Spend six minutes in sales and you will hear that selling is a numbers game. You need to speak to a certain number of people each day and keep the pipeline or funnel full as prospects will leak out. A contact becomes a prospect and goes through the process until a sale is made or the prospect is written off and eliminated from the call list.
A job search shares a lot in common. The product being sold is the job seeker. The prospects are the potential employers that might hire the candidate. Simple stuff.
I spoke with a person recently whose story had me thinking about this. She had applied to over 200 jobs and had six or seven phone interviews, and not a single face-to-face interview or anything else beyond TBNT (thanks, but no thanks). Here are some points to consider about these numbers and what might be wrong.
Applications to Phone Screens Ratio: The APS ration is what percentage of your applications are generating calls. If the number is low (6 for 200 qualifies), there might be a problem. What does the résumé look like? Does it have obvious defects? Are there obstacles in the candidate’s career history that need to be handled more effectively? Second, is the candidate applying for jobs that s/he is not qualified for or for which the résumé needs an adjustment? It is more work to customize the résumé for every job, but it’s worth it.
Phone Screen to Face-to-Face Ratios: The P-to-F ratio (yes, I am making this up) is critical. Most phone screen interviews are simple and offer the candidate the advantage of being unseen by the interviewer. Notes and scripts should be ready to go and easily anticipated questions should be considered. Prepare answers. If less than half of the phone screens are resulting in interviews, it’s time for a tune up and practice.
You get the idea. Look at each point that could derail a candidacy and work to reduce the chance of a negative outcome. Notes, practice and awareness of the critical nature of each interaction can make a big difference.
Fix the leaks and land that next gig.