3 Tips to Maximize Candidate Quantity Without Sacrificing Quality

Author Mike Marschke Date Oct 17 2020

Recruiters typically have one of two problems: They either have too many candidates to manage, or not enough. The latter can be especially stressful. There’s nothing worse than looking at your candidate pipeline and seeing a drought. 

Being in a position where you’re scrambling to get candidates is never ideal. It’s especially frustrating when searching for more people feels like it’s at the expense of the overall quality of your candidates. In an ideal world, candidate pools would be filled to the brim with the best of the best job-seekers.

In looking at some of the data on our platform, centering around candidate pipelines, quality, and quantity, we noticed a few trends from the most successful users. While recruiters inevitably go through ebbs and flows, here are 3 tips to help you maximize your candidate quantity without sacrificing quality: 

1. Clear & concise job applications

Keep your job applications to the point. Shorter job application (1-5 minutes) have an average apply rate of 12.47%. When you increase the length of the application (6-15 minutes) the average apply rate decreases to 6.97%. 

A common misconception is that keeping applications longer means that only serious individuals will apply. The most capable job seekers are typically applying to multiple companies when they’re on the market. Applications that dive too deeply into the minutiae of everyday life at the company are a turnoff for candidates. 

The job descriptions that had between 4000-5000 characters had the highest click-to-apply rates across roles. Avoid too much jargon and only list the critical job duties and qualities when writing these out, but skimp on the benefits. Including 4+ benefits in a job description can yield up to a 22.5% apply rate. 

2. Strategic sourcing (which job boards are for you)

The most reliable way to get candidates is to message a bunch of qualified individuals and wait for responses. Depending on the type of role, recruiters can have anywhere from an 18-25% response rate (varies significantly across industries). While this is reliable, it’s quite time-consuming. 

Every role that you’re recruiting for should be listed online, on a job board (ideally on your career site as well, but we’ll get to that). There’s no better feeling than opening up your ATS in the morning and seeing it flooded with qualified, capable candidates. Your job as a recruiter is to identify which job boards are best utilized for you, and there isn’t necessarily one right answer. 

For most corporate positions, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll be listed on LinkedIn. What about a cashier, or a truck driver, or a even babysitter? Those aren’t jobs you traditionally think to look for on LinkedIn. There is also Zip Recruiter, Indeed, Craigslist, Monster, and many more options out there. Identify where you’re getting the best applicant results, and focus your resources there.  

3. Emphasis on career site 

Job boards are great. Career sites are better. 

You’re going to get more candidates from job boards, that’s almost a guarantee. Almost 15% more candidates come from job boards as opposed to career sites. When it comes down to it though, you’re only going to be hiring a limited number of the people you talk to, and career sites have distinctively higher hire rates.

Career sites hire rate is 28.93%, compared to job boards that have a 19.12% higher rate. 

It’s all about balance. Utilize job boards as much as you can, but seriously look at your career site. Go through the applicant workflow and consider the impression it’s giving to visitors. A few adjustments could dramatically increase the quality and quantity of your applicants.


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About the Author

Director, Strategic Programs

Mike Marschke

Mike Marschke is Fountain's Director of Product who has a passion for innovation and optimizing talent acquisition strategies, enhancing candidate experiences, and driving organizational growth.