My associates and I at HIREghana (, we posted almost 3 weeks ago an opening for a Personal Assistant (for a CEO). This article is based on our experience with that 'current' job opening (that search is finished as of now). I thought that it would be nice for candidates to have a look at real numbers -at least based on our own experience- on the job market of today!

I hope/ I wish that the other recruitment agencies are equally transparent and help all candidates (and employers too) get a better inside into the current Ghanaian Job Market.

What was the role advertised?

A CEO PA- basic requirements are university degree and 2+ years in a similar role or at least a good indication that the candidate can do this job based on past performance with similar tasks.

Statistics – a week after the job was posted.

436 Applications Received (312 of them from LinkedIn)

17 new candidates headhunted (obviously experienced current CEO PAs)

53 additional candidates came from our CV Repository, by keyword search relevancy.


506 Candidates Total

80 Applications came within an hour of posting/ publishing the vacancy in various sites.

14 Candidates out of 506 were selected for pre-screening

Only 6 out of these 14, were eventually sent to the client.

From these 6:

2 were already in our database,
1 was a new ‘headhunt’ and
3 were from the new ‘batch of fresh CVs’.
Now, regarding the 436 received applications:

~ 95% of the applicants did not even qualify (e.g. an IT Network Technician or a Petroleum Engineering wanting to become a PA with no relevant skills) for this role.
~ 8.3% sent a cover letter with their application.
~ almost 9 in 10 Cover Letters were not customized or relevant to their Job Application.
~ 7.5% of applicants ignore the request for no PDF files- some of them argued or ignored our 2nd request for a Word version of their CV. This is one of the MOST COMMON reasons leading to applicant- rejection: the applicant’s inability to follow the employer’s instructions (please google it).
~11% of CV are ‘graphically designed’ CV (full of drawings, tables, logos, etc) that when processed by most ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) will most likely product ‘garbage’ at an input to a field (e.g. current title) or place the wrong values (e.g. job title in the filed for city, etc.). Most ATS applications process data wrongly and do not always give an error message. A CV Format That Is Not Scannable Can Cut Your Odds by 60 Percent (source: TheLadders’)
15 CVs were using ascending chronological order (i.e. showing first the oldest job and at the bottom the current one). Please everybody wants to see your current job first!
in 43 CVs there were no job titles… just company- names and from/to dates. Who is really good at guessing what the title of someone is and has the time to read several bullet points as a clue?
A lot of the CVs received, are full of all classical mistakes… typos, bad grammar, mixing verb- tenses, inconsistent fonts, etc. Also, very few CVs contain a list of the candidate's accomplishments relating to past employment; almost all of them they just have list of duties that appear to be a ‘copy+ paste’ from the corresponding past job descriptions; that makes for a sub par 'quality' CV.

These are the numbers after the first week of the ad running. We totally received 507 applications coming from the LinkedIn ad (remember 312 came during the 1st week).

HIREghana Statistics from Past Experience.

For every job we advertise we receive an average of 100-150 new CVs.
An average of 5-10% (depending or role seniority) of the candidates do write a Cover Letter.
It seems that most of those who spent time customizing their CV and writing a Customized Cover Letter too, they make it to our 1st pre-screening; this is not a rule, just a statistical observation.
30% of Candidates for Junior roles, follow instructions.
92% of Candidates for Senior roles, follow instructions.
Btw, it takes an average of 2 weeks (depending on role seniority and complexity) to identify candidates for pre-screening, 1 week average to schedule and perform our 2 pre-screenings, 1 week average to have the first client interview and 1-4 weeks max after that to get an offer.
In reality, it seems that most assignments get completed within 2 weeks, while some senior or critical roles can take up to a few months.
Almost 40% - 60% of applications come from a mobile device (mayb etat explains the lack of Cover Letters?)
83% of applications are submitted during work hours

Industry Statistics.

$4,000 is the average amount U.S. companies spend to fill an open position. (Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015, Bersin by Deloitte, April 2015)
It takes an average of 52 days to fill an open position, up from 48 days in 2011. (Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015 2015, Bersin by Deloitte, April 2015)
94% of sales professionals say that base salary is the most important element of the compensation plan, while 62% say that commission is. (Glassdoor survey, June 2014)
On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes, but only 4 to 6 of these people will be called for an interview, and only 1 of those will be offered a job. (Source Inc/ Glassdoor)
79 % of job seekers use social media in their job search (Linkedin is 1st followed by Facebook and Twitter) This figure increases to 86 % of younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers. (Glassdoor survey, March 2013)
69 % of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation--even if unemployed
45 % of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for jobs at least once every day but only 29% use their mobile device to apply for a job
53 % of 18- to 29-year-olds use their mobile device to apply for a job
59% say it is important to be able to save a job from their mobile device and later apply to the job on a desktop (Glassdoor survey, April 2014)
90% of the Fortune 500 company career sites do not support a mobile apply solution. (iMomentous, Corporate Mobile Readiness Report, 3rd Edition, 2013)
27.5% of hires are attributed to Referrals. Referrals are the #1 Source of External Hires.
~30% of all Google searches, about 300 million per month, are employment related.
94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of candidates are. Job seekers, by a wide margin, prefer Facebook, with 83% reporting they are active there, compared to just 65% of recruiters.
61 percent of recruiters will automatically dismiss a resume because it contains typos (Careerbuilder). In a similar light, 43 percent of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate from consideration because of spelling errors (Adecco).
The use of an unprofessional email address will get a resume rejected 76 percent of the time (BeHiring). We too, witness rather frequently …’unusual’ email addresses e.g. ilovejesus99 or sexyNana or AmaLovesU at gmail or yahoo, etc
The average recruiter spends a mere 6 seconds reviewing a resume (TheLadders). A similar study found the review time to be 5–7 seconds (BeHiring).
Eye- tracking technology used by TheLadders revealed that recruiters spend an average of 19 percent of their time on your LinkedIn profile simply viewing your picture (so a professional picture may be worthwhile).
Recruiters report that over 50 percent of applicants for a typical job fail to meet the basic qualifications for that job (Wall Street Journal).
In Conclusion

FYI: for the specific case of an online job posting, on average, 1,000 individuals will see a job post, 200 will begin the application process, 100 will complete the application, 75 of those 100 resumes will be screened out by either the ATS or a recruiter, 25 resumes will be seen by the hiring manager, 4 to 6 will be invited for an interview, 1 to 3 of them will be invited back for final interview, 1 will be offered that job and 80 percent of those receiving an offer will accept it (Talent Function Group LLC).

So, rather than leaving things to chance, my advice is that: it does pay to invest the time to apply with a fully completed application, and ideally a customized CV and cover letter and by following all instructions in the application. It is your 'duty and responsibility' to make your CV relevant.

Keep in mind that for our CEO PA posting, we received 312 applications from LinkedIn although 26, 402 people saw that post. Yes, applying is a numbers game – everyone can click, but a well- prepared application it takes a lot of time that most candidates are not willing to invest in.

Last Stat: on the average it takes 70 seconds to click and apply or forward a CV; it takes 10-30 minutes to submit properly a well- prepared application.

I trust that by presenting all these job- hunting statistics, you have hopefully improved your understanding of the recruiting process and the obstacles that you need to avoid on your way to dramatically & drastically improve your odds of getting a great job.

Thank you and Good Luck please.


About the Author: Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghana [Human Intelligence Recruitment], a Leader Recruitment Agency and HRM & OD Consultancy. Irene -who has a LinkedIn footprint of 28.000+ connections- and her team have also been constantly mentoring and coaching candidates on how to improve their job-hunting & career- planning skills.

Irene welcomes your feedback/ comments/ remarks/ suggestions via your email message to

Our website is

Author's Bio: 

bout the Author: Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghana [Human Intelligence Recruitment], a Leader Recruitment Agency and HRM & OD Consultancy. Irene -who has a LinkedIn footprint of 28.000+ connections- and her team have also been constantly mentoring and coaching candidates on how to improve their job-hunting & career- planning skills.

Irene welcomes your feedback/ comments/ remarks/ suggestions via your email message to

Our website is