good if the hiring manager doesn’t like any of the candidates and they don’t get selected for an interview.

One of the key metrics to assess the quality of your recruitment process is the ratio of candidates presented to a hiring manager to the number of candidates selected for an interview. Usually, anything less than 75% is a cause for concern. Whenever the applicant to interview ratio is not meeting targets, you have to start assessing your recruitment process, right from screening to selection. Why aren’t the candidates getting selected for interviews? Is the hiring manager being too selective? Have you shortlisted the wrong set of candidates?

Here are a list of steps to start implementing today to improve your applicant to interview ratio:

Step 1: Pay more attention to your job posting:

Although this seems like obvious advice, it is a step that is often taken for granted. If you want to attract the right talent to the vacancy you are aiming to fill, then the quality and accuracy of the job posting can be a make or break factor. Start your recruitment process by ensuring that you have included all the most essential details about the job in the posting.

Go one step further and include a description of who would be most successful in that role. In addition to listing key job responsibilities, explaining what the hiring company is about and giving a brief insight into their culture can really help to attract the right candidates.

Step 2: Accurate Job Descriptions:

Investing extra time during the initial stages of the hiring process can save time later and prevents you from shortlisting candidates that are not suitable for the job. If your recruitment team has properly understood the job requirement and created an accurate job description that encompasses all the finer details of the position, then the chances of finding the right candidate are much higher. Some recruiters are tempted to stick to the basic job description for a particular roles, thus comprising on the quality of candidates being sourced. Consider the below example:

Your team has been commissioned with hiring a Senior Executive for a new technology company. They rely on the information provided to them by the hiring manager of said company and put together a job description based on the traditionally accepted skill-sets and job responsibilities. On paper, this job description looks perfect and your team starts searching for and screening candidates.

They successfully shortlist a list of ‘ideal’ candidates and present these to the hiring manager. Unfortunately, not a single one gets selected for an interview. What went wrong?

Upon investigation, you realise the company is a startup run by a team of young, entrepreneurial millennials and the candidates your team has presented would not be a good fit, culturally. Although the team followed what they believed to be the right steps, they chose to forego a bespoke job description and failed to understand the company culture before putting out the job listing. Thus, they attracted candidates who would be perfect for the role, but not the job opening at this particular company.

If the team had invested a little bit more time in researching the company and included that information in the job description, their chances of targeting the right candidates would have been much higher.

Step 3: Screening:

Once you have created the most accurate job description, the next step is to screen the right applicants. Sifting through a ton of CVs can seem like a frustrating task, but if you’re equipped with a good Applicant Tracking System then it will do half the work for you.

Once you have a list of possible candidates in front of you, one of the easiest ways to assess their suitability for a job is a brief phone interview. An initial conversation can provide a wealth of information about a candidate. Also, it is an effective screening method as an alternative to conducting a first-round interview in person. During the call, you can gauge the candidate’s communication skills, professionalism, attitude and clarify other essential points about their skills and work experience. The idea is to ask questions that will help you easily and quickly eliminate candidates who are not eligible for the job in question.

Step 4: Assessing the right candidates for the right skills:

After you have gone through the process of shortlisting, and speaking to candidates over the phone, the best way to find the right person for the job is an assessment. This step will help you assess whether they have the skills needed for the job at hand. Assessments are usually behavioural or skills related and they can also include reference checks that evaluate the applicant’s work experience. This step also allows for an objective evaluation of candidates, free of any personal biases, ensuring that you are presenting only the best talent to the hiring managers.

Each of these steps is guaranteed to improve your candidate selection process and ultimately will help you to present hiring managers with candidates they will want to interview and eventually hire.

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