Hiring is on every business owner and manager's mind right now. As of the September 2021 jobs report, there are 10 million unfilled jobs in the United States. The challenge to hire enough employees to keep businesses functioning and able to meet the increased demand is the challenge of 2021. But in order to hire anyone, job seekers must first apply for your jobs. Getting more “apply now” clicks and completed applications means your applicant pipeline will be full and healthy. That also means you’ll have a larger pool of applicants to choose from to meet your hiring demands.
Since increasing the number of applicants for your jobs is critical to hiring success, it is important for employers to develop a recruiting process that supports this goal. Luckily, there are practical and simple things that any employer can do to get more people to apply for vacant jobs in their business. We’ve compiled a list of five actions that could have a significant impact on the number of applications that land in your in-box.
This one goes without saying. In a competitive job market, you must have impressive wages and impressive benefits. Gone, at least for now, are the days of trying to get the best quality talent for the lowest possible wage. To attract talent at all, your company will need to show job seekers the money, or they will pass for a company who is paying a more generous wage.
At the time of this writing Amazon is paying $22 dollars an hour plus a $3,000 sign on bonus for warehouse associates. That’s up from $15 an hour and a $1,000 sign on bonus a few months ago. Target starts their associates at $15 per hour. And Buc-ee’s advertises a wage of $17 an hour for associates. They also offer generous paid time off.
With these companies coming in strong with compensation and benefits, that raises the standard for all employers. Not only will existing employees be tempted to leave for better pay and benefits, job seekers will pass over low wages to apply for work where they can earn more money and enjoy more perks.
Decide on a competitive wage that will be attractive to jobseekers. But also be flexible and willing to increase pay if the market changes to keep up with the competition. You may also consider other compensation such as a sign-on bonus and stay incentive. Then use the higher pay to your advantage by promoting it on all job posts and other recruiting advertisements. This will do wonders to draw in more job applicants.
People look for jobs for one reason. To support their own goals or meet their own needs. Their main question when scanning your job posting is, “What’s in it for me?” Keep this in mind when writing job postings. Often employers spend a lot of time focusing on what they need and want from an employee. Yes, you do need to clearly communicate the main function of the job and the requirements. But the fact is, the majority of the job posting should highlight what the employee will gain by working with your company.
Amazon is a company that does a great job with this in their job postings. All of their recruiting outreach from the actual job posting, to social media and commercials focus on pay, benefits and even how working for the company can help the person leave Amazon for another career.
Amazon realizes that being a warehouse associate is probably not a long term career. But it could be a stepping stone into a career with Amazon or otherwise, or a source of income while pursuing education. Amazon capitalizes on this to market their jobs and get in a steady flow of applications. You can too. The main takeaway here is to make it about them, not about you.
Also, to learn more about how to write job postings that are more jobseeker focused check out this article: The Definitive Guide to Writing Job Posts That Attract Great Candidates.
The qualifications section of a job posting is like an employer wish list. When we sit down to write all the things we want or would love for an employee to bring to the table, it’s just exciting. Before we know it, the qualifications list is longer than our grocery list.
But what does this say to applicants? It could be the very thing that keeps a jobseeker from applying. Don’t let an unruly, unrealistic list of skills and qualifications stand between you and great applicants. When writing your job posting, consistently challenge every requirement. Ask yourself, if that requirement is absolutely necessary for the job to get done successfully.
Is a high school diploma absolutely necessary for a janitor to successfully get the job done? Probably not. Would the ability to follow verbal and written instructions be essential? Probably so.
The final list of requirements shouldn’t be filled with nice to haves or be a wish list. It should accurately reflect what applicants must bring to the employment table to do the job. If your goal is to get more applicants, keep requirements and qualifications simple and specific to the job.
Applying for a job with your company should be easy. Yes, it is tempting to ask job seekers to list every job they have had since high school. Those screening questions and assessments sound like a good idea on the front end too. But what happens in reality is that job seekers will bounce the second they encounter an over complicated application process. This is especially true for people seeking hourly and part time positions. Add to that, this is a job seeker's market. Jobs are plentiful. There is less incentive to spend an hour completing a job application, and risk never even hearing back from the employer.
So what’s the best thing to do? Make applying for jobs with your company easy and fast. Jacksonville Works makes having a super easy application process extremely simple for employers. When posting your jobs on Jacksonville Works, simply choose to receive applications by email. By doing so, job seekers can apply using their profile instead of filling out a form on your website or applicant tracking system. It makes applying quick and easy for job seekers. Which means you may receive more applications.
You will have the opportunity to ask more questions and thoroughly screen applicants in your selection process. So don’t try to make your application a screening tool. Make it easy to apply and get more people in your applicant funnel.
Posting jobs on the big national job boards may seem like the logical thing to do. They get a lot of traffic from all around the world. You may think all employers post on the big national job boards. The bad part is that all so many employers post on the big national job boards and they get traffic from all around the world. Which means your jobs have lots of competition and you can get lots of applications from applicants who are not local. That isn't what you want when you need to get the attention of local job seekers.
When you’re hiring locally, a more focused approach is needed. You want your job to stand out and get the attention of local job seekers. When you post on the big national boards, jobs can easily get lost in the sea of other jobs. It can be very difficult to stand out to jobseekers when they are searching through jobs from all over the globe.
A local job board like Jacksonville Works gives your job the ability to be easily seen by job seekers. Since there are only local jobs listed, there is less clutter and less competition from big brands too. Your business has the opportunity to stand out as a great place to work to local job seekers and receive more, quality, local job applications.
A good rule is to diversify your job postings. Don’t depend on just one source. Include a mix of large, small and niche job sites in your recruiting strategy for maximum results in filling up your applicant pipeline.
It may feel harder than ever to find and hire the staff that you need. But remember that recruiting and hiring is a numbers game. The more applications you can get will significantly increase your chances of finding not just employees, but the right ones.
Take some time and review your application process and give a few of these suggestions a try. Our team is always here to support your hiring. Employers with active Jacksonville Works job postings (Plus or Premium Postings) can receive personalized hands on support with their hiring.
So if you’d like our team to help you come up with a strategy specifically tailored to your business, reach out and take advantage of this benefit of hiring with Jacksonville Works.
Jacksonville Works is a community job board. At Jacksonville Works, we are on a mission to help local employers find great local employees. We are locally owned, locally operated and committed to helping business owners in Jacksonville hire. To get started, post your job.