Written by Holly Watson | May 27, 2015
“My application numbers are lower than usual”
“I’m really struggling to fill my vacancies at the moment”
“The candidates I’m looking for just aren’t applying for my roles”
Do any of these sound familiar?
Low application numbers could be a result of a number of factors, both internal and external. However, when evaluating your managed recruitment strategy, it’s important to take into account each area which could be affecting the quality or volume of your applications.
To help you along the way, Webrecruit takes a look at the six most common reasons why your application numbers could be lower than usual and the steps you can take to fix this.
1. Long application forms
So, you’ve passed the first hurdle; candidates are interested in working for your company and want to apply for your latest vacancy. However, when filling out an online application form, they’re faced with a long list of questions, many of which have already been answered on their CV.
What do candidates do? Some, most likely, will get frustrated and click off the page. Others might choose to return to apply later when they have more time.
It’s important to make the application process as simple as possible for candidates as an overly long application form is likely to deter applicants.
When creating an online application form, think carefully about the questions you’re asking and if they’re absolutely necessary. Try to keep application forms short, concise and to the point in order to maximise your response rates.
2. The wrong advertising platforms
Do you know what recruitment advertising sources work best for you? If not, it’s worth conducting some research and auditing your advertising strategy.
Using the right recruitment advertising platforms is important in order to reach the most suitable audience for your vacancy.
Make a list of the different sources that you use to advertise your vacancies – this could include job boards, LinkedIn or any other platforms.
For each source, gather data on the number of quality candidates who’ve applied – these are the candidates who you’ve hired, interviewed or at least considered interviewing.
If you notice that there’s a particular job board that doesn’t deliver great candidates for a specific sector, you might consider removing it from your list. Likewise, if there’s a job board that consistently delivers strong candidates, ensure that all your vacancies are advertised there.
3. Your recruitment adverts
While evaluating your recruitment advertising strategy, it’s also important to consider the content of your job advertisements. A poorly written online job advert can put off candidates from applying so getting this right is important.
Make sure that your adverts are written with your audience in mind. For example, if you’re trying to find a new Sales Executive, talk about the great products they’ll be selling and the perks of the job, such as the commission scheme or company car.
Try to avoid using negative terminology in adverts as it can be off-putting for candidates and can reflect badly on your brand. For instance, if you’d prefer that candidates didn’t come from a telesales background, state in the advert that ‘face-to-face sales experience’ is required rather than ‘telesales professionals need not apply’.
4. Lack of communication with your candidates
Not responding to candidates who have made an application can be damaging to your future response rates, as well as your employer brand.
By not responding to an application, candidates might think that you’re not organised enough to get in contact or worse, you don’t care about them. This can leave a bad impression of your company and can put them off submitting another application in the future.
Make sure that you always confirm whether applications have been successful or unsuccessful and, where possible, provide feedback.
If a candidate has a great skill set but you feel that they aren’t right for the vacancy that they’ve applied for, it’s worth telling them this and keeping their details on file for any roles that arise in the future.
5. A poor employer brand
No-one wants to work for a company with a bad reputation. In fact, 69% of candidates would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed, according to the 50 HR and Recruitment Stats That Make You Think from Glassdoor.
So, could your reputation be putting candidates off?
If you think so, pay close attention to your employer branding strategy. Focus on your company culture, your social media presence and your USPs as an employer.
It’s important to not just focus on the fun stuff, like Pizza Fridays and office beanbags; think about personal development, training and how you treat your employees.
For more information on how to build an amazing employer brand, check out our blog, A Masterclass in Employer Branding.
6. A non mobile optimised careers site
More candidates than ever are applying for jobs on a mobile device. Therefore, not having a mobile optimised careers site can be problematic.
A non-mobile optimised careers site can be frustrating when trying to apply for a vacancy – the candidate experience will likely be poor and it can leave a bad impression of your company. If it’s not easy to apply for a vacancy on a mobile device, many candidates will likely give up.
If you haven’t already, think about investing in a mobile optimised careers site or, at the very least, create a ‘save for later’ or ‘send details to myself’ option at the end of each vacancy. This will enable candidates to complete their application later on using a computer.
Interested in learning how Webrecruit’s managed recruitment solutions can help to increase your application numbers? Find out more.