3 Things to Do When Your Jobs Ads Don’t Get Enough Responses
Research from ManpowerGroup shows that talent shortages in the U.S. are easing, with 32 percent of employers finding it hard to fill vacancies in 2015, down from 40 percent in 2014.
However, the U.S. is not out of the woods yet. Plenty of professional and industrial areas in the U.S. are still experiencing serious talent shortages. Nurses, teachers, middle managers, and other professionals are still in high demand and short supply.
If your firm operates in an area where skill shortages are still a major problem, you may be skeptical of ManpowerGroup’s findings. After all, you keep putting out job ads, but the candidates aren’t showing up.
It’s important to recognize, however, that a lack of response to your job ads doesn’t mean there’s no talent out there. It just means there’s not enough to go around, and that the superstars who do exist chose the competition over you.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
There is good news, though: If your job ads are drawing few applicants, there are somethings you can do to modify those ads and grab the attentions of all the superstars who are currently passing you by:
1. Make Sure Your Ads Address Both Candidate and Employer Needs
Many of job ads stop at the employer’s needs. They say, “We want this, and we want that,” but they never say what employees will get in return. At best, candidates will learn the salary range – but even that has become uncommon.
According to research published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, these employer-centered ads drive away candidates. Candidates prefer to apply for jobs that also address their needs. They want employers who will offer them value, autonomy, meaningful work, and the chance to advance.
So, if your ads are failing to attract candidates, you should shift to candidate-focused postings that address the ways in which your company can provide value to job seekers.
2. Put More Emphasis on Flexible Work Arrangements
Does your business embrace flexible work? If so, is that reflected in your job advertisements?
If your job ads don’t promote and embrace flexible work arrangements, then they are probably pushing many applicants into the arms of the competition. We know this because research from EY shows that 74 percent of millennials – now the largest generation in the workforce – see flexible work as the most important they are looking for in their jobs, after competitive pay and benefits.
If you want to increase the number of applicants you receive, you’ll need to appeal to the workforce as it is – and today’s workforce really wants flexibility. Show that your organization embraces flexible work by outlining in your job ads all the ways that company supports employee flexibility. That may include flexible scheduling, telecommuting options, and more.
3. Lower the Bar for Entry
Between 2007 and 2012, there was a massive increase in the percentage of job ads requiring bachelor’s degrees. Employers increasingly desire that employees have college degrees – even in roles where such degrees have not been traditionally required.
In some cases, the job as changed so much over the years that higher education is now necessary. Often, however, there is no rhyme or reason for the B.A. requirement.
It’s worth taking a look at your own job descriptions. How many have them require college degrees (or even advanced degrees)? Are the degrees actually necessary, or are you needlessly inflating your requirements – thereby cutting yourself off from potential talent pools.
Overly strict requirements – especially for entry-level positions – prevent your organization from tapping into perfectly able candidates. If you remove any and all superfluous requirements from your job ads, you should be able to increase the number of applicants you see for your roles.
Talent shortages do exist. I do not deny that.
However, that doesn’t mean employers can sit around and complain about the sorry state of affairs. There is a lot that you can do to adapt your hiring process to the realities of today’s talent market. If you really want to attract more applicants, you’ll need to reshape your job ads so that they actually appeal to candidates.