What Is a Good Conversion Rate for Recruitment?

What is a conversion rate, and what is a good conversion rate for recruitment professionals to aim for? 🎯

The answer is more complex than you might think, given the fact that there are so many different conversion rates to measure.

Luckily, AdBuilder is on hand to break it down for agencies and recruiters looking to up their game.

The recruitment industry is worth around £35.7 billion right now.

It’s a massive, massive sector.

And its size is only growing over time.

If you want to keep succeeding in this expanding industry?

The more you know, the better…


What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

This is the central question, but the answer isn’t a simple figure.

In short, it depends on two things:

1. The type of recruiter you are

2. The type of conversion rate you’re measuring

Let’s dive a little deeper… 🤿

Measuring Your Agency’s Recruitment Success 📏

There are many different ways to measure your agency’s success, and these metrics can be applied to the agency as a whole or an individual recruiter. 🙋‍♀️

If you are looking to determine an individual recruiter’s performance, a good conversion rate to go by is what’s known as a job conversion rate.

Job conversion rate equals the percentage of successful job placements made out of the total number of jobs worked by the recruiter.

Other crucial conversion rates worth measuring include:

Ad Viewer to Applicant Conversion Rate – How many people visit your website and view a job ad then go on to apply for that job? This rate not only depends on the quality of your job ad. It’s further impacted by the candidate friendliness of the application process, with 60% of jobseekers admitting to having quit an application halfway through due to its complexity or length.

Applicant to Screened Candidate Conversion Rate – How many applicants go on to become screened, suitable candidates for the job? This rate will tell you a lot about whether your job ad is targeting the correct audience/attracting the correct type of attention. If it’s low, a rethink is probably in order.

Screened Candidate to Interview Conversion Rate – How many screened, suitable candidates for the role go on to be offered a job interview by your client? This speaks to the gap (or lack of a gap) between what your agency deems to be a suitable candidate, and what your client responds to and likes in a candidate.

Interview to Hire Conversion Rate – How many of the candidates offered an interview go on to be offered the job? Obviously, this rate is more in the hands of your client. But it’s still worth paying attention to, and it can say a lot about the effectiveness of your sourcing and screening processes.

Offer Acceptance Rate – How many of the candidates offered the job go on to accept it? Again, the offer acceptance rate is out of anyone’s hands but the candidate’s. But it all goes towards painting a picture. Towards answering the question: Are you matching up candidates and potential future employers well?

An overarching conversion rate that can provide your agency with a bigger picture of performance at every stage of the process is the applicant-to-hire rate.

AKA: How many applicants to the job you advertised then went on to be hired by the client you were advertising for?

With a better sense of what a conversion rate is, and which rates recruiters should be measuring, I think it’s time we move on to dissecting the meaning of a “good” conversion rate. ✂️🐸

The Higher the Conversion Rate, the Better 📈

In short, the higher the conversion rate, the better for your agency.

If your company’s rates can fall above these figures, you’re probably in a good position. 🥇🥈🥉

However, there is more nuance to certain rates, such as the rate of job ad viewers that go on to apply for the job.

If this figure is too high, it might mean that unqualified/unsuitable candidates are applying, lengthening the screening process.

⬆️  Your client, when you eventually suggest some suitable candidates for them after a million years of narrowing it down. ⬆️

There’s a balance to be struck, and it can only be struck if you’re actively paying attention to these rates as you work.

How Many Leads Should I Generate a Month as a Recruiter?

As you probably already know, not every recruiter is alike.

Specialist recruiters and headhunters dive more deeply with each candidate they speak to, meaning the total volume of leads generated is reduced, but the result might be a better-suited applicant pool.

Higher-volume recruiters filling many positions each month will automatically generate more leads, but these leads won’t all be diamonds. 💎

Some of them will be… well… coal.

If you’re concerned that you aren’t generating enough leads/you’d like to help your team generate more leads, here are a few tips:

1. Connect with your agency’s local community to find new leads – Here’s the good thing about a local community: It’s only local to so many people. You can engage face-to-face with potential talent in a way that recruiters based on the other side of the world can’t. Digital marketing is the name of the game in 2022, but face-to-face connections still pack a punch.

2. Reach out to dormant clients/candidates to benefit from potential passive interest – Be sure to keep hold of data (legally and appropriately, of course) even when candidates have been connected with new positions/deemed unsuitable for certain positions, and to stay in touch every now and then. Even much later down the line, a passive jobseeker could be tempted by a job you share.

3. Utilise social media to spread the word AND to find suitable applicants – Social media is where it’s at. And by “it”, I mean potentially perfect candidates for the roles you’re trying to fill. 79% of jobseekers use social media during their search for a new professional adventure, meaning spaces like LinkedIn are ideal for job advertising and candidate sourcing.

4. Optimise your website for search engines, making it visible to more jobseekers – Nobody can apply to a job if they don’t know it exists. If you’re hosting listings on your website and hoping for applications, you need to make sure your website is as visible in search engine results as it possibly can be. Do this by focusing on SEO across every page on your site, incorporating keywords and more.

5. Give people more reasons to visit your website with a solid content marketing strategy – Once you’ve optimised that website and it is ranking as high as it can on Google, make sure you’re giving people as many reasons as you can to visit it. If someone heads over to read a recent piece of content marketing – perhaps a blog – they might then hop over to the job adverts and have a look.

Those tips should help you boost the number of leads you can attract.

But generally speaking, declarative “how many” style questions are too vague to have a single, simple answer in such a vast industry.

The better question to ask, if you’re truly looking to measure your recruitment performance and make improvements, is this one…

What Should Be My KPIs for Conversions?

As I’ve already said, an improved conversion rate largely equals an improved recruitment process. ✅

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are metrics you can track to figure out where there’s room for improvement, and where you’re doing well.

For recruiters and their agencies, it pays to be attentive to both ends of this spectrum.

Crucial KPIs to track are:

Time to Hire

The average time to hire is around 43 days, but the best candidates on the job market are usually snapped up within 10 days.

This is something to pay close attention to. 👀

Yes, your clients making final hiring decisions.

But how long does it take your agency to help them get to this point?

Could you be doing more to assist along the way?

If your part of the hiring process is the part that’s slowing things down, measuring time to hire as a KPI will allow you to realise this.

And to fix it.

There are many ways to go about this, including introducing recruitment automation tools into your process to streamline things.

AdBuilder is an example of an automated recruitment tool, and it can cut your job advert writing time down to around 10 minutes.

There are also database management software options and candidate relationship management tools to consider.

Source of Hire

There are a few key questions to ask under the umbrella of this performance indicator:

– From which places do you most commonly recruit talent?

– How long does it take to source a good candidate from each of the places you frequent?

– How do candidates from each source stack up against those conversion rates I listed earlier?

– How do your sourcing stats stack up compared to your competitors?

Say, for instance, you can source three potential candidates in 30 minutes from one site, and it takes you about 50 minutes to do the same on another.

This sounds good when it’s isolated from other measures and metrics.

But what about if the quality of hire is markedly lower from the first site?

What if far fewer applicants from the first site ever make it to the interview or hiring stages? 🤔

Cost per Hire

The current average cost per hire in the UK is around £3,000. 💸💰

Recruiters are always looking for ways to reduce the cost of job advertising (and to reduce the other hiring costs they’re responsible for footing).

But given that their work is dependent on effective recruitment processes, there’s only so much cost reduction possible.

Indisputably, the best way to reduce cost per hire has been mentioned above:

When you reduce time to hire, you reduce the amount it costs to make each hire.

You can learn a lot by keeping track of cost per hire and using it as a performance indicator.

It will tell you that your methods aren’t up to scratch and might need a rethink if it’s too high.

It will tell you that you could be doing more if it’s too low.

Quality of Hire

This metric might be hard to categorically quantify, but it is a crucial one.

You can get a sense of the quality of hire you offer your clients by once again returning to the conversion rates listed above.

How often do the candidates you recommend get interviews?

And how many of those interviewed candidates are then hired?

It’s also worth looking a little further down the line and speaking with the companies you recruit for about retention rates. ⏩

Is your talent pool made up primarily of hard-working, dedicated people who will go on to be loyal, engaged employees?

Focusing on the quality of hire will help you to figure that out.

Candidate Experience

Jobseekers across many surveys and research projects have demonstrated annoyance and frustration about a lack of communication during the recruitment process. 💬❌

For example, 69% of candidates say they are looking for a quicker response time from hiring managers and recruiters.

This means that if you take the time to really prioritise candidate experience, you’ll already be leaps and bounds ahead of some of the competition.

Measure candidate experience as a KPI.

Do this by conducting things like exit surveys, using what you learn from these surveys to improve even more.

From creating well-written ads free of exclusionary language (something AdGrader can help you with) to readily communicating with talent, small choices add up to a candidate’s perception of your agency.

And this is a perception they will share if they’re unhappy.

Client Satisfaction

While hiring managers might only have their candidates’ experiences to focus on, recruiters must also consider their clients.

The employers; on the flipside of the coin. 🪙

Measuring client satisfaction is similar to measuring candidate experience, though potentially simpler (as you’ll have far fewer clients on your books than you do talented jobseekers in your pipeline).

It can be as simple as asking for feedback and then responding to this feedback.

When a client feels heard, they also feel much more inclined to continue a professional relationship with your agency.

New Ways to Elevate Your Recruitment Game Are Constantly Emerging 👋

Measuring metrics and conversion rates is an important undertaking.

Data will tell you a LOT.

At their core, these figures will enable your agency to understand which recruiters/methods/sources are most effective and why that is.

When you know that, you know what needs fixing elsewhere.

But if you’re looking to improve and elevate your recruitment process in 2022, there’s more out there to think about. 🤨💭

Platforms like AdBuilder could save you a considerable amount of time and effort without requiring you to sacrifice an iota of quality.

Consider a free trial of our job advert building services, and you’ll soon get a taste of all we can offer to a recruiter.

For more advice on improving your hiring process and understanding the ever-changing industry, stick around on the AdBuilder blog and check out:

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James Ball
Written by James Ball

James is the founder and owner of AdBuilder and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes and advertising.

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