You want to hire the best talent for your role. Maybe your number two. Or an analyst to help you. Or someone that reports to you via a dotted line.

Regardless, you need to know how many people to interview.

One person is definitely not enough. You do not know the market if you only talk to one person.

Talking to fifty people is also not feasible. You do not have the time to interview fifty people. Let alone find fifty people to interview.

So, what is the magic number in recruiting?

Honest answer: there is no magic number, but there is a best practice number that the best recruiting agencies advise their clients. The best companies in the world use a similar rubric for their hiring, because they hire thousands of people a year.

The best practice in recruiting is to interview ten people in the first round.

Then, three people in the second round. Finally, after interviewing your three top candidates, one should be the prime start and there should be a runner-up as a backup. In this case, you need a backup, because the employment market is tight, and candidates expect a very high salary to move to a different employer.

In fact, the best candidates in most cases are passive job seekers that are fully employed, and you will have to poke from another organization.

However, let’s go back a little. To interview ten potentially great candidates, you need to get at least 18 resumes or people that are kind of a fit. Then, you decide which one of these you want to interview, but you end up discarding about half.

Let’s go back another step: to get 18 resumes, you will need to contact at least 180-200 people.

That is a lot for a Hiring Manager to contact. In fact, most of them do not do it. They outsource this work to a staffing agency such as NewConfig or they have an in-house recruiter that does this work. Contacting 180-200 people per role is a full time job. Hiring Managers like you are busy people.

Running an organization, meeting with vendors, keeping bosses happy takes precedence over hiring (and it should!), so that is why most organizations use an internal recruiter.

And, when these internal recruiters get stuck, which happens all the time, they use a company like NewConfig.