Recruiting has a batting average of .143

This is a continuation of a series produced by Aspen Advisors on improving recruiting progressively and systematically over the next six months, in parallel with the Major League Baseball Season. 

SERIES 3:  Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals @ Nationals Park / April 16, 17, 18 and 19

WOW – the Phillies did not show up against the Mets, as NY gets a sweep on the Phillies. Hopefully the Natitude of Washington DC won’t be as powerful, although they are already 1 up on the Phils with todays win.

I am breaking the format of the last few as I did some analysis today in Pando.

So I was looking at set of data for a day – and there was about 100,000 applicants that were marked that day in this set I was analyzing. This is a BROAD group of applicants – all kinds of jobs, industries, regions, and so on. It is for multiple companies – but a strong representative set. Then I looked at ratio of how many were advanced to the hiring manager for consideration. Then how many were advanced to offers being extended.

Care to guess? Spoiler alert…85% of the applicants coming in are NOT being accepted by the manager, and 93% did NOT get an offer. If you like ratios – 7:1 on applications to accepted by hiring managers, and 15:1 on applications to offers.


What did we do to get to a point where we say NO 85% of the time? Do we post too much? Brand too much? Make the application to easy? Well…we are posting and branding like crazy, and its easy to. It may take somebody 30 to 45 minutes on average to do an application, but what do we care? We don’t take 30 minutes out of our day to go to their home and tell them “thanks for applying, but we are advancing other applicants at this time, and will keep your resume on file for future opportunities”.

One out of seven applicants being accepted by a hiring manager for further consideration is so bad it borders on offensive.

If getting a manager to want to interview somebody for an open role is equivalent to a hit in baseball – and I think that is a fair analogy – that means we have a batting average of .143. That would not hold up in any league where a bat and ball are used. The naysayers of baseball preach “the game is boring, its too slow, it has too many breaks”. Well boo on them…but can you imagine how bad it would be if the average player was hitting half as much as they are now? I wouldn’t watch it either.

Oh wait – they are watching THAT game…its called recruiting. Because we are batting a whopping .143.

The problem is this is now the game we are playing in many cases. It shifted on us – and we decided to do it directly.

Years ago in baseball, a decision was made to do more night games. More people could come to the game, owners made more money, and so did the players. It changed the game so much. Uniforms actually changed because players were not as hot. The concept of the double header was basically killed. We installed LIGHTS on the field, and kids who used to go to the ball park for the day had to stop because a responsible parent wouldn’t let a kid go out that late at night. We could also televise baseball, and make it easier for people to see it. It expanded the game, commercialized it, and then made it not as special. I think it still is, but its part of who I am, so I am biased.

We did the same thing with recruiting – we wanted to make it easier for people to see the show. So we came up with all kinds of ways to play at night, put it on TV, and make sure everyone could see the one team play another team hundreds of times a year.

Well this is when I will just waive my magic wand and make it all better by writing some blog post and tell everyone that they are awful, and they have to do better, but not tell you how.

Sorry – not my style. You can be bold and try some new things, and I will admit tracking the two metrics above will help you make some more cautious decisions about branding, posting, assessment practices, and so on. Try to get your batting average up by reducing the number of applicants deliberately. Do some segmentation and see where these numbers are really bad. You may be batting .400 in some areas, so don’t sweat those – but in your volume areas, make some outbound marketing adjustments if you can. Slow your posting, ease back on automation of Twitter and Facebook posts, and take the post down when you have a ton of applicants. I suggest a 3 day rotation of checking volume of applicants to interviews, and then pulling the post.

I am not convinced that there is a FIX for this that is fast, easy or cheap. We like our night games, and it is what people are used to now. I know, you can make lots of change and be different and better. Problem is that some of the fans (aka the candidates) – they just go to night games at another ball park.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs were the last ones to make the change to night games – finally playing their first one in 1988, 58 years after the first night game was played in professional baseball. By the way, the last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945.

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