It should be relatively easy, right? Multiple reports and studies continue to highlight the growing number of talented individuals open to new career opportunities. So if you just create a job posting and place it in highly trafficked areas like your website, social pages, and reputable job boards, the surge of attractive job applicants should be flooding your inbox at any moment.
So why aren’t they?
Sure, you are getting job applicants but nothing like you expected. And certainly not what you ideally need. After all, if you want a greater variability of skills and a better qualification process, it is essential to have a larger pool of candidates to hire the right people.
With resignations still at uncomfortably high levels, it’s time that employers revisit their hiring strategies to boost the response rate. To help you do that, we have nine proven, actionable ways to increase the volume of applicants for your open positions.
1. Review Your Job Posting
Take a close look at the details of your job post and specifically the listed job title. The competition for top talent is increasing, which may require you to expand your search criteria. To make sure they serve their purpose, you need to spend some time and effort drafting your job postings. Here are a few tips for doing that:
Use standard job titles. When writing job titles, let your creativity take a backseat. Research shows that about two-thirds of job seekers won’t apply if they do not understand the listed job title. While a certain title may be very accurate and specific for your industry, if you are trying to expand your pool of candidates, the listed title may need to be a bit more generic to catch the eye of more candidates. For example, a Producer role is very specific to the Insurance industry. Listing the role as Business Development would be a better option for agencies to attract a broader audience.
Keep your posts clear and concise. It should clearly tell the readers what position you are hiring for and the most important information about the role. To attract a larger volume of job applicants, provide a glimpse into your company culture with some reasons why someone would want to join your organization.
Add your logo in the job posting. This is a simple but effective practice. Research shows that job postings that include the company’s logo tend to gain 13% to 21% more job applicants than those that do not have the company’s logo.
2. Evaluate Your Sourcing Methods
Set aside working with an experienced recruitment firm for a moment and review your internal recruitment marketing efforts. Where are you placing your job posts? Are they in places that will get a high volume of digital traffic and visibility? Are they on sites and pages that your ideal candidates frequently visit?
Don’t bury your opportunities on hidden website pages that are infrequently visited. Your website is a digital representation of your company and brand. Make sure it accurately reflects who you are, the products and services you provide to your clients or customers.
This also means your marketing efforts need to include your social media pages. If you only share relevant, engaging, and informative content sporadically, why would candidates think to even look at your pages for career opportunities? Make it a desirable place to visit and gain timely industry information from.
Finally, take a look at the career job boards you are using. Not only should they be recognizable and reputable sites, but they should also be targeted to your industry either as a sole focus or by easily set filters.
3. Revisit Your Job Application
Many employers believe that the purpose of a job application is to obtain as much (if not all) relevant information about job applicants as possible. But, research and expert opinion tell that the approach doesn’t work anymore. What hiring managers rate as a positive factor is an annoyance for candidates, more so for those who are really good at what they do.
Good candidates know the value of their talent and time, and they don’t want to spend hours completing a job application. Therefore, you should be careful that filling out your job application form isn’t a burden for prospective applicants. Keep it short and simple, so it’s easier to complete. This will increase the chances of interested candidates completing it many times over.
As a general rule, it shouldn’t take more than five minutes to complete. If it takes any longer than that, your click-to-apply rates decrease drastically.
One expert tip to simplify and shorten your job application is to only include questions about things that you absolutely need to know to shortlist candidates for that specific job. Leave the rest for the interview.
4. Optimize Your Application Process
The application form is just one part of the whole process. Increasing your volume of job applicants requires fixing the entire application process, not just one part of it. The underlying approach for both is the same, though. Your application process should be short, quick, and easy to follow. If you require applicants to make an account and log in to your website to apply for a job, asking them to upload copies of their documents, or redirecting them from job boards to your website, you’re losing out a big chunk of interested candidates.
According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), companies lose a whopping 95% of interested applicants, on average, by directing them to their dedicated career websites or portal from job boards. This is also why Indeed has a strict policy against including links in job postings that redirect job seekers away from their site to submit their applications.
If you’re making any of these mistakes, fix them to optimize your application process and amp up your applicant flow.
5. Keep the Job Description Honest and Accurate
Do not lie about or hide any information about the position you are hiring for, your expectations, or the amount and kind of work the hired employee will have to do. Provide an honest and accurate description of the job and your organization. It may seem counter-productive when you’re looking to increase the number of job applicants, but it will serve your purpose. Like with titles (as discussed earlier), people are hesitant to apply for jobs that do not clearly describe the role, responsibilities, and expectations.
Think about the core capabilities and technical competencies your ideal candidate should possess. We refer to these as their tools and talents. A good job description should clearly tell the qualification, skillset, experience, and/or personality traits needed for the available position and the work the hired candidate will be required to do (provide a clear description of all tasks).
Here’s a quick tip for those who struggle with writing the perfect job description: Browse job openings for the same position you’re hiring for on a couple of global job boards. Go through a few job advertisements posted there and see how they have written the descriptions. It may not work every single time, but in most cases, it will give some useful ideas and help you get started.
6. Be Upfront About Salary and Other Perks
The last thing any employer would want after an extensive hiring and onboarding process is a candidate walking off because they are not happy with the pay you’re offering for the job. Eliminate the chances of it happening to you by being upfront about the salary and all other perks and benefits that your company offers for that position.
Research shows that the mention of non-cash benefits in the job description helps boost the applicant response rate, so mention every little perk that you offer for that position. It could include office perks, transportation, employee discounts, or medical insurance.
Tell the applicants all about the pay structure and other expected benefits along with the schedule they will be required to follow, so they only proceed if they are comfortable with what you are offering.
Also, if you have multiple office sites, it’s recommended that you clarify the site the hired candidate will be working at in the job description or at the beginning of the screening process.
7. Make Your Job Postings About Them, Not You
A quick online search will tell you that most job postings are all about employer demands. They include a list of what the company wants in an ideal candidate and what they would be required to do. While it is essential to provide all these details (as discussed in the job description part), you need to do it cleverly. Your job post should be focused on the candidate, not you or your company.
Tell the candidate what you have to offer them. Tell them about all the learning and growth opportunities they will receive, monetary and non-monetary benefits, and their bright and secure future. This is why crafting a detailed employee value proposition is essential. An EVP establishes credibility with candidates and differentiates your employer brand to attract top talent and more job applicants. (We have some helpful tips on how to create an EVP here.)
A study from the University of Vermont showed that job postings that emphasize candidates’ needs receive three times more job applicants, on average than those that focus on employers’ demands.
Modern-day job seekers gravitate towards employee-centric companies, so if you want to attract more people and the best talent, make your job posts focused on candidate needs.
8. Evaluate Your Brand Reputation
What are current and past employees saying about your organization, leadership, or individual managers? 2021 statistics from Glassdoor report that eighty-six percent of job seekers will research company reviews and ratings before deciding to apply. A growing number of candidates across all age groups will also evaluate company branding on their social media pages.
Make sure you know what is being said and more importantly, that your company culture is someplace where employees (new and current) want to work and develop their careers.
9. Build Your Network
If you want to attract more job applicants, your organization needs to be seen as a source of opportunity and career growth. This may mean considering other avenues of recruiting than what you have traditionally used.
Consider related fields with transferable skills and expertise.
Maintain a focus on developing relationships with talented people both in and outside of your industry.
Build programs and opportunities that will invite people into your industry to see the career potential.
In niche and specialized fields, more people are recruited into the field than those who directly apply.
Attracting More Job Applicants Isn’t a Fast Process
Attracting more job applicants to your job postings and increasing the response rates isn’t as straightforward or simple a process as it may seem. There’s a lot involved in it, and there are numerous techniques to turn things in your favor and have your job openings well-received by job seekers.
However, with a little homework and due diligence, you can improve the size of your current candidate pool. Review your application process and make adjustments where needed so your openings are clear and attractive and the process frictionless. Make sure you remain transparent with a positive brand image and career potential. Look for new avenues to invite potential candidates in and build relationships wherever possible.
For more help and guidance on improving your recruitment process, access our resource guide today.