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What's the Right Mix of Interviews in Your Hiring Funnel?

If there is anything the insertion of technology has done in the hiring process, it's cheapen the value of each application submitted by a candidate when job hunting.  The old process used to keep a lot of people out of consideration - it took work, including printing your resume, addressing an envelope, maybe doing a cover letter and getting the whole thing out in a timely fashion.

Now, candidates can push send and send out a couple hundred resumes in an afternoon via tools like Funnel_management_resources%20 Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. 

Most of which are promptly ignored by the business world.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  Across a few thousand resume/online application submittals, here are the DAXKO stats regarding what the hiring funnel (how many resumes we receive for each position filled, etc.) looks like overall at my new company:

  • 20% of all applicants phone screened,

  • 12% interviewed,

  • 1% hired.

Too hard? Too soft? Depends?

First up, I was a little stunned that we actually phone screen 20% of all applicants and interview 12% of those candidates.  The numbers seem a little high to me, and I guarantee you that most Fortune 500s don't approach those percentages for phone screens and interviews.

But, we don't use job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, so the big boards that would drive overall volume for most companies aren't in play for us.  Which means our capacity to phone screen and interview equates into a higher percentage since the huge resume volume isn't a problem for us.

Your thoughts?  Always interesting to look at the numbers...



Seems to me that if/when the phone screening numbers get that high, it may be time to take a closer look at the screening criteria. Just a thought...

Erin M Taylor

We don't phone screen anywhere near that high of a percentage of applicants. For a recent position, we phone screened 6.25% of applicants, interviewed 3.75%.

I mean, imagine if you have 500 applicants, you wouldn't phone screen 100 and interview 60 in person (or at least, I wouldn't).

I agree with Jason, the screening criteria may be off if you're getting numbers that high.


As a staffing group that uses the big boards, our % is about half of that. We don't calculate total applicants interviewed but look at the rate at which our phone screens result in interviews and that number is about %75 for the last year. Whether a higher number (I think based on your numbers it would be 60%) is better depends on the value you place on touching more applicants I suppose, or the amount of resources you possess.

Mary Ann

I typically aim to phone screen the top 10-15 candidates and to bring the top five (or fewer) of those in for in-person interviews, regardless as to how many people actually apply for the job. It helps that we usually send out a questionnare to get a better understanding of the applicant (and their level of interest) before the phone screen.

Jason McCay

For technology positions, is it a situation where if you did not "phone screen" the applicant, did you research them on Google? Is there a consideration in those numbers for the "Google them" aspect of research?


Interesting article in the Wall street journal about this...resume overload.

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