3 Surprising Reasons Your Small Business Is Not Getting the Candidates You Need

April 18, 2016 Pete Jansons

It’s not easy out there for a small business employer. When it comes to recruiting candidates with the right skills and qualifications we need, we face a lot of challenges: a tight labor market, a lack of candidates (or too many of the wrong candidates), and competition from other businesses, to name a few.

Sometimes, however, the biggest obstacle we face is ourselves. Here are three ways you might be losing out on candidates that have nothing to do with the economy or other external factors. The good news is, you have the power to turn this trend around and start bringing in the talent you need.

  1. Your reputation doesn’t precede you. When was the last time you gave thought to your employment brand? Not to be confused with your consumer brand (the way customers think and feel about your business), your employment brand is the way current and potential employees think about your company as a viable place to work. If you don’t think you have an employment brand, think again. Every business has one – some are just stronger than other. If you want to entice candidates to work for you (and reap even more benefits), it’s worth your time to build your employment brand as a great place to work. 
  2. Your job posting doesn’t compel job seekers to apply. Job postings are meant to incite job seekers to apply, but sometimes they do just the opposite. Perhaps you do not provide enough information about the job – or perhaps you provide so much information as to overwhelm the job seeker. Maybe you neglected to include the benefits of the job or any information about the company. There could be a number of reasons job seekers are skipping over your posting. Fortunately, creating a good job posting can be an easy fix. For tips on how to better craft a more dynamic job posting that actually compels candidates to apply, check out “How to Create Job Descriptions That Don’t Suck.”
  3. Your application process is a hassle. Maybe it’s not the structure of your job posting, but what happens after they click “apply now” that’s the problem. Maybe the reason you’re losing candidates is because candidates give up trying to apply halfway through the process. An estimated third of candidates who try to apply for jobs don’t finish the process, according to internal CareerBuilder data. Why is this? Nearly 1 in 4 say the “apply now” link is broken, and 1 in 5 say the application process is far too long. If you think your application process could be the reason you’re losing candidates, see for yourself: Try applying to a job at your own company to see the process from job seekers’ eyes. If you find the process frustrating, so do they. Then compare the experience on a competitor’s website and see where there’s room to improve.

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