Job Application Statistics

Monday, August 31st, 2009 - career management, career transition, Job Advert, Job Application, job hunting, job search, professionalism, recruitment

Job Application Statistics

Today, I want to show you a chart I hope as a Job Seeker or someone undertaking a Job Search that you will never forget when completing a Job Application. Why? Because every day this chart shocks me, and its why as a recruitment company we came into the Job Applicant side of the employment business.

The chart has four columns, showing typical statistics of four types of recruitment:

  • Recruitment – the traditional type, where adverts are found via newspapers and company sources, or via High Street recruiters
  • Recruitment via Job Boards – the modern method of job search, powered by the Jobs Boards
  • Executive Search – the executive and professional system of job hunting, where recruiters and employers HR Professionals take a brief and go find someone
  • Head Hunting – the upper echelons of the world of recruitment, where global companies pay to find the best CEO’s and Directors to fill their corporate boardroom

Read the Job Advert

The first thing that always shocks me about this chart is the early stage drop-off rate. This is centred on the top two lines, showing how many Job Applicants after filling out a Job Application Form are dropped or eliminated from the process. In the right hand side of the chart, it can be as low as 50% of the applicants or discovered potential people, while on the left hand side it can be as high as 4 out of every 5 job applicants. What also shocks me is the change between traditional recruitment, and that powered via Job Boards: why would this be, they still use the same process just based on a different medium?

My personal view is, that the electronic environment of Online Job Applications does two things to the Job Application process:

  • Candidates read less about the required skills in the job, and more about the headlines. As they lose nothing and its costs them nothing to Click To Apply, what do they lose?
  • Recruiters and HR Professionals see the lack of appropriate skills of many of these Job Applicants, but also don’t lose anything by clicking to reject

My personal lesson then from this difference is that human contact makes a difference in a Job Application. Hence, to improve your job application to interview statistics in the greatest way, you need to get closer to the end decision maker, the operational hiring manger, before making a job application decision. Simply, that’s what happens on the right hand side of the chart to improve those statistics.

Check your CV

The second lesson from this part of the chart, is that having communicated your suitable skills to the recruiter or HR Professional via your Professional CV, that you chances of elimination from the process reduce greatly. If you are not getting enough interviews therefore, the problem is either in the jobs your are choosing to apply for, or the lack of communication in your CV. Use your rejection from this early stage to understand which, or use our Free CV Review service for our feedback.

Check the Culture

After this point, the chart shows what an HR Professional would call a “normal” drop off in each stage, with half of the job applicants dropping out until one or some are chosen for employment.

However, now the second part of the statistical analysis shows the post-employment drop off rate, which is known by all HR Professionals. This is at a rate of 10% after the first month, 15% after the first three months, and 20% after the first year. Why is this? Simply, having proven their skills suitable for that particular company, the new employees find that either they don’t fit in with the culture of the organisation, or have greater career ambitions that that organisation can provide.

If you note from the right hand column of the chart, this rate is reduced in the Head Hunting process. This is because head hunters not only check skills fit, they check cultural match and career ambition of any candidates they put forward. So, if you want to avoid getting involved with an employer where you are likely to leave at an early stage, or waste time through “just applying” to find that that wasn’t what you wanted to do, undertake cultural and social research on the organisation beyond the simple commercial research. Using these questions via networking are a successful way to approach existing employees and gain invaluable Informational Interviews to improve your other job search statistics.

So if you want to improve your Job Application statistics, do your research, and get close to the hiring manger.

Good Luck!


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