job ad not performing well on job boards

Is Your Job Ad Falling Flat on Job Boards?

Is Your Job Ad Falling Flat on Job Boards?

We're still in the throes of a massive talent shortage. Honestly, it's not improving.

In fact, all the news says that a high majority of all employees are thinking about quitting their jobs or finding a new position as the economy opens back up.

Everything shifts and changes.

Most companies that I work with... well, their approach to job boards is actually doing more harm than good. There are plenty of people looking... you just aren't seeing them.

I was on the phone with one of our large retail clients this week, who also happens to be a non-profit organization... one of the things they're doing, like everybody else, is struggling to get enough applicants for their main positions.

When they looked at where their applicants were predominantly coming from... it's the big job boards, like indeed and zip recruiter, etc.

They reacted to a lack of applicants from those core sources by... massively increasing their game. They increased their spending on sponsored job ads and started pushing their open positions out to even more job boards.

In a 3 month period, they posted 400 job ads in 2000 different places.

This means every one of those openings posted to over 30 different job boards... Indeed, Zip recruiter, college job boards, workforce services, community sites, newspapers, etc.

The real discouraging fact is that all those extra job boards didn't move the needle at all...

What about Job Ad Engagement?

Job Board Recruiting Guide

Ensure your putting your best foot forward when it comes to job board recruiting

As I talked to them about the job boards, especially the most popular ones, they expressed that the applicants they want to target "just weren't there". It was one of the most surprising statements I've ever heard. but the premise of their argument was that "because they don't get enough applicants from Indeed or Zip Recruiter... it must mean that those types of applicants simply aren't on those job boards looking for work."

Did it ever cross their minds that there are hundreds of qualified applicants that just weren't engaged enough by their job ads on the job boards?

No matter how many applicants you're getting right now, there are... and always will be more.

My data from working with Indeed and studying over half a billion job seekers, as they went down the funnel from searching for a job... to seeing a job ad... to reading the job ad... to applying... was that for each application the average employer sees in their inbox, there are 99 more applicants who never apply. They are interested in the position enough to search for a title and location so the job ad showed up in their results, but they never actually made it into the employers inbox.

Keep in mind, you don't need all 99 of those. But... your chances of finding a highly qualified candidate for each of your open positions is greater the more applicants you receive.

4 Common Mistakes by HR

Here are 4 mistakes that may explain why HR Professionals struggle to solve this problem...

  1. They don't know what they're missing out on. Employers see the number of applicants who land in our inbox... but they don't actually see...
  2. How many people started applying but didn't finish?

    How many started looking at your job ad but didn't actually start applying?

    How many searched for and saw your ad title but didn't click on it?

  3. Most employers don't know that they can impact the likelihood of those people actually applying for their opening.
  4. Even if they knew they could impact it, they don't know what to do about it.
  5. They tend to just do things that have worked in the past and miss out on options.

5 core focuses for job board recruiting success...

It's laid out as a questionnaire. Here's a list of questions you can ask yourself. They will lead you to the right answers and the right actions to take to solve the problem.

First focus...Distributability.

  • Are your open positions shared where people can find them?
  • Are your job openings on the job boards?
  • Are your open positions on the most powerful job boards, like... Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Facebook, etc?
  • Are your jobs also on industry-specific job boards?

Once you get these core ones...

  • Are you wasting time adding more obscure job boards?
  • Are you feeding the misconception that the activity of posting to more places is somehow going to help us?

In the case of the client I was speaking of who posted the job on 2000 individual job postings, they posted to obscure job boards. The net result? Less than 10 applicants across all the job ads.

Second Focus... Visibility.

Just because your job is on a job board doesn't mean that it is showing up in the searches of qualified candidates.

  • Are you targeting the words or phrases potential applicants are searching for? Really ask yourself... What kind of searches are being performed by potential applicants that we would want to get in front of?

Once you know what kind of things are searching for, do those words or phrases make up at least 1-2% of your job ad text?

  • Are you spending money to then inflate or increase your rankings on those searches by sponsoring your job on a job board? Feel free to spend additional money to move up the list and amplify your results. But only once you have nailed down the right words and phrases and used them enough times in your postings.

In the instance of the client that I was looking at, a lot of their jobs were targeting the wrong words. For instance, they had a position that they were calling a merchandising pricing associate. Yet when you talk to them... it's really a warehouse job.

They tried to make the open position sound cooler than it was by using new lingo. The problem is the job did not show up in the core searches done by potential high-quality applicants.

Third Focus... Clickability.

  • Does your listing show up in the list of results when somebody runs a search? This really comes down to a handful of core questions to ask yourself.
  • Does your job title make sense to prospective applicants?
  • Do you have good reviews? To be viewed as a good option, having a good number of good reviews is essential.
  • Do you have flair? Apply tags. The little tags that show up on the posting are designed to give the applicants more knowledge about the employer and the open position. Most of them share how good the employer is, or how easy it is to apply.

It's easy- just apply tags! Responsive employer tags or urgently hiring tags are designed to increase readers. The chances that a potential applicant who sees your ad in the results will click to read the job ad goes up.

Fourth Focus... Engageability.

  • Does your job ad actually engage the reader and make them excited about the opportunity? At the end of the day, the most important change an employer can make is to change their job ad away from an old bullet-infested job description... over into a targeted, specific, engaging ad.
  • Does your job ad talk about how this position will be an upgrade from whatever job your target applicant has right now?
  • Does your job ad make it sound like this is an upgrade opportunity... where their life will be improved? Will career opportunities be improved?
  • Did you focus on your differences from your competitors, instead of focusing on how you're the same? The entire design and approach to posting jobs and writing job ads in the corporate world in America are focused on copying each other... therefore creating a commodity marketplace.

What is the most powerful thing you can do as an employer?

Do the opposite. Focus on what makes you different, not the same as everyone else.

  • Does it answer their questions that might come to mind?
  • What shift? What hours? What are the days? What is the schedule?

    What's the pay?

    What's it like to work there?

    What type of software will they need to know?

  • Are you transparent and listing specifics?
  • Is there PTO?

    How many days off?

    Do you tell them what it takes to earn it?

    Do you tell them when it starts?

If you're embarrassed by the specifics of your perks, your benefits for the position, chances are... they're gonna find out at some point. You might need to think about changing some of those structures in your organization.

Fifth Focus...convertibility.

  • Did you remove items or did you do things to make people more likely to convert from a reader to an applicant? That is what conversion is about. The difference between information and marketing is that marketing calls you and drives you to take the next action.
  • Does the structure of your job ad drive potential applicants to take the next action?
  • Did you remove any overstated requirements or preferred requirements that would scare qualified applicants away?
  • Does the last paragraph of the job ad call people to act? I know this seems redundant because if you're on a job board, you see an apply button and it's the purpose of the job board to bring people in. The last paragraph must be engaging. The very last paragraph needs to tell them to take action.

Did you tell applicants what to expect after they apply?

  • One of the great ways to get people to actually apply is to make sure you have transparency into what comes next.
  • What is the next step?

    When will they hear back?

    What will happen in the process?

  • Are you allowing applicants to stay on the job boards while using their current profiles to apply? If you expect applicants to leave the job board and come to your career site to apply, you're missing out on a substantial number of applicants. You have created more friction.
  • Does the initial expression of interest and the initial application process take less than 5 minutes?
  • Does it leave out things like...
  • extensive work history?

    requirement for references?

    asking for socials?

    asking them to sign off on a background check, etc.?

  • Do you leave that until later in the hiring process?

So remember...

These five drivers have the greatest success in recruiting from job boards

1. Are your open positions distributed to the biggest job boards to get the most traffic?

2. Are you using keywords in the right way to ensure that you're being visible to people who are actually searching for keyword phrases that signify they're a good fit for the position?

3. Does it make people want to click to read more when it shows up in the list of results?

4. Is the actual job ad, the content of the job ad, and the flow of the job ad actually engaging and exciting to the reader?

5. Do you have the correct next steps in place that drive people to convert from being a reader of your job ad toan applicant for the position?

I hope that you understand the value that this information provides...

Implementing this process will drive real results.

I find that running these 5 things will increase applicant flow from 50%-300%... without spending any additional money.

And when you do spend money on those job boards after maximizing these five things... it will amplify the number of qualified candidates you get for each dollar spent.

For an easy-to-use questionnaire, and to get your posts working for you, check out our Job Board Recruiting Guide

guide to job board recruiting cover

Make the most out of Job Boards!

5 Core Focuses to optimize your Job Board Recruiting

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