6 innovative ways to increase your candidate conversion rate

Candidate conversion ratio is a key metric that most organisations track closely. It helps measure the effectiveness of an organisation’s hiring processes and is also directly linked to organisational performance. A low candidate conversion ratio can indicate issues such as latency or bottlenecks in hiring processes, ineffective employer branding, the quality of ads or messaging or channels used, and the quality of JD content (whether misleading or incomplete). However, if the number and quality of applicants are reasonably good, even a low candidate conversion ratio can be effective. Organisations will not know what went wrong unless they track this metric.

Recent industry trends indicate an increase in the offer decline ratio, which directly impacts the candidate conversion metric. This could be due to multiple market scenarios. With most organisations following a healthy hiring plan, there is an uptick in opportunities in the market. The top candidates will evaluate multiple job opportunities and finally choose the best. This pattern leads to a scenario where the candidates have more than one offer in hand and only one organisation gains in the end. Virtual employer interactions allow candidates the flexibility to appear for many interviews without travelling. Further, unless organisations implement measures to ensure otherwise, remote working is effectively reducing organisational bonding. Loyalty norms are also changing compared to the earlier generation of employees who used to stay for decades at a company. Above all, there is a need for effective employer branding to sustain the various uncertainty factors affecting the market. 

Often, when organisations brainstorm on how to improve the offer to joining conversions, the measures implemented impact the hiring quality negatively. This problem only compounds with volume hiring, where even the most careful strategies can go wrong. Indeed, the worst recruiter experience is a no-show on a joining day, when you realise the whole effort has come to naught. Thus, there is a critical need for organisations to focus on improving their candidate conversion ratio to optimum levels through carefully considered methods. Here, we look at six innovative ways to increase your candidate conversion rate.

  • Focus on candidate experience:

Candidate experience is one crucial area that all organisations must prioritise to improve candidate conversion ratio. Whether or not the candidate gets hired, the hiring process creates a brand impression for life. Good quality candidates will almost always have multiple choices to pick from. Unless you streamline your complete hiring process to remove all friction points and provide some personalised experiences, the best candidates will move away. Refine your processes to make them seamless and user-friendly and remove all possible lags. Candidate surveys have indicated that mandatory registration even to browse job listings on websites is acting as a deterrent. Another insight from a similar study indicates that career pages do not render well on mobile devices. Optimise your career pages to ensure that they render right on all devices; remember, most candidates search and access only through mobile devices.

Opting for automation tools is one way to ensure a smooth hiring experience. Carefully consider the ads, social media messages and emails to ensure that they consistently convey the right message. Create appealing JDs that give a sense of confidence to candidates about the work. Keep the engagement constant till you complete the onboarding process. Ensure that virtual onboarding and new hire experiences give them the right vibes and that they feel welcome. New hires should feel wanted and special, and have a positive impression about your brand. In short, create an exceptional candidate experience.


  • Invest in automation tools:

Given the immense value-add that automation tools provide, they have almost become the norm in the hiring industry. Not only do these tools help improve the process but they also help create superior candidate experiences. Automation brings down the hiring cycle time, improves efficiency and quality of hires and streamlines processes. It also helps maintain the morale of the hiring team, thanks to the reduced friction and chaos. It improves productivity by saving valuable time for the hiring team through various means, such as automated reminders, alerts and messages or 24*7 chatbots that ensure nothing gets missed.

Online assessments ensure a wider reach and bias-free selections. Automated interview scheduling and video interviews via AI-based live proctoring platforms are powerful tools to improve the candidate conversion ratio. They collect valuable data that can provide insights to improve the process overall.

  • Enhance social media presence:

To hire the best talent, you need to be out where the best is. Industry reports indicate it is on social media that you can find the best talent these days. Some industry studies quote up to 79 per cent of job seekers as claiming to use social media in their job search. They also research the company and its work culture on social media before applying or accepting an offer. They follow brands on social media and pay attention to the messaging. 

There is a need to ensure constant positive engagement with this audience and get your branding right. Create engaging content that appeals to them and compels them to share it with their circle. Also, make your careers page easy to navigate, search and apply for jobs. An impactful social media presence becomes your branding and networking tool; it increases your reach and reputation.



  • Widen the sourcing strategies:

If you restrict your initial sourcing channels, it could affect your conversion rates unless there are credible insights guiding the narrowing. Often, biases and stereotypes creep into the sourcing and initial screening process. Picking candidates only from certain premier institutes or those who have worked in big companies, etc., may be stereotyped and you could lose quality talent. Use automation tools for resume screening to help remove biases and widen your pool. Use employee referrals to get credible candidates; market your open positions in the channels that see good traction, especially on social media. For example, you could choose to sponsor some relevant industry events or your top leaders could participate in webinars that have a wide audience. These could be done to attract specific target categories of candidates. Request your employees to share open positions across their social media channels and networks. Following these tips can help improve the sourcing numbers and quality.

  • Tap passive candidates:

Industry insiders often mention that a good percentage of professionals worldwide is passive talent. In India, passive talent recruitment does happen, though, few hiring teams make concerted efforts to reach out to them. Passive candidates are a credible and quality talent pool waiting for the right opportunity to make a move. They are satisfied where they are but are always open to discussions about career growth or change. You won’t find them actively reaching out to employers, searching through job listings or making any proactive career moves. Hiring teams need to have strategies aimed specifically at this vast pool of candidates. Such an approach can have a measurable positive impact on the conversion ratio with quality. You will find passive candidates through employee referrals, on past databases and in personal or professional networks.

  • Make data-driven decisions:

One of the critical advantages of automation tools is the humongous amount of data and the AI-backed analytics at your disposal. These days, most tools allow you to customise the various recruitment metrics that you want to track and measure. Identify the key metrics your organisation needs to track, keep evaluating these and use them to drive your decisions. Always understand the data and figure out new insights that can be gained from it. Use it to strategise your hiring processes. This step is essential as most hiring operations have now gone remote.


Many of the points mentioned above are inter-linked. For example, automation tools can help with data analytics and remove friction from the process to create better candidate experiences. Social media helps with better candidate sourcing and strong employer branding. It is also a credible channel to find passive candidates. Targetting passive candidates can help widen your sourcing, which improves conversion ratios. Thus, individually and collectively, these inputs help improve the candidate conversion ratio without compromising on the quality of hire. They should be included in a recruiter’s strategy manual to achieve better results.