Study: 3 Touchpoints Required to Source Candidates

A New Study by ATS provider Lever Shows from over 135,000 Sourced Candidates Shows New Recruiting Trends Including Which Roles Are Most Receptive To Recruiter Cold Contact

In today’s competitive hiring environment, it takes three touchpoints to earn a candidate response to cold outreach, according to a new study from Lever, the recruiting software for more than 1,500 fast-growing companies around the world. Lever examined communication between 135,000 sourced candidates and recruiters in Lever Nurture and found that consistent follow-up was vital for hiring success. Just under 50 percent of candidate responses come in after the first outreach, while a further 35 percent come in after two emails (84.7 percent) and three candidate touches earn almost 100 percent of responses.

“The best hires aren’t always the easiest to find. Today’s competitive hiring climate requires companies to be proactive and patient in order to find and recruit the best candidates,” said Sarah Nahm, CEO, Lever. “To succeed in sourcing and hiring passive candidates, it’s vital to nurture them through consistent, compelling, and most importantly, personalized contact.”

The study also examined the types of candidate roles most receptive to proactive candidate sourcing via Lever Nurture. Engineers had the lowest response rate to cold outreach at 35 percent, with sales candidates coming in just below with a response rate of 41 percent. This is likely due to sales and engineering candidates being in high demand, and often the recipients of weekly recruiter contact. Design candidates, on the other hand, were most responsive to cold outreach, with 59 percent responding.

“We’ve found that sourcing passive prospects, in the end, costs one fourth of the acquisition cost of active channels,” said Jer Langhans, Co-founder & Principal Growth Hacker, Paired Sourcing, LLC. “You’re not going to get pivotal talent to just walk in the door without spending even more on passive channels than active ones.”

Lastly, Lever’s research found that brand may be less important than one might think in eliciting a response from cold outreach. Companies with more than 1,000 employees saw an average response rate of 44.7 percent using Lever Nurture, roughly three percent higher than smaller companies, likely due to stronger brand recognition – but companies with as few as 50 employees were seen to average a response rate of over 41 percent using Lever Nurture.

This relatively small discrepancy shows company size or brand is not the driving factor for response rate. Crafting great content for the outreach is critical.

The full report, entitled “The Science of Sourcing: Benchmarks for Recruiting Success” is available for download here.

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