New Fountain and Boston Consulting Group Report Details Factors Associated with Hiring Success Amid Challenging Labor Market

  • Companies that provided applicants with offers in less than seven days increased hiring rate by 80%
  • Providing a mobile job application is imperative: 84% of respondents reported applying for positions using smartphones, up 200% from 2015
  • Boston Consulting Group examined 37 million hourly position applications from high-speed hiring platform Fountain to determine most effective recruitment interventions

March 3, 2022 (San Francisco, CALIF.) – Today, global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Fountain, the world's leading all-in-one applicant tracking system for high volume hiring, unveiled new strategies organizations can use to attract more job applicants, while improving hiring conversions. BCG’s report, titled “Surviving the Great Resignation”, finds that winners in today’s intense competition for talent will be those who can extend a job offer in days – not weeks, and those whose applications are mobile-friendly.

Employers face a daunting hiring challenge: 4.5 million people left their jobs last November, and there are 10.6 million active job listings in the US along with a net labor shortage of 4.3 million workers. In 2020 and 2021, the vast majority of turnover occurred in the hourly service sectors like hospitality, retail and food service. In response, many companies have gotten creative to compete in the hiring war for hourly workers, incentivizing potential employees with sign-on bonuses, increased wages and additional PTO. But this latest BCG report finds that employers need to adopt an analytical, data-backed approach to their pipeline to truly attract more job applicants and improve their hiring rates.

Companies Need to Expedite Hiring Processes to Compete

BCG’s analysis of Fountain’s proprietary data found that employers that present job offers in less than seven days yield 80% more hires on average than organizations with longer timelines. What’s more – each day removed from the hiring process improves that rate. The best candidates looking for work are applying to multiple positions, and the employer presenting jobseekers with their first offer are more likely to win that talent. 

Employers Must Broaden Their Screening Qualifications

BCG’s analysis found that the quality of candidates can vary greatly across various job boards, and with myriad options to choose from, employers that explicitly balance hiring quantity and yield will improve business outcomes. Eighty-four percent of applicants reported applying for a position using their smartphone, so companies need to make sure they are targeting candidates more strategically. Location is a common screening tool that employers use when searching for candidates. While 70% of applicants seek jobs less than 15 miles from their homes, BCG found that applicants willing to travel farther were hired at an equivalent or higher rate.

Job Postings Should Articulate Company Benefits to Stand Out

According to BCG’s report, 46% of job postings analyzed did not mention benefits provided. Yet analysis showed that offering certain benefits improved applicant yields and resulted in higher quality applications. Benefits that increased hiring rates most significantly included bi-weekly pay (34%), 401k (34%), medical leave (27%), tuition reimbursement (25%) and PTO (25%).

Businesses That Reevaluate or Revise Job Requirements Have an Advantage

BCG found that employers need to continuously analyze certain criteria throughout the process of crafting job listings to increase the likelihood of improved hiring results. For example, positions without explicit age requirements generated more applicants but resulted in a lower hiring rate than positions with age requirements. Additionally, BCG found that companies attracted more applicants when they relaxed requirements tied to work experience, but saw double the hiring rate when they specified that experience. Finally, education requirements like a GED or high school diploma decreased applicant pools by 40% without improving the hiring rate. 

“Our analysis shows that many successful companies employ a ‘test-and-learn’ approach to hiring. The right data that is accessible to the right people is critical to success, “ said David Welch, managing director and senior partner at BCG. 

“So many companies are struggling to hire hourly workers, which number around 82 million and represent more than half of all wage and salary workers in the US alone," said Sean Behr, CEO of Fountain. "Fountain's solutions enabled businesses to make more than two million hires in 2021 by simplifying, optimizing and automating as much of the candidate journey as possible to decrease time-to-hire."


About Fountain

Fountain’s all-in-one high volume hiring platform empowers the world’s leading enterprises to find and hire the right people through smart, fast and seamless recruiting. Candidates can apply anytime, anywhere in minutes, right from their phone. Automated and customizable processes streamline the candidate experience and save time for recruitment teams so they can scale with growing hiring needs. Advanced analytics provide end-to-end process visibility so managers can make swift, data-driven decisions. Throughout the candidate journey, the openly integrated platform enables companies to find, qualify and convert more applicants. Fountain's global customers hire over 2 million workers annually in 78 countries.

Learn more on Fountain’s website or connect via Twitter, LinkedIn or the Fountain blog.


Media contact

Jessica Jaffe at Sift PR

[email protected]


About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage and drive positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.