Choose Quality Over Quantity

Do Your Recruiting Methods Prioritize Quantity or Quality?

How many job applicants does it take to fill a position? It really only takes one! The challenge, as HR and recruiting professionals understand all too well, is finding that one qualified, enthusiastic candidate as quickly and efficiently as possible.

As companies struggle to compete for talent in today’s increasingly competitive market, record low unemployment can often prompt them to cast a wider net in search of that elusive near-perfect fit. What if, instead of spending time and money searching high and low, companies could invest in an approach that favors quality over quantity? Let’s take a look at a few recruiting mindsets that can lead to lower quality applicants and identify the methods that favor quality and experience.

Struggling with the Status Quo

In their Modern Measures of Success in Talent Acquisition study, Lighthouse research & advisory found that “nearly every company said that quality of hire was the most important metric for evaluating recruiting success.” That’s not too surprising – after all, a quality hire is the ultimate goal in every recruiting scenario. However, this search for qualified candidates has a way of becoming compromised by other variables like time and money. As a result, many recruiting teams begin to seek larger quantities of applicants instead of the one quality hire they need.

“Over time, we’ve been conditioned to think that more is better,” Lighthouse writes, “However, in positions that require additional skills, experience, or competencies, the element of quality is much more important. It’s better to have one qualified individual than one hundred that are not.” While it may feel momentarily reassuring to see a full pipeline of applicants, if they don’t have the experience or qualifications needed then recruiters have created a lot of work with very little payoff.

[Related Insight: The JobShakers Strategy for Attracting Exceptional Employees]

Dismantling the Argument for Quantity Recruiting

First, let’s look at a few of the methods recruiters fall back on when quantity concerns take over – job boards and career sites. These platforms have been part of the status quo in hiring for decades, so it’s not a surprise that they’re popular options for panicked, overworked recruiters. However, it also shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve become outdated and inefficient.

In a long-term study of various hiring platforms, it was discovered that job board postings led to almost 43% of initial applicants but less than 15% of eventual hires. Career sites performed slightly better, leading to 32% of overall applicants and resulting in 21% of hires, an improved quality/quantity balance over job boards. However, neither method provides the kind of results recruiters need. If you’re looking for a lot of applicants, job boards and career sites can get you there. If you’re looking for the right person to fill a job, they’re a long shot.

So why do recruiters turn to these inefficient platforms again and again? The pressures of time, cost, and turnover. But if we look closely at each, we can see the cracks in logic emerging.


When time is of the essence (and isn’t it always?), it may seem that a larger pool of applicants will provide greater opportunity to find the right fit. Unfortunately, what it often provides is a lot of paperwork, back and forth communication, and vetting – which require a lot of time. A more targeted, quality focused approach may take a bit longer at the outset, but will pay off with a quicker, better result.


It may seem like recruiters save money when they utilize job boards and career sites, but focusing on quantity over quality costs them a lot of time. And when positions are left unfilled and HR and recruiters can’t move on to their next project, money begins to fly out the window. Just as with time, a slightly larger initial investment that leads to a better resolution is worth it every time.


When employee turnover is creating open positions faster than recruiters can fill them, it’s understandable that they react by soliciting a larger pool of talent. However, filling those positions too quickly or with unqualified candidates just leads to more turnover, as employees who aren’t a good fit will decide to move on. A proactive employee retention strategy must include hiring quality talent.

[Related Insight: Is Your Retention Plan Missing this Important Piece?]

A Quality-Based Approach

In the same hiring study cited above, the strongest quantity to quality balance was achieved through employee referral programs. While they are currently an underused resource, accounting for only about 7% of applicants during the course of this study, that same 7% accounted for an incredible 39.9% of eventual hires. That’s right, a smaller candidate pool resulted in the highest percentage of job placements due to a focus on quality over quantity.

JobShakers’ employee referral program solution makes it easy for HR and recruiters to build a program that provides the results they need. By prioritizing quality applicants, it enables companies to fill positions quickly with qualified, culture-matched candidates.

If you’re ready to replace quantity with quality and save time and money in the process, contact us today to learn more!

By |2017-08-14T14:48:58+00:00August 14th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

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