How the 70% Rule Can Improve Hiring Success

Are you using the 70% Rule?

When hiring, it’s easy to become fixated on tracking down the perfect candidate. However, if you’re in the fortunate position of being able to screen a lot of CVs, it’s important not to discount those almost-perfect applicants. In the long run, it’s often better to invest your time training up someone inexperienced rather than searching for the elusive ideal employee. 

Why are so many candidates unsuitable?

If you’re a flourishing business with a fantastic company culture, when it comes to hiring it’s easy to find yourself a victim of your own success.

If the role you’re hiring for is brilliant, the pay is generous and there’s a ton of fantastic benefits on offer – who’s not going to want to apply?

And when you get dozens of applicants – you’re delighted! But then you start to screen CVs and your heart sinks… None of the candidates are quite right!

This is when you should consider the 70% rule.


What is the 70% rule?

The 70% rule is a decision making technique that started in the US Marine Corps and has proved to be effective across many sectors, including recruitment. The rule is that you should act on any decision when you have 70% confidence in the success of that decision.

Put in hiring terms – if a candidate meets 70% of your essential criteria, they could be worth some extra attention. After all, they clearly regard themselves as a good fit – they wouldn’t have applied otherwise. 

And if they already meet 70% of requirements, chances are they can be taught the remaining 30%.


What if I don’t have time to train an inexperienced candidate?

Hiring a new starter is a time-consuming business, so it’s essential that this time is used efficiently. If you find yourself with a pile of CVs from candidates that almost fit the bill, it’s worth thinking about: would my time be better spent searching for the elusive perfect candidate, or could I spend the same amount of time training somebody up who meets 70% of the criteria? 

The fact of the matter is, whatever the role, whatever the level, every new employee will need training of some sort to acclimatise.


What are the benefits of training up a candidate?

One element of the hiring process that employers often overlook is the importance of successful onboarding. This refers to ways in which you welcome the new starter and assimilate them into your team.

An initial training period is an ideal method of onboarding: it helps keep your new starter engaged during their first few weeks and begin to invest in your business. Training is a good way to signify that you are committed to career development; a member of staff who feels nurtured is likely to repay you in loyalty and hard work.

A 70% policy can also save you money – an inexperienced candidate may be open to a lower starting salary in exchange for career development.

The job market is undergoing a period of dramatic change at the moment – we’re still feeling the effects of the ‘Great Resignation:’ post lockdown, many highly talented employees are looking for a complete career change; a lack of experience in some areas does not necessarily mean they will lack capability – so why not give them a try? 


For more information and support with hiring and the recruitment process, why not speak to your Account Manager today on 0113 322 7243.


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