SmartRecruiters Blog

Marketo says, “80 Candidates: 8 Interviews: 1 Hire”

When it comes to making recruitment a science, Carl Sweet, Marketo‘s Director of Talent Acquisition, does everything but break out the beakers. His company provides powerful marketing automation software for fast-growing small companies and global enterprises, and its’ talent acquisition practices align with a marketers’ dream for big data precision.

“It all started when managers and executives kept asking me, ‘How many people do I have to interview for this job?'” said Sweet.

Marketo RecruitingHe dug into the history of hiring. By storing the information of all past hires, Sweet learned the average of number of candidates and interviews required to make each hire. Then, he considered the performance of those hires to measure if Marketo sourced and interviewed the optimal number of candidates. Through years of recruiting and research, Sweet developed the company ratio of 80 candidates: 8 interviews: 1 hire.

“It’s about having just enough resumes; not too many and not too few.The ratio helps me decide which recruiting channels to open up. I need the best talent, but I don’t want to create any extra work for the recruiter.”

The implications of an inefficient recruitment process seep into the budgets of every department within an organization.

“The ratio allows me to have a good influx of people,” explained Sweet. “At the same time, interviewing’s expensive. If you average 10 interviews instead of 8, think about those extra two hours of lost productivity across the entirety of an organization.”

Sweet proceeded to rattle off the astronomical number of potentially lost man hours at organizations larger than his own, ad-lib, before settling back in to the concrete effects at each one of his departments. Sweet also unveiled a picture of the Silicon Valley labor market by explaining how function changes the ratio; “for finance positions, the ratio is 120 candidates: 15 interviews: 1 hire; and for engineers the ratio is 20 candidates: 5 interviews: 1 hire.”

Sweet is building out a ratio of candidates to interview to hire for every function and experience level. When Sweet thinks recruiting, he thinks science, and Marketo is better off for it.

“I have to decide what recruiting channels to open up, and the ratio is where I start.”

80 candidates: 8 interviews,: 1 hire represents a tech company’s necessity to win the war for talent. As Sweet says, “It’s always very data driven.”


Smart BulbCarl Sweet is Director of Staffing at Marketo, provider of powerful marketing automation software for fast-growing small companies and global enterprises

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything you need to source talent, manage candidates, generate reports, and make the right hire.

David Smooke

David Smooke was the Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at SmartRecruiters and is the Founder of ArtMap Inc & AMI Publications.