September 21, 2018

What Makes Candidates Click: The Do’s & Don’ts of Job Advertising

Alicia Little
Marketing Manager
September 21, 2018

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Have you ever wondered what makes candidates click, or not click, on your job ad?

Is it possible that some of your job advertising practices are on the ‘don’t list’? If your practices are out-dated, or not optimized for today’s modern job seeker, then there’s a good chance your apply rates could be suffering.

But how do you know what practices are hurting your job ad clicks (and therefore, your applies!)?

We took a deep dive into the four common mistakes (aka, the data) behind what may be holding back the performance of your job advertising, and what you can do about it.

The Candidate Experience

At the heart of talent acquisition lies one thing: the candidate experience. That experience begins the first moment a job seeker interacts with your employer brand – either through word-of-mouth among colleagues, visiting your website, or seeing your job ad during their online search.

It’s no surprise that job seekers who are satisfied with their candidate experience are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. When it comes to the recruitment process, the way that you engage with, and are viewed by potential candidates, can have a huge impact on your business – not just your recruitment processes.

But how do you ensure that your candidate experience is positive?

One of the earliest ways a candidate may engage with your employer brand is through your job advertising. When they begin their job search, a candidate will be flooded with sponsored job ads pointing them in different directions. And if your job ad practices are out of date, you could be leaving a bad taste in a potential candidate’s mouth about your brand before they ever even engage with your company.

Four Common Mistakes in Job Advertising

a recent webinar, What Makes Candidates Click: The Do’s & Don’ts of Job Advertising, Appcast VP of Product, Tom Chevalier, and iCIMS Product Marketing Manager, Sue Ahimovic, took time to break down the implications of the candidate experience in today’s talent acquisition landscape by reviewing 4 common mistakes in job advertising:

1. Posting a vague or lengthy job title (see the data below!) or description to attract the highest quantity of candidates at the risk of receiving few that are actually qualified.

Without specific experience and skill requirements, organizations are more likely to waste valuable time sorting through applicants that don’t meet requirements. 

How to Fix It: Before a job is posted, collaborate with hiring managers to define a successful job description for each particular role.

Be specific about job requirements, communicate your organization’s employee value, ensure your job ads are optimized with the highest performing number of characters for the title and description, and avoid buzzwords or symbols that can deter someone from clicking your job ad.

Click-to-Apply Rates by Job Title Length

2. Focusing so much on selling the company itself that your career site lacks a human touch.

A bland company site that doesn’t come across as valuing a candidate can establish a poor first impression. Today’s job seekers, above all else, value employee reviews when researching a company.

How to Fix It: Create content that is conversational, balancing essential company information with a sense of purpose for job seekers.

Invest in your employer brand, and leverage Glassdoor ratings to improve your click-to-apply rates.

3. Allowing a manual and lengthy application process to turn off excited candidates. 

How a candidate feels about the application process directly impacts how they feel about the overall job they’re applying to, as well as your employer brand. Applications that take over 5 minutes to complete see a tremendous decrease in percentage of application completions (down from 12% for 1-5 minutes, to just 4% for 15 minutes or more).

Bonus tip: requiring job seekers to ‘create an account’ in order to apply for a job can significantly impact your apply rates. Again, quality job seekers won’t waste time answering seemingly unnecessary questions (or managing multiple accounts – imagine how many jobs they are applying for!).

How to Fix It: Provide candidates a continuously smooth experience by selecting a dedicated recruitment platform.

Look to a recruitment solution that operates seamlessly with focused talent acquisition tools to give candidates a more complete, holistic experience, and allows you to easily analyze the ROI that your job advertising contributes to your overall recruitment funnel. Keep the first round of application concise and limited to only necessary information.

 4.’Post & pray’ or sponsoring all jobs, which leads to an imbalance in candidate flow.

This strategy is reactive, rather than proactive, and can lead to you missing out on job seekers who may be looking for a role just like the one you’re advertising. When you miss active candidates, unfilled open positions can have a huge impact on your overall business, driving up costs to keep the sponsored jobs running (but returning little to no candidate volume).

How to Fix It: Utilize a flexible, programmatic advertising strategy that ensures the right job seekers click on the right ads.

Automate your strategy with a performance-based model, allow technology to do all the heavy lifting for you, and get back to focusing on the human elements of talent acquisition.

Watch the on-demand webinar to ensure you are executing on the do’s and eliminating the don’ts for better job advertising performance!

This post was originally published on April 15, 2018, and has since been updated.

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