In today’s competitive job market, finding the right candidates for your open positions can be a daunting task
..especially if you’re relying on many of the mainstream job boards. It’s particularly frustrating when you spend a great deal of time and energy to post an open position, only to have fewer responses than expected—-and not one of those would you even consider calling for an interview. There are a number of reasons why job boards fail and unfortunately, most of them fall directly on the employer.
Mark Twain once said to his wife who started cussing, but didn’t know how to do it, “Honey, you know the words, but you don’t know the tune.” That’s about the same with many of our job postings. It’s not that employers aren’t posting on enough job boards, but it’s that what they are used to creating in the past no longer works on today’s boards.
The job boards you use will reward you when you know what relevant data to include in your postings. In this piece, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks to use in your postings that will attract more candidates to your open position. And not just more candidates, but more qualified candidates making it faster and easier to fill your job openings.
Beating the Competition
When you post a job opening, you are competing against thousands of other employers in your industry. In fact, according to Statista, in the US, there were 7.37 million job openings, or 4.9%, on the last business day of February 2021. There are more and more positions opening, but with less qualified candidates responding to the call for hire.
Interestingly, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that one of the sectors where job openings has increased the most is in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation segment, up 56,000 in just the first three months of 2021. You get the point. Jobs are coming back and filling them is going to be quite a challenge. Not only will you be competing with your competitors, but also with the power of stimulus checks and the new increased unemployment payments that are keeping qualified candidates sidelined longer.
In a Harvard Business Review article, researching firm, Korn Ferry, found that almost 40% of US companies have outsourced half, if not all of the hiring process to recruitment processing outsources in the Philippines and India. The building frustration of finding and hiring needed talent is so great that a recent Deloitte survey discovered that “finding qualified experienced hires” ranked at the top of the list of frustrations among those surveyed as illustrated in Figure 2.
To attract the talent you want and reach the eyes and interest of qualified candidates, you will need to use new tools in your employee marketing strategy. Utilizing job boards’ technology to your advantage is one way to get the responses you want.
Here are seven ways to improve your success rate in attracting qualified candidates to your posting:
1. Make sure your posting is on a job board – Sounds simple enough, but a recent Society for Human Resources (SHRM) article suggests that you make it so applicants apply from the job board, meaning that the vast majority of jobs on job boards redirect the job seeker to an applicant tracking system (ATS). So if you want more applies to your position, let people apply on the job board instead. To do this, you can use a company called JobSync that allows you to do this on sites like Indeed, Facebook Jobs, and LinkedIn while still delivering the data to your ATS.
2. Keep your posting short – Shorter job posts receive 8.4% more applications per view than average. Short and to the point is what applicants want. You should try to keep the word count for your posting down to between 100-325 words. This is enough to capture and hold the reader’s attention while including all of the important information they need to know.
3. Keep the focus on what matters to the applicant – Most applicants are looking for three main points in your posting:
- Work/Life Balance
- Salary Information
- Opportunities for Growth
Include these three key points of information, and particularly the salary, in every job posting.
4. Use social media to attract – A recent study by The Open University found that 79% of job seekers say they are likely to use social media in their job search and this increases to 86% for younger job seekers. If you have a Facebook business page, (if not, create one!), you can post your job openings there for free. According to Zephoria, 83% of job applicants are on Facebook; one in four people in the US had search for or found a job on Facebook; and 1.47 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily.
Additionally, nearly 90% of surveyed companies had successfully hired a candidate through LinkedIn. Employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over candidates sourced only through traditional recruiting channels.
5. Use specific job titles – If you are hiring for a General Manager, spell out the title and don’t abbreviate, (e.g. G.M.). Also, make sure you use the job title several times throughout the posting. Some advise even using it up to 11- 15 times. But you should lean more on the creative side rather than the excessive.
6. Clear and concise job description – The job description for the open position you are hiring for tells it all. Candidates want to know exactly what is expected of them before they apply. Based on some job titles, it may seem obvious what is expected, but don’t chance it. According to a survey by the Allegis Group, 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of candidates say the same. After creating a job description, have others give it a once-over to ensure it is clear.
7. Give access to company website – In a survey of business leaders conducted by LinkedIn, 68% found that the most effective talent branding tool is your company website. Make it easy for applicants to check out who you are what you do. Provide a link to your website or landing page to help explain the company’s values, mission, and culture.
Embrace the Challenge
Just like most technological things in this world, job boards are evolving and are in a state of flux. The challenge is to stay ahead of the curve and change with the various job boards and services you choose. For many employers, the perfect recruiting strategy may be a combination of job boards and social media. This allows candidates to get an idea of your company culture and employer brand.
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