How to boost quality applications to your jobs

You may be forgiven for thinking that the last thing you need is more applications. With WaveTrackR data showing that applications are around 100% over the levels they were in the pre-pandemic months of early 2020 and some jobs receiving hundreds or even thousands of applications, you are probably inundated. Redundancies are at record levels and unemployment is rising, leading to most industries experiencing an influx of applications. However, how many of these are quality applications from candidates that are right for the jobs you are posting? To increase quality applications to your jobs there are some really simple things you can do instantly, in-house and without financial investment. Best of all, the results can often be immediate.

Location

This is key. Our research shows that inputting a location, including a full postcode, can increase the number of quality applications you receive from your job boards by 30-40%. Jobs with a postcode included make up 59% of all jobs posted on WaveTrackR but a huge 76% of all applications. Jobs posted on job boards won’t perform as well as jobs that have a specific location advertised. Likewise, Google prioritises location-specific job ads for local search results. Vague locations, e.g. ‘the South-east’ or ‘nationwide’, will limit your job’s search engine visibility.

Although many are currently working from home location does still matter as surveys have shown that, post-pandemic, most will want to move towards more of a hybrid working pattern where going into the office will feature in their working week. It’s worth considering adding the location into the title, e.g. ‘Sales Manager in Manchester’ as, again, it makes it more relevant and therefore more visible. Plus, for those jobs where location is important, it will help to reduce applications from those who couldn’t commute to that area and are therefore unsuitable. 

Salary

If you were searching for a job wouldn’t you want to know what you’d get paid? Neglecting to add a salary to your job ad might not only deter quality candidates, it could encourage unsuitable candidates to apply. A LinkedIn survey found that salary and benefits are the most searched for pieces of information on a job description. A salary range will do but the more specific the better.

Job title

Take a moment to think about the first thing a candidate will do when they are searching for a job – type in the job title that they are looking for into a search engine or on a job board. Will they be entering words like ‘ninja’, and ‘guru’?Probably not. Similarly, someone searching for ‘Customer Services Advisor’ might not find your ‘Customer Satisfaction Officer’ job. A standardised job title might not be as creative but it does something more important than that – it will be found by candidates searching for that job. Use Google Trends if you’re unsure which words are the most searched for.

Word Count

In general, less is more when it comes to job ads. WaveTrackR data has found that 250 words is preferred by the majority of candidates, although that figure does change depending on the industry (for example, candidates prefer technical sectors such as Engineering job ads to be longer). Just bear in mind that this is an advert, not an entire job spec – not every detail needs to be included at this point.

And finally… fill in every single field

When you’re filing in job board ad fields it is tempting to miss some out to save time but completing every one will ensure that the algorithms pick up its relevancy and that candidates searching for that particular job find it. Every bit of extra information that the job board allows you to enter – experience level, key skills, salary band, etc. – will help your job to be found by quality candidates.

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