Suffering from Applicant Deficiency? Here’s How to Cure It.

A business is only as good as its employees, so hiring great talent is a top priority for most companies.  However, in today’s hiring climate, finding star candidates can be tough.  According to data from Jobvite, applications to open positions decreased in 2017, while offers of employment increased, and this trend has continued into 2020.  If your company is one of the many that are feeling frustrated by a lack of applicants, here are some solutions to try.

1. Simplify your hiring process

Having a lengthy, tedious application process can be catastrophic for retaining candidates.  Indeed found that Fortune 500 companies lost 9 out of 10 qualified candidates simply due to their complex application processes.  They discovered that the average Fortune 500 online job application asks 63 questions, and that applications with 45 or more questions dissuade 89% of candidates from applying. Learn from their mistakes by only asking questions absolutely necessary for the role.

2. Change your expectations

You might be inadvertently scaring off candidates with lofty expectations.  Try cutting down requirements as much as you can, just keeping the basic skills needed for the role.  A great way to do that is by differentiating between core skills and trainable skills.  Before adding a skill to the requirement list, ask yourself: Could I easily train my new hire to perform this skill?  A great way to gauge if an applicant would be a quick, cooperative learner is by using cognitive aptitude and personality assessments.

3. Sell the job

Yet another reason your company might not be attracting enough candidates is a lackluster job description.  Be sure to convey the excitement of the role and what the candidate will gain from the position, not just what your company expects of the applicant.  Glassdoor found that job candidates are most interested in a job’s salary (67%), benefits (63%), location (59%), commute time (43%), and employee reviews (32%), so keep this in mind when writing your job ads.

4. Sell your company

Selling your company is debatably just as important as selling the job itself.  Employer branding is crucial: 95% of job seekers that were polled said that a company’s reputation influences whether or not they choose to apply to that company.  Luckily, there are things you can do to boost your image.  Encourage happy employees to post reviews on Glassdoor, and make sure your social media and website convey your company as a happy, satisfying, community-oriented place to work.

5. Promote the listing

It doesn’t matter how good your job posting is if no job seekers ever see it.  Therefore, promotion is crucial.  Be sure to post your listing across various popular sites (LinkedIn, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Monster, to name a few), post about open roles on your company website and social media, and encourage employees to send the listing to qualified friends. Even more importantly, keep track of where your best candidates are coming from to make sure your sourcing strategy is getting you the most bang for your buck.

6. Use key terms

Predicting the terms that job seekers are going to search goes a long way in attracting applicants.  Using obscure terminology decreases the chances that candidates will find your job listing.  Try to opt for the most generic titles – “Sales Manager” rather than “Business Development Manager,” for instance.  You can use tools such as Google Trends to see what job titles, requirements, and description vocabulary are most searched.

7. Rely on referrals

A LinkedIn survey of over 3,000 individuals estimates that 85% of positions are filled through networking.  Therefore, it’s imperative that you get your current employees talking about open positions with their contacts.  One great way to do that is through referral program incentives.  Try offering a bonus or other reward for employees who refer applicants who are eventually hired.

8. Keep “silver medalists” in mind

You might be tempted to throw out the information of any candidates that don’t make the cut.  However, it can be valuable to keep the resumes of candidates that made it to the final selection rounds, often dubbed “silver medalists.”  It’s possible that in the future a role will open up at your company that these candidates can fill.

A small applicant pool can quickly debilitate a company’s workforce, but luckily there are plenty of ways to heal any weak spots in your hiring funnel.  Use these 8 tips to revamp your application process and make 2020 your best hiring year yet.