Few Recruiter Messages Get Returned the Same Day – Or Ever

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May 13, 2013

If you rarely get a same day call back from a candidate or a client, it’s not you. Less than 5% of recruiters report getting their calls returned the same day.

Count yourself lucky is you get your calls returned at all. One survey by a messaging service said only 33% even listen to messages from business contacts. From numbers they don’t recognize, a mere 18% will listen.

That doesn’t mean they bother to return them. Some surveys of cold-call response rates found that one-in-twenty messages will get a response. The longer the message, the lower that response rate goes. Improving the call back percentage, even by only a few points, can make a big difference in client acquisition. Improving both the number of calls in which you actually speak with a live person, as well as improving the percentage of call backs is the key part of Jim Domanski’s session at the upcoming Fordyce Forum.

The recruiter call back survey, conducted by the Top Echelon Network, found that the majority of recruiters, get called back the same day they leave a message less than half the time. Almost a third say they get called back the same day, less than 25% of the time.

“People don’t respond to voicemail as much as they used to, plain and simple,” says Matt Deutsch, communications coordinator for Top Echelon. “With the advent of texting in conjunction with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, voicemail is becoming more and more outdated.

“For many recruiters, when they leave a voicemail for a client or candidate, they almost expect that it won’t be answered until the next day, at the earliest, and in some cases, they plan for that contingency. We’re in the midst of an evolution of communication, and voicemail’s role in that evolution—and in the future of recruiting—is very much uncertain.”

In reality, though, the average response time to all emails is 2.5 days. However, 56% of the responses come within an hour; 89% come with a day.

Few, though ever even get a response. The Direct Marketing Association’s 2012 survey of response rates says email gets a .12% response rate. Telemarketing to a list has an 8.21% rate. But these numbers need some explaining. A response rate here means only that some action was taken. For email, the DMA uses clickthrough rates to determine response. For the phone, only a direct contact is counted; messages generally don’t get left.

Furthermore, the DMA data is more concerned with the conversion rate; that is the percentage of each form of communication that results in a sale. Telemarketing has a higher conversion rate, but it has among the lowest ROIs of the various media tracked. Email had among the highest.

Help us gather some recruiting-specific data. Take the poll here — it is entirely anonymous. As you respond to the questions, consider only cold calls you make to potential clients and candidates. Once you’ve voted, you can see the results.

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