How to Compete Against 6,750 Job Applications in the Hiring Process

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Working in the world of human resources and recruiting is NOT easy. It’s challenging but never boring as I navigate a sea of candidate questions, employee closed door meetings, corralling managers all while wrapping my arms around the bigger picture, how what I do translate into savings and value for the business I support with a little compliance sprinkled in for good measure. It’s Monday and I’m exhausted already.

Understanding the Hiring and Recruiting Process

Because our roles in corporate HR and recruiting are so complex, it’s nice when there’s a visual aid to help simplify what it is we do for the non-HR types who ask me about my day just to make them feel better about their own. You know the types. They are the guy or gal that leads with, “So tell me about the weirdest person that you fired last week?”  My response if I’m feeling sassy is always, “I don’t fire employees. They fire themselves.” Contrary to some of my HR curious friends, I don’t work in recruiting and hiring solely for your entertainment. I do it because it’s an industry and role that is critically important to the success of the business. The good HR stories are merely an added benefit.

The infographic RecruiterBox shown below provides a simple visual way to communicate how complex the recruiting and hiring process is. Here are some of my takeaways:

  •  The hiring process involves 4-5 steps. Factor 1-2 weeks to complete each step, and you are looking at 4-10 weeks of managing the task of a single hire. 
  • While job aggregators are the best way to attract qualified candidates, the worst job advertising methods involve old and cold databases. In short, don’t buy them. Reminds me of a common unfortunate marketing practice of buying email lists to sell your HR Technology. That’s not how to sell to HR. Reminds me. I have a handful of spammy salesy human resources emails I have to delete.
  • For job seekers, the number of interviews you will endure before receiving an offer for a position varies depending on your role. More senior positions should expect 4-5 interviews with more entry level roles having 1-2 interviews. To calculate the length of an average job search, take the first number of your annual salary to determine the number of months. (Example: $80,000 = 8 months) Candidates with higher salary requirements have more specific skills and qualifications that require a longer interview cost because companies are making an increased investment.
  • Fifty candidates equal one hire and recruiters are looking for less candidates that are higher quality. As mentioned above, I don’t have time to comb through 500 resumes for a single job opening especially when the average recruiter is handling between 4 and 135 job opening requisitions. That translates between 200 and 6,750 applications from candidates with each requisition taking 10 weeks to fill.

Snag a free copy of my free job search toolkit by clicking here


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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