As unemployment rates drop, it becomes more difficult to find quality workers to fill open positions. Companies need to work harder to attract qualified candidates. If your job ads are getting few responses, take a close look at your recruitment process. Here are a few reasons your response rate might be poor and some tips on how to do better in the future.
1. You Don't Do Your Research
Before you post that first job ad, it is important to research the pool of qualified applicants. Look at the unemployment rate in your area. If it is particularly low, you may need to search farther for great candidates. How is your company perceived? Are the qualifications you are seeking widely held? These are all things to find out to help you recruit better.
2. You Target the Wrong Applicants
Where do you post your job ads? Some job boards are more active than others, and some are more popular in certain industries. In general, the more types of job ads your post, the more people you reach. Consider a multi-faceted campaign with job ads posted in your local papers, in industry publications and on a variety of websites online. Don't forget to use word of mouth with your network to encourage qualified applicants to apply. Consider setting up a booth at job fairs in your community, nearby cities or local universities. All are great ways to get more people aware of your opening.
3. Your Job Ads Are Demanding
Remember that the recruitment process is a cooperative process between you and the applicant. Check your job ads for phrases with a demanding tone, and rewrite them with a supportive tone. For example, instead of only listing required qualifications, include information about ways the company supports its workers. Write in the second person instead of the less personable third person, referring to candidates as "you" instead of a generic "applicant." Put yourself in the job seeker's shoes. Would you want to respond to the ad?
4. Your Assessments Are Off-Putting
Assessments are a great way to compare applicants objectively and also ensure that they are truly qualified. On the other hand, no one wants to take a three-hour test that doesn't really seem to have anything to do with the position. Make sure that all required assessments are relevant and necessary. Choose shorter assessments over longer ones whenever possible. Never make unreasonable demands of applicants. No one should be expected to write reports or work for free as part of the application process. Consider portfolio evaluations and behavioral interviews as alternative ways to assess qualifications.
When the response to your job ads is poor, step back and do some research to figure out if your expectations are unreasonable. Then, rewrite your job ads using supportive language, and post them in places that target the types of applicants you desire. Finally, keep your assessments short and to the point to avoid wasting the applicant's time while increasing your response rate.
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