4 little-known secrets to getting the best job applicants

Mary Lorenz

Trying to find quality candidates in today’s tight labor market can be as frustrating as trying to get through an hour watching C-SPAN. But with a little grit, a lot of determination and a good amount of effort, at least one of the above is achievable. What really helps recruiters find excellent job applicants for their open roles?

Create a job posting that gets results

While it’s important to create specific, clearly written job postings, in the age of Google for Jobs it’s also important to optimize your job postings for maximum searchability. For example, if you were stuffing your job postings with keywords to show up in more search results, such practices could now get your job postings flagged as potential spam.

Instead, be intentional with your keywords and include keywords and terms job seekers are searching for most, like salary, benefits, location, job type and employment type. When possible, include structured data in your job posting, or post your jobs with a trusted, tech-savvy partner that can help you get the most from your job postings.

Give your career site a promotion

You may not realize it, but your career site plays a huge role in your ability to attract quality candidates and reduce applicant drop off. 

Enabling job seekers to apply directly through your career site (as opposed to sending them to a separate site) can also increase application rates. It’s true: CareerBuilder research found that companies that let job seekers apply directly through their career sites see 23 percent more applicants than through sites hosted by an ATS or external agency.

Finally, more and more  applications come from mobile devices. The easier you make it for candidates to apply on the go, the less likely they are to ditch the application process altogether.

Enlist the help of your employee ambassadors

It should hardly come as a surprise that the best source of quality hire is your own employee base. After all, your employees know your business best and know who would make a good fit. Not to mention they know whomever they refer is a reflection on them, so you can be sure they’re sending qualified candidates to your positions.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to mobilize employees to act as ambassadors and refer their friends and professional peers to your company. That doesn’t have to be the case, however, thanks to platforms like Social Referral, which automate the employee referral process through social media. The easier you make it for employees to share your jobs with their social networks, the faster you will drive relevant applicants.

Never stop recruiting

If you’ve never been blindsided by a sudden need to fill a position, consider yourself lucky. Today especially, it is critical to have a plan in place. Half of employers say it’s taking them longer to fill open positions than at any other point in time, according to CareerBuilder research. And it’s no secret that the longer you leave a position unfilled, the more you lose in time, productivity, morale and money.

Instead of waiting until you have a job opening to look for candidates, adopt an always-on approach to recruiting. That’s not to say you should promise candidates a job that doesn’t exist yet, but give them the option to join your talent network so they can stay engaged with the company and learn about future opportunities as they arise. Start building your talent pipeline today so you won’t be left scrambling to find relevant candidates tomorrow.


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