Recruitment funnel

How to Establish Recruitment Funnel Benchmarks

Establishing benchmarks for your recruitment funnel will make your hiring process easier.

It will, truly.

However, you’re probably wondering how to establish said benchmarks.

These should be established through what you’ve determined you need from your recruiting process. Once this determination has been made, you’ll need a way to track, organise and execute these benchmarks in your process. In doing so, you’ll save time hiring, maintain a healthy recruitment funnel in case of turnover and streamline your HR processes.

What are your objectives?

First, you’ll need to ask yourself what your department’s objectives are. For example, are you recruiting in large volume? Are you looking for specialists, or filling more open ended positions like in retail sales?

These questions will inform the type of recruitment process you’ll be using. For high-volume recruitment you’ll want to have a large pipeline to pull from. For specialist recruitment you’ll need your job advert to be posted on the right job boards attracting the right specialised candidates to keep your recruitment funnel healthy. A full pipeline will be key to saving time filling vacancies.

Rule of Three:

Next, you’ll need to understand the rule of three. The rule of three in recruitment can explain just how important your pipeline is. It will calculate roughly how many people you’ll need in your recruitment funnel at any given time. The rule of three states that for every one person you hire you need to have interviewed three people.

For example, if you want to hire three people in a six month period you’ll at least need to have interviewed nine people. With a conversion perspective (going by the rule of three) you would need 27 applicants. As you can see, this six month period can quickly seem short.

Attrition Rate:

Further, your attrition rate should be factored into your process. Your attrition rate should be measured as the number of employees that churn over a certain period of time. Without help, calculating an accurate attrition rate and preparing for its effect can be difficult.

For example, if you’re not prepared for attrition, your company can be left vulnerable with vacancies in specialty positions. This is why maintaining a healthy recruitment funnel with a predetermined amount of candidates is crucial. Without factoring in your attrition rate to your benchmarks, you’re leaving your company susceptible.

Is recruitment an art or science?

With most of these suggestions being data- and number-based, you might be wondering whether recruitment is an art or a science? The answer — it’s both.

There’s certainly science to conversion rate, attrition rate and the rule of three. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that, fundamentally, hires are humans and they will be interacting with other humans in your workplace.

Understanding all of this you’ll want to carve out benchmarks that work for your specific company and needs.

Common Recruitment Funnel Benchmarks:


1. Date Vacancy Needs to Be Filled

Knowing a specific date your vacancy needs to be filled will help you with all of your other timelines in the recruitment process. Further, it will provide urgency for your own staff along with the candidates.

2. Established Assessment Dates

Again, this will help with your timeline and keep necessary staff informed. Further it will provide urgency and structure for both your staff and candidates.

3. Determined Amount of Applicants

Keeping the rule of three in mind, you’ll want to know exactly how many applicants there are in your pipeline, so you can assess whether or not you’ll need more.

4. Amount of Candidates that Passed Online Screening Questions

Knowing how many candidates passed the online screening questions will inform the quality of your initial candidates along with how many candidates you’ll need in the future.

5. Amount of Candidates that Passed Telephone Interview

This will inform you of the amount of candidates you have that are actually going to be considered. Further, it will give you a better sense of timeline for future hires.

6. Amount of Candidates that Passed Assessment

With this knowledge you’ll know how many candidates of your pipeline you feel are actually qualified for the job. (The rule of three will likely be accurate.) This will inform decisions you make around future applicants and your recruitment funnel.

7. Amount of Candidates that Decline Offer

This number will be crucial to factor into your determined amount of applicants benchmark. If X amount of every 10 candidates decline your offer, you’ll certainly want to factor this into the amount of candidates you’ll want ready in your pipeline.

How an ATS Can Help:

As you’ve noticed, generating and managing recruitment pipeline benchmarks is no small feat. Here’s where an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help. The right ATS can generate and manage all your recruitment funnel’s benchmarks and so much more.

From automatically tracking your pipeline’s amount of candidates, to evaluating them pre-interview an ATS can streamline your recruitment process. What’s more is an ATS will find the specialised candidates that you need and manage them throughout your recruiting process. You won’t need a recruiting calendar as an ATS will be your go to platform when it comes to your recruitment process.

To learn more about ATS’ and how they can help your company, check out ‘How Do Applicant Tracking Systems Work?’


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