Back to blog

What the optimal hiring funnel looks like + hiring funnel calculator

Nasser Oudjidane
December 19, 2022

How much time and effort is it taking for you to make a hire? No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen only to produce one morsel of coffee cake. And similarly, recruitment is not a volume game. In this guide we look at how you can streamline your hiring funnel so that you can save time and can recruit more efficiently.

What does your hiring funnel look like?

As you’re no doubt aware, your hiring funnel consists of various stages a candidate must pass through in order to get the gig. At each stage, this can be a crowded field – from applying on a careers website to the interview and eventual offer – all of which ultimately results in a single hire. Before we delve into the detail, here are some basic principles for how to measure the performance of a hiring funnel:

  • Candidate volume. How many people are applying?
  • Conversion rates. What percentage of candidates pass through each stage?
  • Acceptance rate. What percentage of candidates take you up on a job offer?
Hiring at scale is not just a numbers game

Don’t be that recruiter who burns through candidates like there’s no tomorrow. Instead, a more holistic approach where you develop a pipeline of quality candidates is key.

Focusing on ratios, rather than raw numbers alone, is a smarter approach to hiring. If we take the three big buckets of candidate sourcing – inbound, outbound and referred – a general rule of thumb is that 45% of your hires should come from inbound, 30% should be referred and 25% sourced (though every organisation will have their own ratio sweet spot).

As we’ll explore, there are ways you can get better results without simply trawling LinkedIn and writing emails. If your ratios are out-of-whack, here are some questions to ask yourself (and some possible answers) before you reach for the dreaded ‘volume’ button.

  • Not getting enough referrals? Work on making your organisation somewhere people truly want to work. A healthy referral culture doesn’t appear overnight.
  • Hiring too many people from referrals? Work on your diversity mindset to attract more people from different backgrounds.
  • Inbound too low? Fix your job indexing and dedicate some time to getting your open roles seen in the right places.
  • Are the right people making it to interview? Your hiring manager and recruiters need to align and track candidate flow.
  • Are you interviewing the right number of people? Telling your hiring manager that you intend to interview 7 or 8 people per hire empowers them to make choices about who to put forward, helps to establish your hiring process in everyone’s mind, and gives you plenty of opportunities to assess whether candidates ‘get’ your company. While there is no fine science, interviewing too many people means you need to tighten your funnel, while too few interviewees means you need to widen it.
Use data to measure your hiring funnel

Access to data can help you transition from a model of small scale home-grown recruiting to a larger scale operation where you can hire lots of quality people, including those rare exceptional talents. Check out the Josh Bersin maturity model to see how this could be done.

Fundamentally, you need an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that gives you and your team accurate data on your candidates, and which is easy to track. These tools are there to be used, and you want to be able to have conversations with your team where you’re making decisions on the basis of fact, not fiction.

Oh, and you can’t spell hiring funnel without ‘fun’. Leveraging some creative ideas to boost referrals, and initiatives like sourcing jams, could help you separate the best candidates from the rest while enhancing your work culture.

Below is a link to a hiring funnel calculator to help you fine-tune your recruitment.


Guides to help you hire

Make yourself a cup of tea and tuck into some of the latest Intrro guides on how to hire more effectively.

Related Articles

View all blogs

New Joiner: Aka Kherkeladze

Please join us in welcoming Aka Kherkeladze to the team as a Senior Software Engineer!

New Joiner: Constantinos Zoppis

Please join us in welcoming Constantinos to the team as a Senior Sales Development Representative!

New Joiner: Declan Johnson

Please join us in welcoming Declan to the team as a Sales Development Representative!

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Want a chance to flex your entrepreneurial muscles and transform the way companies build teams?
Contact our support team for any specific requests and you can expect us to reach back within 24 hours.