How to Get Top Candidates to Apply to Your Job

Published: February 19, 2015 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Manager's Corner, Uncategorized

Attracting and hiring great employees is a challenge for any company, and it’s especially difficult when the candidates who apply are less than a good fit. If you’re looking to be a successful, competitive business, you need to attract top candidates—because you can’t hire outstanding employees if they never even apply to your company.

Contrary to what some organizations believe, attracting the best candidates is not about offering the biggest salary. Here’s how you can make your job openings more appealing to top talent, and start drawing in the right candidates for the job.

Craft job descriptions the right way

There are a lot of reasons top candidates might pass over your job description. Some may not be sure they’re qualified, some aren’t excited by the opportunity, and others might never have seen it in the first place.

The primary purpose of your job description is to sell your company and your opportunity to candidates. In today’s competitive job market, boring, confusing, or unclear job postings won’t attract many applicants—especially top candidates, who aren’t so desperate for a job that they’ll apply to anything.

Here’s what your job description should include:

  • Clear job title: A job title that is unusual, unclear, nonstandard, or nonexistent will be passed by, for a few different reasons. Nonconventional job titles won’t show up in searches, so many top candidates will never see the posting. Further, 64 percent of job seekers won’t apply for a job when they don’t understand the job title.
  • Compelling opening paragraph: A great job description will spark interest right from the start, with a paragraph that describes what’s in it for the job seeker. Write an opening that presents a clear overview of the position and summarizes any standout features, such as great benefits or a fun company culture.
  • Concise requirements: Many job descriptions make the mistake of listing every skill and qualification that’s either required for the position, or would be nice to have. But without clarification, candidates will feel that they must meet every item on the list—and they simply won’t apply. Pare down your skills list to the actual core requirements, and list nice-to-haves separately.
  • Compensation: Leaving salary information out of the job description is not a good way to attract top candidates. The best candidates won’t apply blindly to positions with no indication of salary—they want to make sure the job meets their requirements. Provide a salary range in the description, or at least state that salary is competitive and commensurate upon experience.

Streamline your application process

Some employers believe that a lengthy, complicated application process will weed out candidates who don’t really want the job—but in reality, the opposite is often true. Top candidates are often busy people, and if the application process is tedious or requires them to jump through hoops, they simply won’t complete it.
Ideally, you should ask for a resume and cover letter, and possibly a few short, easy-to-answer questions as part of your application process. If you have a lengthier online form, make sure your interface has user-friendly features like saving an application in process if the candidate walks away and comes back, or the ability to upload resumes and other materials in more than one format (such as both Word documents and PDFs).

Deliver a good candidate experience

As the saying goes, no news is good news—except when it comes to the job search process. Silence is not the best response for a candidate to get, and if that’s what they receive from you, they’re going to move ahead with a company that offers a faster and more receptive candidate experience.

If your hiring process routinely fails to acknowledge receipt of candidates’ resumes or application packages, review and respond to applicants in a timely manner, return candidate emails and phone calls, or promptly schedule interviews, you’re going to lose qualified candidates along the way. In fact, according to a CareerBuilder survey:

  • 44 percent of job candidates had a worse opinion of a company after receiving no response to their application
  • 32 percent were less likely to be customers of the company that didn’t respond
  • 15 percent maintained a low opinion of a nonresponding company after being contacted for an interview

Make sure that your hiring process is candidate-friendly—respond to resumes and applications, return messages, and keep candidates moving through the process as quickly as possible. Consistent communication is the key to a great candidate experience, so stay in touch throughout the process to keep top talent interested.

Clearpoint, a top staffing company in Houston, can help you find better job candidates to fill those open positions across a number of sectors. Contact us today to get started!

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