attracting job applicants

How to Attract Job Applicants Currently Employed Elsewhere

I can't express how large of an impact a good job ad has and how drastically a bad job ad is harming your ability to get qualified applicants for your jobs.

Hear me out...

Job ads are like a bridge.

A bridge helps people get across a gap from one side to the other. Think of one side as their current job. The opposite side of the bridge is where they want to go.

The job ad, and their process of engaging that job ad, is the bridge that gets them across that gap.

The very first thing we have to understand is that in order for somebody to want to walk across the bridge, they have to want to get to the other side... so the other side that they're going to has to be better than where they are right now. It has to be an upgrade.

Secondly, the bridge has to enable them to cross safely. It can't have heavy friction or they'll turn around without crossing the bridge.

The core issue for most companies is that their bridge isn't very appealing or easy to cross.

Applicant Attraction Bridge

Become an employer of CHOICE by identifying what makes your job offer better than your competitors!

  • Whatever is on the other side doesn't sound any better than where the applicant is right now. The current job they're in... or their current situation is just as good. It is potentially even better than the other side of working for this new company. Therefore, there's no motivation to even walk the bridge.
  • The requirements and qualifications listed in the job ad are so aggressive and in-depth that people fall off the bridge.
  • The process to apply is hard and time-consuming. It causes friction to cross... meaning the bridge is really shaky. This causes people to turn back because crossing isn't worth it.

Overall... The ad sets a negative tone. It's all about why this bridge shouldn't be crossed. It may work for the big dogs... but it doesn't work for you.

Make sure you're not throwing up Job Descriptions... The issue here is that,

  • They are constantly causing people to fall off because the list makes it sound like what lies on the other side of the bridge is so boring.
  • The requirements and qualifications are missing boards that anybody can fall through.
  • The bridge itself is so narrow, long, and shaky that it's causing the majority of people to quit before crossing. The process to apply has too much friction and isn't worth their time.

The only companies that are okay with posting job descriptions are big companies with wide audiences. Being widely known overrides the rest of the job descriptions... think Google, Apple, Facebook, big banks, or the biggest employer in your town. These companies can get away with having a boring and difficult bridge to cross because people have enough motivation to do it.

While you might think the qualified people will make it over the bridge because they meet your requirements... it is not what our data shows, especially in the current job market where hiring is so competitive.

There are two tricks to writing a great job ad...

First, the right job ad requirements are SO important.

Use our Job Requirements Validation guide to make sure that you are keeping the bridge intact.

Secondly, you need a job ad that is...






Our Applicant Attraction Bridge is exactly what you need to accomplish that and create the most effective job ad for your key positions.

Here's a breakdown of how you can attract job applicants that are currently employed elsewhere...

Focus on where your target job seekers are right now.

Instead of trying to determine what you're looking for, ask yourself (or your managers) who you're looking for. Take the "who"... their resumes or even LinkedIn profiles and study those individuals that you want to attract.

Ask these questions:

    Where are they right now?

    What is their role or job title?

    Who is their employer?

    What is their industry?

    What are their fears and frustrations about that job?

    What kind of change do they want?

    What are their aspirations?

    What are their pains and goals?

Compare these questions to the opportunities you can present them.

    How are you going to make their experience as an employee better and different?

    How do you solve their fears and frustrations?

    How do you help and amplify their ability to accomplish their goals and aspirations?

Essentially, you want to highlight how your offer compares to the job they're looking to leave. What can you offer that will be a solution to the frustrations they're feeling at their current job?

Let me walk through a handful and give you some ideas... Remember, you don't need to check all of these boxes. You can use just 1 or 2 of them as a basis to write a killer ad that generates a ton of applicants.

Location and hours...

Is there a long commute into the office every day?

Do you offer work from home or some type of partial remote opportunity?

Are they moving to just Monday-Friday or a potentially flexible schedule?

Red tape...

Are they coming from a big giant company that has a ton of red tape and politics?

You may be providing a small company where they have direct access to... pay, management team, minimal red tape, job benefits, and perks.

How can you make it different enough to make them want to cross that bridge?

You may have a special perk like house cleaning or paid time off for part-timers. Or, maybe what you have to offer them is a variety of different projects that will be more interesting for them.


They may be working in a strict button-down shirt and tie, while you may offer a more laid-back environment.

Now that you've done this back and forth comparison, It's time to write your compelling job ad.

Remember to be sure that...

  • The other side of the bridge (what you have to offer) looks like a place that people will want to go to. Your offer should be inviting and motivating enough to get them to cross!
  • Make sure your ad is engaging and exciting to read. Keep it positive and make your company look appealing!
  • You don't have holes that people fall through. Reduce those requirements down to 5-10 very strict functional requirements of what you actually need to have to be considered. Too many requirements will drive qualified people away!
  • You maximize the quality of applicants. Use your job questions to filter people out. Don't use the ad as a filter.

Here's what it means... you can include the normal stuff, just don't overfill it.

Get rid of your job description and focus your job ad on how you are different and better.

Make it compelling! Write your job ad in ways they will understand, while using vocabulary and terminology that is relatable.

Most importantly, make it sound like an exciting bridge to cross.

This right here will completely change the way you think about your ad.

Download our Job Requirements Validation and Applicant Attraction Bridge today!

Applicant Attraction Bridge

Find the qualified applicants you've been hoping for!

Learn how to build an Applicant Attraction Bridge that will instill future employees with confidence and reduce job transition friction.

First Name*
Last Name*
Share this article

Trying to compare Applicant Tracking Systems?

This buyer's checklist will help you weigh all of your options!

Get My Checklist

Curious what ApplicantPro is all about?

Find out how we can help you streamline and optimize your hiring process!

See a Demo

Related Articles

nail your job ads
Nail Your Job Ads and Snag Top-Notch Talent

Job ads are a marketing game and SEO is your winning strategy. Discover the art of using searchable titles and keywords and crafting concise job descriptions. Tone, wording, and salary transparency are vital in attracting top talent.


work at home mom with child on lap
Do 80% of job seekers really want remote work?

Uncover the power of using "flexible" in job ads and learn how it attracts 7x more applicants than "hybrid." Understand the real desires of job seekers and how flexibility goes beyond just the location of work.


group of employees working together
Building Employee-Employer Relationships: The Key to Boosting Business Success

A strong employee-employer relationship is critical to the success of your business. Check out these ideas that you can implement to keep your employees happy. Happy employees equals a thriving and successful business!


Want a tour?

Schedule a Demo

Let's get started!

FREE Trial