Realistic response rates in direct applications

Did you know that…
…70% of decision makers reply to unsolicited CVs?
…83% of headhunters schedule interviews with candidates that are actively looking for a job?
…92% of networking contacts eagerly help with job hunting tips and market insights?
…64% of candidates receive a reply from online job ads?

Of course not! Don’t believe in fairy tales.

Looking for a job requires:
1) extremely well-prepared documents and texts
2) activating correctly the right channels (as a reminder, these are: network, 60-90 companies, 30-40 headhunters per country, online job ads)
3) being thoroughly systematic

If the above is done meticulously, you may expect a so-called response rate of 30-50%. We define response rate as a reaction from somebody – e.g. the person themselves, an assistant, HR – after both the 1st and a follow-up email within 7-10 days.

These response rates DO NOT apply in the following cases:

  • executives wanting to work for portfolio companies of PE/VC. Here our experience has been that the response rate can be anywhere from almost 0-100%, without any statistical indication of the reasons or common factors behind it
  • experienced managers contacting headhunters in France in English (especially if they do speak French)
  • experienced managers contacting headhunters in DACH in English (especially if they do speak German)
  • experienced managers contacting headhunters in markets they have no experience in, especially in the UK, US or the Middle East
  • and obviously when there are mistakes in the points 1) – 3)
  • in markets that are in a crisis

Do you want to know which job hunting channels are the most effective ones? Read our Job Hunting Report 2016.

Are your response rates below 30%? Contact us to find out what can be improved by scheduling a complimentary career consultation with one of our Career Angels.