Did you know you might be missing qualified applicants on your jobs page? Companies can sometimes unintentionally place barriers on their jobs page that inhibit candidates from applying.

(Image: Heat 1 of the Women’s 100m Hurdles Semi-Final by William Warby (CC BY-2.0))

Here are a few common problems with easy solutions that I’ve seen in my years at CATS. Anyone from recruiting agencies to companies that do their hiring internally should find use in these tips.

Problem: Requiring a candidate to register before even seeing the open jobs.

Adding a registration step just to grant the candidate access to see your jobs could turn them away. You haven’t given them anything yet so why should they provide you with their information? Not only are you possibly turning away good candidates but you are also collecting information from candidates that aren’t worth your time, granted some of them are.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a registration option on your jobs page. Having this option is a good idea so candidates that are interested in future opportunities can still submit their info to you.

Solution: If you require registration or the submission of any type of data in order to view your open positions, remove it.

Problem: Having too many questions on the initial application.

This is a problem for multiple reasons.

If you have a candidate that is currently employed and just checking to see what is out there, they are most likely not going to fill out your 100 question application. It just isn’t worth their time and you could have missed a good opportunity. The candidate can just find another one that is much shorter.

If the candidate is really in need of a job, they may be slightly more likely to complete the application but chances are still slim since it isn’t a good return on their time. When they’re in need of a new job they want to complete as many applications as possible in the day and answering a huge one just isn’t worth their chance of getting a call back.

If the candidate doesn’t have a stable internet connection and are completing an online application, they might lose connectivity after getting halfway through and lose all their progress. Maybe their connection goes out right at the end and they lose everything! That’s really frustrating. A shorter application makes this scenario less likely but if it were to happen they have a lot less to fill out a second time.

Solution: Keep your application to the least amount of questions needed. Really analyze what you’re asking and figure out what you can cut out of it. Maybe the application was created years ago and is asking for data that you don’t even use anymore!

Problem: Your job description is boring.

A boring job description won’t give the candidate a taste of your company – or will it? My guess is you don’t want to be a boring company or think that you are so why would your description give that idea?

Solution: Look at the job description like it’s a sales pitch. Write it in a way that appeals to the type of person you are looking for. Sell your company to the candidate, tell them why they should work for you and avoid company jargon or lesser known acronyms.

If you’re about using the latest technology and working collaboratively at a fast pace, let them know, that can excite the right candidate.

If you’re about complete freedom of work schedule and have out of office volunteer days, let them know, that can excite the right candidate.

You get the idea.

Problem: Your jobs page doesn’t sell your company.

If you’re hiring internally, rather than a recruiting agency, your jobs page should not only include your job openings but also sell your company. This way you give the candidate a good idea of your culture and will have an easier time attracting the right ones.

Solution: You can get quite creative with this one. Include information about your company and it’s culture and figure out cool ways to display it. Let the candidates know why you’re the company they should be working for. You can use charts, pictures or videos.

Get your employees involved. You can have them create bio videos or videos that explain why they like working at your company. Maybe you have a snack stash that’s available to everyone or intense ping pong matches each week. Whatever your perks, let them know!

Here are some good examples of a career page that goes beyond just listing the jobs:

Problem: Your jobs page doesn’t match the look or design of the rest of your company site.

Why would you have your jobs page be totally different looking from the rest of your site? If a candidate clicks your jobs link from your site and lands on a completely different looking page it may make them question what’s going on. If you have it looking the same they won’t think anything of it.

Solution: Design your portal page to match your site or check with your applicant tracking system provider to see if they have a solution for you. Here at CATS we offer what we call “branded career portals” where we, or you, can make your career portal look just like your website.

Your homework

Take a few minutes to objectively analyze your career portal and obtain a feel for how it is for a candidate that is applying to your positions. Take the above tips into consideration and note down some things that could be done better for your candidates and then make it your goal to fix at least one item off the list each week.

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Views: 274

Comment by Curtis Whitler on September 6, 2013 at 8:37am


Finding the best candidates really can turn into the mission impossible if you attract only average minds. Complicated registration process or long application forms can put off a great deal of job-seekers, but the most persistent will take the final step towards job description. We should put significant thought into job descriptions, as they are the last straw we can clutch at. Job descriptions must be attractive and challenging, they must persuade candidates they want to be in that position, that it’s their one in the lifetime opportunity and they will find job like that nowhere else in the world!

Comment by Cooper Whitescarver on September 6, 2013 at 9:45am

Great points, Curtis, I agree. Long applications could work better than short ones for some, perhaps more than some. The important part is just finding out which option yields the best results for you.

Job descriptions are definitely a fundamental part in attracting the right candidates. By presenting the job in an attractive matter that appeals to the candidate you're looking for, you'll surely have a leg up on the competition.

Thanks for commenting!


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