There’s an old saying that if you throw enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick. For many years, recruitment has often followed a similar principle: a massive volume of cold calls and emails in the hope of converting a few prized candidates into hires. And while a high-volume outbound recruitment strategy can have its benefits, in this guide we’ll explain why hiring great talent isn’t just a numbers game.
We all know there’s plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to hiring talent, but do we really want to spend hours trawling the ocean? Cold email response rates are around 15% on average, and even when four emails are fired out, only 35% of prospects tend to reply. As this data from Gem shows, in a typical company only 1 in every 583 contacted candidates actually lands a job. Clearly, a more targeted approach to identifying talent could save a lot of time and energy.
It’s worth taking a step back and looking at where your hires are most reliably coming from. As the below shows, most new hires come through applications – more than double the amount of the next most likely route (employer-led sourcing). Agency hires are the next most likely avenue, but referred candidates cut a lowly figure at the bottom of the list.
But what does a healthy hiring funnel look like? You may wish to set your hiring team a target of having 35% of hires from referrals – this is both sustainable and realistic. There’s nothing to stop you reaching for the stars and hitting 100% referrals, but it may be tricky to build a team without also hiring through conventional sourcing and applications. One thing’s for sure: the hiring managers can’t do it all by themselves, so it’s important to foster a mentality where everyone’s a recruiter. Check out our guide on creative ideas to boost referrals.
When you fire out a blanket email, it’s important to remember that your correspondence will be read by a real person. While automation is part and parcel of an effective recruitment process, you don’t want to be sending emails that feel like they’re written by R2-D2. Your organisational culture matters, both in terms of your candidates’ values, and whether your existing employees are happy to advocate for you. Don’t spoil all that hard work by bombarding candidates with a bucketload of badly written emails. A genuine referral culture should never feel forced, and employee referral apps like Intrro can make those introductions through your employee network feel natural and smooth.
Hiring by volume also means there can be a tendency to filter out candidates based on simple immovable facts, like whether they’re a university graduate, or their qualifications on paper. There are better ways of determining whether someone is a good match for your company – namely, first-hand referrals from the people who know them best. If you want to build an organisation that embraces diversity and talent from all walks of life, there is so much more to consider in a candidate than a simple ‘computer says no’.
Numbers matter, but a targeted approach to hiring talent can save you time and stress. Through tools like Intrro, you can get your employees involved in your hiring process, and listen to their verdict on the most promising leads in their network. So if your recruitment strategy involves launching an avalanche of emails on an unsuspecting public, maybe it’s time to think again.
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