Seven Ways to Increase Job Applicant Flow
Smart recruiters want to know how to increase the volume of qualified candidates applying for their job descriptions. Writing a job description that will get you a good quantify of qualified applicants is a bit of a science. We've put our heads together and come up with our top recommendations to share with you. We've also put together a PDF that covers this topic extensively if you're the kind of person who would like to move beyond the confines of the seven tips below. You can find this shiny new PDF at the bottom of this page. It's a downloadable attachment, just for you.
1. Job titles should be standardized and relevant.
Use standardized job titles. Job seekers are performing searches on standard job titles so if you've chosen a title like "Marketing Ninja" instead of "Marketing Manager," job seekers might not be able to find you.
Keep the title short but relevant. If you try to fit a description into the title, you can expect to see diminishing results from applicants. Conversely, if your title is too vague, or doesn't adequately describe the position, then you can expect the same results. The title should be indicative of what the job is. Try and keep the specifics of internal title definitions out. Most likely an applicant won’t know what an Account Executive III means. Instead, use Account Executive for the title of your job post and save the formal title and specifications for the job description.
2. The job description should be concise, well-formatted, and highlight why your company is a great place to work.
Keep it concise and visually appealing. Avoid having a job description in block paragraph form. Use bold for section titles like "Qualifications" or "Requirements." Be liberal with bullet points to highlight specific qualifications or responsibilities. Click here for more information on how to format your job posting. Also, make sure your language reflects the job and your company culture, and make sure it's targeting the characteristics of applicants you want to attract. In order to appeal to top candidates, you should highlight in your job description some key things about your company, your benefits, and/or your corporate culture that make your company a great place to work.
Example: We had a customer contact us to find out why no one had applied to an open job. The posting contained the following phrase in the first section of their job description: “THIS IS FULL-TIME WORK!!! Laziness will not be tolerated.” While this is a perfectly understandable expectation for an employer to have, there are more effective ways to express this in the job description, such as "This is a challenging position and the right candidate will have a can-do attitude in order to be successful." You can also use the applicant's resume, phone screening, or in-person interview to get a sense of that person's work ethic.
3. Use keyword optimization to your advantage.
To evaluate the efficacy of the keywords you are using in your job description, try Wordle, a free software word cloud application, and paste your job description text into the text field. This will create a word cloud of your job description, highlighting the most prominent words in your description. Why is this useful? It's an easy way for you to see if the words you are emphasizing in your description are the ones you want applicants to focus on, and also see what keywords a potential applicant would need to enter to find your job when conducting a job search. If the highlighted keywords are not universal to this type of job, then make adjustments to your job description and include more common keywords. If you aren't sure what your keywords should be, search for a similar position online and use Wordle to identify the most popular keywords to include on your own job description.
4. Add branding to your job description.
Add your logo to your posting and include relevant graphics in your job description. Not only will it help to brand your postings, but visually aesthetic postings also tend to receive a more favorable response. For example, an animal rescue non-profit could add an image of a rescued puppy to their job posting for a Volunteer Coordinator to appeal to animal lovers and provide a visual image of their primary focus as an organization. Click here for instructions on how to add a logo to your job postings.
5. Leave contact information out of your posting so you don't confuse applicants.
Keeping contact information out of your job posting is crucial when you are using an applicant tracking system in your recruitment process. If you direct applicants to apply to an email address or website address in your job description when there is already an "Apply for this Position" button in your posting, you are going to confuse applicants and possibly even deter them from applying. Make sure that you have a single and consistent place for all applicants to apply for your position. This is also helpful with data management because it will provide a single location for you to capture and store all applicants, regardless of what source they applied from.
6. Use social media to advertise your job posting.
More and more job seekers are turning to social media to find open positions. Make sure you aren't missing out on quality applicants by not fully utilizing your social media accounts to promote your jobs. If you don’t have a company page on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, it is pretty easy to create one. Invite contacts to join your page and get your network to help find your next hire. Click here for instructions on how to use social media to advertise the job postings in your account.
7. Referral Programs
Study after study has shown referrals to be one of the most reliable and cost-effective ways to find quality employees. Have your co-workers and colleagues assist with the process. Use the Referral Program tool in your account to create a trackable referral program that incentivizes participants to refer applicants to your open positions. Click here for more information on how to use the Referral Program tool.
There you have it – 7 things you can do to increase job applicant flow! Have you found other ways to successfully increase job applicant flow for open positions? We want to hear about it! Send us your stories by clicking on the Feedback link on your dashboard or submit a new ticket!
And don't forget to download our PDF Guide, The Guide to Increasing Your Applicant Traffic, available below.