The 50/50 Recruiting Ratio

The 50/50 Recruiting Ratio

Breaking news! Hiring is really hard right now. Tight labor market, inflation, unemployment benefits, post covid expectations have shifted, etc.

Let’s not waste time on why it’s tough or have a pity party. This post is all about pointers for how to get more candidates to apply, and how to improve your hiring process.

Common mistakes I see small business owners make:


  • Not getting enough candidates in the top of the funnel
  • Rushing the interview process
  • Falling in love on the first date, aka the first phone call
  • Settling for a mediocre hire because we didn’t have many options
  • Filtering too hard
  • Becoming jaded and telling a story ‘nobody wants to work’

The sooner we embrace the fact that the right recruiting ratio is 50% marketing the role, and 50% filtering candidates – the sooner we’re on our way to hiring a great team member. 

How to fill the candidate funnel:

  • Check your mindset at the door!
    • We’re going to invest the time, we’re committing to the process, we’ve got a great opportunity. Vs “gosh its hard, I hope I find a unicorn, nobody wants to work these days.” 
  • Write a description with personality
  • Write a description that sells against what they don’t want
    • i.e. our accounting firm believes in shutting the laptop at 5pm, not 80 hour weeks in tax season
  • Be RESPONSIVE and quick on job boards
    • Emailing through indeed might not be enough. Call them! 
  • Put on your sales cape….the first half of SMB recruiting you’re selling them 
  • Get a LOT of candidates in the top of the funnel
  • Get referrals from current team members and your network
  • Pay $500-1000 finders fees
  • Always have a careers page on your website
  • Don’t put gates up until you have candidate flow
    • Your personality assessment or skills test can wait until after first call
  • Use VideoAsk if they’re customer facing
    • I’ve become a huge fan of this tool lately for sales and customer service roles. In 90 seconds you can see if someone communicates well and can navigate technology, versus investing in an initial 20-30 minute call. And it can still feel personal to them with seeing a recording of the owner talking about the role.
  • Post the pay if you’re low or mid range
    • Saves everyone time, keeps over qualified people out
  • Post on social 
  • Raise prices so you can afford to pay more
  • Sell the vision in the first call 
If you commit to thorough recruiting process and get enough candidates, the returns are massive. So invest the time and energy and you’ll be able to hire top talent. 

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Jay Jay

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