Most companies are not able to convert even 5% of the applicants. These applicants maybe through recruitment agencies, sites like Naukri, or through company’s career pages.

Is the number true for your company too? Don’t worry, we are here to help you, so you convert more and spend less.

But why listen to us?

AirCTO is one of the few startups in India which helps solve recruitment problems. We have worked with over 100+ companies helping them to hire quality candidates.

One of the things we do is sourcing interested & qualified candidates for various positions. But there’s one big issue we face all the time. Most startups are not able to convert these applicants. This is due to common mistakes that most companies are making till date in the hiring process.

But why care about improving your application conversion rate?

There are several reasons why you should focus on improving this number. Here are few of them-

Competition for Talent is Rising

In a recent article published in Quartz stated -

“As unemployment falls, competition for talent rises”

The competition for talent is rising. Job openings are on the rise in different parts of the world. A recent survey found that 36% of organizations around the world reported a shortage in talent, the highest rate seen in over seven years.

The main reason why most positions are open (as per recruiters), is because most applicants lack the essential skills required for the job. This means that the demand for quality candidates is more than ever.

Cutting down on the Recruitment Cost

A study from Bersin by Deloitte found that the recruitment cost per hire worked out to about $4000 in 2014 (for the USA). So as a rough estimate, that works out to about $247.2 billion in recruitment costs.

Dr. Vishal Sangale (a Consulting Psychologist) said -

The per hire cost factor for India has been measured to be about Rs. 25500 nearly for all the industries. That’s quite a lot, ain’t it. Wouldn't it be great if you could cut down on the cost?

The simplest way you can do this is by improving the application conversion rate.

Another way you can save money is by choosing AirCTO Sourcing. The service helps in sourcing relevant and qualified candidates for different positions. Companies have saved up to 75% when they chose AirCTO over any recruitment agencies.

To know more you can click -

Now, that you have understood the importance of converting more applicants, let’s look at the mistakes and solutions to help you improve the application conversion rate.

Mistake #1 - Keeping the applicants waiting

You have the list of interested applicants in front of you, now what? Most companies take their own sweet time in getting in touch with the candidates. No, this is not two or three days, sometimes it’s months.

The problem is that when a candidate is applying to your company he might have applied to other companies as well. So there’s a great chance by the time you reach out to the candidate, he might be taken another offer or he might not be any longer be interested in your company.


Be as quick as possible. I understand screening takes time and there are various steps involved in it. But make sure to reach out to the candidate as fast as possible. This may be through a simple mail or a phone call or even an SMS.

The quicker you reach out to them, better the chance of conversion.

Mistake #2 - Giving up easily

Many companies reach out to the candidate only once or twice before giving up on the candidate. Most of the times they contact the candidate either directly on phone or through an email.

There has to be a mix of both. Just remember, the candidate is not bound to pick your call especially when it’s an unknown number.


Make sure to connect with the candidate first through Email or SMS stating that you would be calling at so and so time and also mentioning the details like the number from which the call would come from and the time of the call.

This way there’s a higher chance of getting a response from the candidate.

At least give a week or two before getting to any conclusion. Avoid using platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook for communicating with the candidates.

Mistake #3 - Rigid Policies

There are policies in every company. I also respect these policies, but sometimes you need to a little flexible.

These can be like -

-Calling on a Saturday for an Interview

-Completing an assignment in a set period

-Hoping for the candidate to complete an assignment without any Intro call

-Calling the candidate the next day for an Interview


You’ll have to provide choices. Sometimes it's impossible for a candidate to align with your policies.

For example -

Providing three or four choices (date) to the candidate for an interview.

When a candidate applies for a job at your company, it doesn’t mean he has no other job offers from other companies too. There’s a great chance he might have multiple offers. So before bombarding a candidate with assignments, you probably should be setting up a quick intro call.

Mistake #4 - Not being realistic

Hiring a person might be very urgent for your company. But this doesn’t mean you stop being realistic.

How can you hope for a candidate to join your company in the next 15 days, when the average notice period in most companies is around 1-2 months.

Solution -

You’ll need to understand the industry and make demands accordingly.


Mistake #5 - Hiding information

The job description doesn’t always reveal everything. We have a “1 Year contract” or “We work six days a week” etc.

In some cases, companies reveal this information at the very last, the time when they about to hire the candidate.

Solution -

It’s better to reveal all the information at the start of the hiring process rather than waiting for the last moment. Try being as transparent as possible.

Mistake #6 - Poor negotiation skills

There are a lot of cases where because of poor negotiation skills, the applicant fails to convert. Let’s assume a case where the candidate demands a salary of 12 lakhs but the company ’s budget is only 10 lakhs. There’s a great chance that the candidate would agree at 10.5 lakhs or 11 lakhs for that matter.

But because of poor negotiation skills, the opportunity is missed.

Solution -

You’ll have to negotiate, sometimes that’s the only way out. It’s impossible to get a perfect candidate (according to the job description), you’ll have to make some compromises along the way.

Mistake #7 - Long Hiring Process

Every company has its own hiring process. The process is usually divided into many stages.

As a candidate, have you seen those scary long emails, you get after applying to some companies.

All the companies have one common goal, which is to hire the best. But in this process companies sometimes end up creating a very long application or an assignment which leads to a longer hiring process.

A long application might be good for companies (at least this is what most companies think) but not for the candidate applying for the job. The same applies to every stage of the hiring process.


Try to streamline your hiring process. Remove the unnecessary elements out of the hiring process. Taking feedback from candidates can really help to streamline the hiring process.

Mistake #8 - Not keeping the candidate in the pipeline

The number one reason why companies hear this “Sorry, I have joined another company” is because of the inability to keep the candidate in the recruitment pipeline. Even a delay of two or three days is enough to lose a candidate.


You’ll need to keep the candidate informed about every small update. So let’s say a candidate submits an assignment, it’s important that you acknowledge the submission and let him know till when he/she can expect the result.

Similarly, when you interview multiple candidates, make sure to send all of them a mail like-


We appreciate for giving your valuable time today.

We are considering you for the position, please give 2-3 days to get back to you.


Mistake #9 - No notice when the position is filled

When a company is hiring, you can see everywhere “ We are hiring” across social media and the website itself. But how many times have you seen companies telling and updating their website whether a particular position has been successfully filled or not?

Solution -

The hiring process can take a lot of time, sometimes 2-3 months. Effort should be put by companies to notify all the candidates if the positions are filled or not.

If they don’t know whether a position has been filled or not, they will be reaching out to the company again and again. There’s no harm in sending a mail if the candidate wasn’t selected for the job. It would be better if you can provide him/her with the reasons why he/she wasn’t selected for the job.

Technology that can be used to improve applicant conversion rate

HR Chatbots -

I bet you must have heard about chatbots before. There are currently the hottest thing in the technology space. Here’s a graph from Google trends to prove that:

In simple words, chatbot is a computer program, designed to simulate conversations with humans. Similarly, HR Chatbots helps in stimulating conversations with candidates.

Let’s see how does our HR Chatbot, AirCTO Chatbot can help you achieve and optimise your hiring process. Using AirCTO Chatbot you can screen candidates on repetitive questions with almost no manual overhead.

So let’s say you have a set of questions, consider five. Using the bot now, you can generate links which can be accessed by all the candidate to answer these questions.

You can integrate the chatbot in platforms like Facebook Messenger, Skype and Web chat.



There might be multiple reasons for your low applicant conversion rate. Hope after reading this article you’ll be able to understand the problems and solve them.

It may seem to be a very small thing but actually, it’s quite crucial to have a competitive advantage in your industry.