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Improve Your Applicant Numbers

September 27, 2017

Are your jobs getting fewer applications than expected? We have a few ideas on how to improve your numbers:

  1. Ensure your job title isn’t too unique.

While it can be tempting to make a job title sound unique to stand out from similar jobs on search results, it can also affect the amount of traffic that the posting gets. If a job seeker isn’t sure what exactly the job does, or it sounds beyond their skill level, they may not even read the posting. Avoid weird titles like “Guru” and “Rockstar”, at this point they’re both tiresome and vague.

  1. Write a description that is informative and concise.

Open your job description with an overview of your company, expectations for the role, typical day-to-day activates, and how it fits into your company’s mission. If company culture is a recruiting strength, the opening of your description is a great opportunity to describe why job seekers should want to work for you.

Avoid internal lingo, especially acronyms. They detract from the message you want to convey; what the job actually does, and the skills and experience you are looking for.

For the requirements themselves, imagine if you were describing what the position does to someone in a face to face conversation. Keep a friendly and direct tone. Don’t use the same dry, boring language that pervades typical job postings.

  1. Make sure your requirements are reasonable.

The glut of job seekers during the recession allowed many employers to be picky about finding the ‘perfect’ applicant. Times have changed, but many companies continue to write job requirements that are out of touch with today’s labor market. If your requirements are too demanding, job seekers that are otherwise suitable will be turned off from even applying.

Can a job be capably performed with a Bachelor’s degree instead of a Master’s? Two years of experience versus four? Do they need proficiency with a particular software from the start or can you provide training? If you aren’t getting as many applicants as you expect, these are questions you may want to ask yourself.  Identify what is truly mandatory for a job’s performance on day 1 before you list it as a must-have requirement.

  1. Research your potential labor market.

The amount of job seekers available highly varies depending on the specific occupation. For instance, administrative work is highly sought after and employers typically have no trouble finding applicants for it. However, positions that require high skill or technical knowledge (such as healthcare professionals and developers) have smaller applicant pools.

The job’s location can be an important factor. For example, if a business in Wyoming or any of the Great Plains states is looking for developers, they’re going to have a much harder time than a business in Seattle unless they offer remote work.

Demographics also need to be taken into account; the Boomer generation’s flood of retirement is still in its early stages. Highly experienced professionals are quickly going to become scarce in some industries.

Having competitive compensation and advertising it in the job description is a good way to attract more attention for position that are difficult to recruit for. Flexible work arrangements, especially remote work, are also an effective way of attracting applicants with in-demand skills.

  1. Take advantage of potential sources.

The biggest job boards, such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster are a great way to reach a lot of job seekers, but there are a lot of niche job sites that provide value as well. Are you looking for interns? Try internships.com. Non-profit? Idealist can help. IntelliHire’s custom application links provide a way to track your applicant numbers from these sources, letting you build data and evaluate your sourcing strategy.

College career offices are a great source of recruiting leads as well, both through resume books that provide access to passive talent, and through internal job boards for alumni and graduating students.

  1. Advertise your jobs

Empty positions cost productivity, either directly (vacant sales positions for example) or indirectly (staff pulling extra duty). If you are having trouble filling a position or not getting enough traffic, it can be worth exploring ad campaigns for extra visibility. Many job boards have additional paid advertising for posted jobs, and ad campaigns on social media (particularly LinkedIn) can be a valuable way to boost the visibility of your recruiting and increase applicant numbers.

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