April 5, 2019

Why No One Wants to Apply to Your Jobs — and What You Can Do About It


Imagine this: You have just posted a job ad for an exciting opportunity at a great company. You are confident it will attract more than enough candidates to fill your pipeline. So, you sit back and wait for the applications to roll in.

But they never do. Your ad attracts barely a trickle of interested job seekers. As the days turn into weeks, your client starts questioning you. The pressure to fill the role builds. Where are all the qualified candidates?

If this has happened to you, it might be time to reevaluate your job ads. Here are some of the reasons why your ads might be failing — and what you can do about it:

1. The Salary Is Too Low

If your advertised salary is below market rate, don’t be surprised to see very few qualified candidates in your pipeline. Compensation matters a lot to talent, with 61 percent of respondents to one SHRM survey saying it was “very important” to their satisfaction. Experienced candidates won’t bother with a role that pays below average when they know they can find other opportunities in this economy.

What to do: Research the average salary for the position you’re trying to fill. Take into account geographic location, the level of the position, and the seniority of the person you’re looking for. Once you’ve pinpointed the role’s market rate, compare it to what your client or company is offering. If you’re on the low end, you may need to convince the hiring manager to bump up the salary.

2. Your Job Titles Don’t Match Candidates’ Searches

“Growth hacker.” “Happiness manager. “Customer service ninja.” These kinds of quirky job titles may seem fun, but they’re mostly just confusing. Plus, candidates aren’t using these titles in their searches. Instead, they’re punching more mundane keywords like “salesperson” into job boards.

What to do: Candidates are more likely to use generic search terms, so it’s best if you stick to them, too. Instead of trying to hint at the company’s unique culture through out-of-the-box job titles, show it off through photos, videos, and other content that doesn’t affect whether job seekers can find you.

3. Your Application Is Too Arduous

A long job application that is difficult to complete will lead to high abandonment rates. In fact, one study found recruiters could boost conversion rates by 365 percent if they cut applications to five minutes or less.

What to do: Cut unnecessary fields and questions from your application. You can ask candidates for more information during the interview stage. Quality candidates don’t have the patience to fill out tedious forms when they could easily apply to other jobs. Keep the application short and simple.

4. Your Website Is Poorly Designed or Outdated

Research shows 61 percent of job seekers visit a company’s website before applying for a job. That means your website — or your client’s — must be well-designed, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. It should also contain key details about the company’s history, contact information, and services, plus anything else candidates may want to know.

What to do: Any employer’s or recruiting agency’s website should be enjoyable to view and easy to navigate on any device. Your website should also be SEO optimized to ensure candidates can easily find it when they search for your company online. It may be worth hiring a web designer or agency to help here.

5. Your Online Reputation Is Bad

People read reviews of restaurants and products before making any purchases, and they do the same when it comes to jobs. Candidates read online reviews about employers before they apply, and 94 percent of them believe negative reviews harm the company’s brand. If candidates find a lot of negative comments about your company online, they’ll think twice before applying.

What to do: This requires internal work to ensure employees’ concerns are addressed. When people feel heard and valued, they won’t take to the internet to vent.

One solution might be to create a company intranet that allows employees to share suggestions or concerns internally. This way, the company can address problems as they arise instead of being blindsided by public negative reviews.

If your job ads don’t draw responses, then something needs to be changed. Give some of these tips a shot, and you might just find your pipeline bursting with qualified candidates.

Java Nguyen is a content marketing specialist at Mindscope.

Java Nguyen is a content marketing specialist at Mindscope, a staffing and recruiting software. She covers topics related to the recruiting industry, recruiting software, and more.