uncorrupted businessmen refusing money from a bribeWhen it came to unfulfilled jobs, last year’s reoccurring theme was the “skills gap.” We all know the issue: There are more qualified jobs than qualified workers. Employers were (and still are) having trouble finding candidates who possess the necessary talent to fill a role. Yet, interestingly enough, a new study by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of the nation’s employed recent college graduates are working in jobs that they are overqualified for. Hmmm.

So, somehow we have a skills gap and an underemployment problem all at the same time. This is interesting. Now, the “smart idea” would be to say, Hey, why don’t we somehow combine the underemployed workers with the thousands of vacant positions and BOOM! Talk about a dent in the unemployment rate. Yet, this “grand idea” is obviously not a sure-proof plan, but why? What are the reasons the millions of college graduates (and tenured job seekers) aren’t applying to the job listings your company has put up? Well, I’m glad you asked because…

One, your reach isn’t far enough. If there are millions of job seekers, yet you’re only sending out openings to hundreds or thousands (if that), your response may not be as large as you’d like. Also, as a recruiter, you have to get your openings to job seekers where job seekers are. Posting on the mega job boards, using social media, and recruiting via mobile means is a sure way to increase your attractiveness. Online job distribution service ZipRecruiter allows employers to send their job postings to 30+leading job boards—like Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor and SimplyHired— with a simple click. The site also offers a social network posting feature allowing recruiters to easily share their jobs on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Two, your job descriptions lack description. When it comes to sales, people know that if you don’t have a good sales pitch, then you aren’t going to get the clients that you are looking for. The same can be said for a job posting. If the ad isn’t as well put together and attractive as the opportunity itself, then you are not going to lure in the candidates that you need. Boring, vague job descriptions that offer little-to-no detail on what the job is are sure to bring down your response numbers. Also, be cautious of “work-from-home” and “telecommute” listings as people may think the job is fake. Put the listing under different cities where your company is located and then disclose its remote feature to candidates during the interview process.

Three, your ad lists too many requirements. Postings that want “5-10 years of this” and “15+ years of that” yet fail to explain what the role actually entails are a no-no. Again, bleak job descriptions hurt you and are even worse when you’re demanding an applicant have x amount of credentials but offer no reason why. The same is true for salary. Jobs offering $8/hour and must have 5-10 years of experience may push job seekers to look elsewhere e.g. pay that is commensurate with experience.

Four, you failed to mention benefits. Every job seeker is interested in the perks that may come with a position. If someone sees an add demanding so many credentials and has a heavy workload, yet offers no benefits, he or she is prone to keep it moving. Make sure you list the benefits that come along with a role to attract more applicants.

Five, the look of your ad isn’t appealing. This may sound trivial, but it counts. When it comes to job listings you do not want to leave anything to the imagination. A boring black and white ad with no company logos and no links to your site should be avoided. Job seekers should see your brand in job listings (or at least be able to click on a link that takes them to your branded career site). Be sure that you have a consistently branded career site and that your job advertisements reflect the look and feel of the career site. Keeping the same theme and branding throughout the application process can increase conversions.

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