How Many Job Seekers to Make a Hire?


That’s the number of people it takes to get from the top of the funnel to a hire.

After 10 million applications from 50 million job seeking visitors over the last decade, recruiting-technology-provider Jobvite has drawn some broad conclusions about numbers. Chief among them is that only 11 percent of the visitors to your career site will apply. As of 2014, you’ll average 59 applications per job.

The percentages get smaller as the funnel narrows, until you end up with a hire. From top to bottom, the average is 0.2 percent. In other words, to get someone in the door, you need 536 visitors for every job posting.

Keep in mind these are averages compiled from Jobvite customers. Calling them industry benchmarks, as Jobvite does, might be overstating the case. However, they do offer insights into job marketing and provide at least some yardstick against which to measure your own recruiting efforts. Expect your mileage to vary. If it varies dramatically, you need to investigate why.

Besides the broad funnel averages, the data Jobvite compiled — which will eventually be posted on the company blog — breaks down the date by company size. Small companies (up to 250 employees) need an average of 62 apps per req to make a hire. They generally interview more candidates and make fewer offers.

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Jobvite funnel by size rescaledAt the largest companies (over 5,000 employees) they get fewer applications, and interview fewer candidates, but make more offers; about one-in-five candidates interviewed get an offer.

It’s a good guess that larger companies make more offers because when you have 2,500 or more employees, you have more openings. The offer may not necessarily be for the same job for which the candidate interviewed.

Another of the data points that Jobvite shared was the source of hire and source of application data. Job boards and career sites produced 77 percent of the applicants for jobs. But referrals, not unexpectedly, produced 37 percent of the hires. Career sites produced 22 percent and job boards yielded 17 percent.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.