Getting More Applicants

One of the most popular questions I get right now is, “How can I get more applicants coming in? How can I increase applicant flow? How can I get more people applying for my open jobs?”

The truth is you really can’t.

See, the problem isn’t that you’ve got a sourcing issue, that the job boards aren’t doing their job, or that the market is a mess. That’s not the problem. That’s the problem you think you have, but it’s not.

The problem is deeper than that and the problem is something that you are responsible for. You see, if you aren’t getting enough applications, all the ad money in the world isn’t going to help you because you’re going to get more people that you have to say no to. And at the end of the day, that’s not what people are after.

We think that’s what we want, if we get more applications and more opportunities. But I’ve never met a business owner that would tell me that they would rather have 100 applications and two people they want to hire, versus five applications and two people they want to hire. You see the problem isn’t a volume issue, the problem is a quality issue. We need higher quality people applying for your open jobs.

The problem isn’t a volume issue, the problem is a quality issue.

Now, if you’re getting zero applications, that’s a quality issue, not a quantity issue. You see, people don’t want to apply for your jobs. That’s the problem. They see your jobs posted and they want nothing to do with it. So, how do you fix this? How do you solve this problem in today’s job market?

Well, let me give you a couple of tips. Pretend you’re a job seeker. Search your company, and see what comes up. Would you want to work there? I cannot tell you how many times we’ve talked to people that have said, “Well, I don’t know. Let’s take a look as I’ve never done that before.” And they see their business through the job seeker’s eyes. And they say, “I don’t know that I’d want to work here either based on what I see.” Poor Yelp reviews, a website that hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, and Facebook posts that aren’t relevant to the work. I wouldn’t want to work here either.

So the first thing you need to do is take a look at your business through your job seeker’s eyes. Recruiting is a marketing activity, it’s not an HR activity. Recruiting is just like marketing. If you’re not willing to invest in a recruiting process that is attractive, then I don’t know that there’s much that we can do to increase your applicant flow, to increase your lead volume.

You see, when we build customer websites and we think of customer funnels and we think of customer advertising, it’s all about what’s in it for the customer. Those exact same principles apply when you’re recruiting. What’s in it for the job seeker? Why should they care?

Then I want you to take a look at your job descriptions through the job seeker’s eyes. See the world through their eyes. You’ve got to stand out. If you’re not willing to do something different in your job ads, if you’re not willing to write a different kind of ad, you’re just going to keep getting what you’ve always gotten. You’ve got to do something different.

So you’ve got a great job ad. You’ve got a great brand. People are applying now. You’ve increased your applicant flow. These are people that you really like. You’ve attracted them with your brand. You’ve got them hooked with your job ad.

Think about the interview process as a sales process. You understand the needs of the other person. The employee experience starts when they first interact with your brand or your job ad or they apply.

But too often, if we woo them too much on the front end and we don’t have a solid process built for the back end, we’re going to let them down. So make sure you’ve got a solid process for taking them through the interview and making sure that they feel welcome and onboard them well.

If you can do these things, you’ll never have to worry about not having enough applicants again. You’re going to have to worry about how you grow the business fast enough to handle all these extra people.