If your application numbers are dwindling and you can’t work out why, use this checklist before you run your next recruitment campaign.
It’s no longer an employer’s market, and the application process needs to be clear, positive and simple. If you want to attract the passive candidate that may not be actively looking, but just “seeing what’s out there”, you need to design your advertising and application process accordingly.
1. Select the Right Advertising Channels
Are you advertising in the right places? Do some research on the many job boards, social media channels and other advertising options available. Look back over previous campaigns and find out which channels worked best.
Where does your ideal candidate look for job roles, what websites do they visit, do they use social media? Compile a list of channels and assess which ones would be most effective for your recruitment campaign. Type the job title you are recruiting for into Google and see what comes up. Take note of the advertising channels that appear on the first page.
Try social media to support your advertising, although this will only work if the candidates you’re looking for use this platform regularly, so do some research. It is a cost-effective approach but may take longer unless promoted with a paid-for campaign.
2. Create the Perfect Advert
This is key to candidate attraction; the first few lines even more so. If the advert you use to attract the perfect candidate doesn’t portray the role or organisation clearly, you won’t get many applications.
Keep it simple, be positive about what your organisation can offer the candidate and be clear on what the job involves.
The job advert shouldn’t be a duplication of the job description, but instead an advert for the company and the role itself. Give the candidate reasons to want to apply.
Ensure you include salary banding, benefits and features of the role. Exude exclusivity and persuasive language to create a sense of urgency to apply.
3. Avoid Long Application Forms
Most candidates will leave the application process if you ask them to fill out a long-drawn-out application form. They’ve given you their CV, so in their eyes, you have all the information you need.
If you must include application forms as part of the process, keep them short and simple to fill out and not just a repeat of what’s already on their CV.
Be clear on salary. Some candidates won’t even consider applying for roles with no salary listed unless it’s for a sought-after brand-name organisation. On some job boards, there is even a search field to exclude no salary job adverts.
It’s too risky for the applicant to go through the application process and even get to interview to find out the salary is nowhere near what they are expecting. If you can’t put an exact salary, use a banding such as between £20,000 and £25,000 as at least this gives an indication of what it will be and it can be searched for.
If your employer site or page is not optimised for viewing on a mobile platform, you can say goodbye to all those potential applicants sitting on the train searching for a new job.
Those already in a job will use the commute home as a prime opportunity to search for a new role. If your employer site or page is not easy to view, it will impact on the number of applications you receive. Also, ensure you are able to accept CVs using Dropbox, one drive or equivalent, as uploading a CV needs to be hassle-free.
Ask your IT team or web provider for advice on this and don’t underestimate the mobile job seeker, online recruitment is here and ignoring this element within your recruitment strategy will harm your applicant quality and quantity.
6. Good Communication
Don’t leave applicants waiting too long for a response. As soon as their CV has been sent to you, send an acknowledgment. Even if you are using a job board, a personally branded email from the HR Team settles any concern over the receipt and will keep your applicant in the process.
Don’t leave it too long in between receipt of an application and shortlisting. If it is taking longer than expected, send an email with a quick reminder of where you are in the process.
Always notify applicants, successful or not. It’s courteous to let everyone know they haven’t been shortlisted even if you’ve had hundreds of applications. They may not have been suitable for this role, but if you recruit again the perfect candidate may be put off applying. Using an online recruitment platform would help to manage this aspect of the process.
We can help you make sure you tick off each of these points, with the Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform. The platform comes equipped with all the tools you need to run a successful recruitment campaign, whatever your needs.
Interested? Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how it works.
March 2, 2021
Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance.
He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce 'Innovation in Business' award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell).
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