What You Need to Know About Unsuccessful Recruitment and Ways to Improve Your Hiring Success Rate

by Angela Griffiths

Large companies have many processes. However, it is surprising to know that a recruitment process alone has a 50% failure rate. This rate is applicable to all job levels and types. From each hiring failure, it is easy to understand how much money and productivity are lost and how it impacts a business negatively.

Unfortunately, most businesses do not have much money and time to recruit new people. Therefore, knowing how to improve the effectiveness of your hiring process can be crucial in improving the efficiency and productivity of an organization. Continue reading to understand better unsuccessful recruitment and how you can boost your hiring success rate.

Understanding the Unsuccessful Recruitment Rate

Six Sigma is a common business process which means a bit higher than 3 mistakes happen every million attempts. The range of failure rate in various job levels is as low as 40% and as high as 82%. This means there is an average of 500,000 errors in every million candidates hired. Many things will be questioned in a business’ production, marketing, product design, and customer if there is a failure rate as close to this. This is how seriously bad hiring can affect a corporation.

Causes of High Recruitment Failure Rates

Here are some of the common reasons for high recruitment failure rates:

  • Not Measuring the Cost of Bad Hiring

Managers at different levels will only want to take action if they see that revenue is affected. Therefore, if they figure out that the expense of bad hiring can amount to thrice the salary for that position, they would want changes. That is because if bad hires start interacting with clients, it can cost even more for the company.

  • Not Having a Scientific Design Process

Most recruitment processes of companies are made based on intuition or previous practices. It is not common for hiring processes to be designed based on fundamentals and correlation data. Information from this data can forecast the success of a job posting accurately. There is likely no improvement in recruitment if there are no business redesigning principles.

  • Making Decisions Based on Intuition Rather than Data

Most companies rely on their intuition when making decisions related to recruitment processes. Although recruitment managers are presented with data, they rarely use this.

  • Messy Process Updates

Many recruitment processes are not restructured periodically based on business process redesigning principles. What is done is that components are added, removed, or changed individually. This frequently happens where there is a new client or a major issue.

  • Not Measuring the Quality of Hires and the Failure Rates

Even though this is fundamental in businesses, only a few companies systematically measure and report failure rates in their processes. Root cause analysis cannot be used if hiring failures are not monitored. This analysis can determine and repair the issues related to hiring failures.

Because most recruitment processes do not quantify the quality of their hires, such as the performance of newly-hired employees, they do not know how hiring them contributes to the company’s success.

  • HR Not Being Data-Driven

In HR, there are very limited things that are data-driven. It is puzzling that hiring and other recruitment processes in HR are not data-driven. The HR department itself should be proactive in making these processes data-driven.

Ways to Boost Hiring Success Rate

Suppose you realize that your company has a high unsuccessful recruitment rate. In that case, the following tips might be helpful for you:

  • Use an ATS

An ATS or applicant tracking system is the most crucial component to have an effective recruitment process. An ATS allows you to monitor applicants from the time of application until offering letters. Communications are also automated, so qualified candidates are not neglected.

The more important function of an ATS is that you can determine where most of the applicants come from. You can know if they were from social media, job advertisements, or career pages. This information can help you know which job postings are the most effective and good supplemental data to improve your recruitment success rate.

  • Indicate the Requirements in Your Job Descriptions

According to studies, there are fewer chances of women applying for a job if they see that they do not meet all the requirements needed. However, men will apply for a job if they see that they reach 60% of the criteria. Therefore, some might be hesitant to apply when you include unimportant information such as certifications your company is willing to provide or secondary tasks.

This can result in taking a long time in your recruitment, resulting in more resources and time utilized. Aside from that, a limited candidate pool will make it more difficult for you to find a team that best represents your company and the clients you serve. That is why it is best to make your job descriptions more effective to increase the quality and range of candidates.

  • Give Importance in Communicating with Candidates

Applicants will be turned off to pursue their application with your company if you leave them hanging. Therefore, it is important to keep your communication lines open with them in the entire hiring process. This can be as simple as notifying them that there are no updates yet about their applications.

Qualified candidates likely have offers from other companies. If they do not hear from you or do not know when to get updates about their application, you cannot expect them to wait for a long time. Considering the candidates by updating them is a way to keep them and prevent you from having to look for applicants again.

  • Rely on Your Current People

You can seek assistance from your current employees when you are looking for people to fill up new positions without spending much. Here are some methods to increase the engagement of your existing members in your recruitment:

  • Trying to Hire Internally

Before posting a job advertisement or asking current employees if they have someone to recommend, you can check your current employee roster to see if there are qualified people and do internal hiring. Hiring internally is good because that person already knows the members and the company and can contribute positively to the company’s culture. Moreover, this also lightens the onboarding process for external hires.

When you offer job opportunities to current employees before you recruit from the outside, this gives them the impression that you give importance to them and their professional growth. Aside from improving engagement, this also helps in decreasing turnover in other positions.

  • Create a Referral Program

You can motivate employees to recommend people they know by having a referral program. It is also recommended to be creative in incentivizing your people when they successfully refer someone. Monetary incentives are common. Nevertheless, they can be more enticed if you give something related to experiences such as a quick getaway.

Considering this, you need to have guidelines on when and when the incentives will be given. Waiting for a few months from the date the referral was hired to incentivize the employee is standard. This also guarantees that employees are rewarded when they refer qualified people.

  • Influence Your People to Be Recruiters

Because you have good members, there are higher chances that they can bring good people to your company. You can influence them to recruit people through their social media. You can make a recruitment brand and provide them with a copy. It does not need to be polished professionally, but what is more important is that it is engaging. You can ask them to post on their accounts. This can boost the number of applications from qualified people to build your talent recruitment pool.

  • Find and Connect with Qualified Candidates
Ways to Improve Your Hiring Success Rate

Deciding where to find applicants is challenging. You can likely find qualified candidates on social media if you are looking for young adults. On the other hand, if you opt to hire more experienced candidates, you might likely find them on traditional recruitment methods such as job advertisements. Whatever method you choose, if you do not utilize the right recruitment tools, you will be wasting resources and time.

You can find ideal applicants faster if you know what avenues to pursue. What you need to know first is where you want your preferred applicants are before you launch your recruitment methods. Concentrating on using the appropriate recruitment tools rather than using them all will give you better candidates and lessen the amount of work needed to get them on board.

  • Integrate Your Interview Practice

Your company’s recruitment team is qualified and capable of recruiting and interviewing applicants. Recruitment managers need to know how the interview process goes since they will likely work closely with qualified applicants. They also need to know ethical interview practices and legal conditions on top of properly evaluating applicants.

You can make a standardized applicant assessment template in every role you are trying to fill up. You can talk with recruitment managers before you start recruiting to create a persona of candidates. You can determine the responsibilities expected for the position and what kind of person they want to be in the position.

After that, you can make questions that can determine if the candidates have the qualities they want. For instance, you can ask candidates what they did to get something they badly want if they want an aggressive salesperson. Using this method, you consistently ask the right questions to your candidates.

Together with interview training, you can save time from recruiting and lessen the lost productivity because of the long interview process. This also makes it easier to decide who the right people are for the job.

  • Demonstrate Your Company Culture

A company culture shows the personality of your business. Therefore, it is an important element in your recruitment process. Most job seekers give priority to this when they apply for a job. Since they give importance to the workplace and the job, showcasing your company culture gives applicants the impression that you are a business and a community. As a result, it can play a role in improving your hiring success rate.

You can do this by including the vision and mission, employee spotlights, and core values of your company on your website. When you share your company culture, you can help candidates realize what their experience is like in your company, making it easy to find qualified people.

Another way you can do this is to impart testimonials from employees to promote your company culture and job vacancies. For instance, if you are looking for a training officer, you can ask a member of the training team their thoughts about working in their department and how your company helps them grow in their profession.

  • Improve Your Employer Brand Technique

An employer brand is your company’s reputation as a recruiter. Therefore, this is how applicants and people, in general, perceive your brand. You can affect their opinions about your company even though you cannot control their perceptions. What you need to do first is to make your employee value scheme which is effective in pitching job vacancies to prospective applicants.

You will also want to make updates on existing public content and make new promotional materials to represent your brand. Since the employer brand is what applicants look for companies first, you need to showcase your company accurately and make sure it stands out. An influential and positive employer brand can help you attract qualified candidates and impress applicants who are currently in your pool.


Finally, you better understand high recruitment failure and what you can do to improve your company’s recruitment success rate. Unfortunately, many companies do not measure new hire failure rates, how their new hires perform, and their quality of work.

Calculating the recruiting expenses is recommended. That is because recruitment is all about the money, similar to other business aspects. Making improvements in your recruitment success rate is a challenge, but it does not mean that it is impossible to do. What you need to do is take advantage of the resources you have and have concrete and reliable data to make better decisions.

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