Struggling to Find Strong Job Applicants? Here's Why

Your company recently posted an open role, and you now have a pile of application materials ready for you to sort through.

So, you grab your second (ahem, third) cup of coffee for the day and buckle down. You’re prepared to dig through those applications and create a long list of all sorts of qualified candidates that deserve to move to the next step of your hiring process.

Much to your surprise, that’s not what you find. Sure, you have a lot of applicants in that pile. But, the majority of them are lackluster at best. The quantity is there—but the quality certainly isn’t.

“What’s the deal?” you think to yourself as you skim over yet another submission from an applicant who doesn’t have the right experience, “What am I doing wrong? Where are all of the top-notch candidates?”

The majority of your applicants are lackluster at best. The quantity is there—but the quality certainly isn’t.

Listen, you're not the first employer to find yourself in this scenario. In fact, according to an article from the Society for Human Resource Management, a low number of applicants and a lack of necessary work experience among those that do apply are some of the biggest hiring challenges faced by companies today.

What can you do to mitigate this issue and get more high-quality candidates in your pipeline? Well, it all starts with recognizing the problems that might be contributing to your low application rate.

Here are four potential reasons that you aren’t finding strong job applicants for your company’s open positions.





1. You’re not targeting passive candidates.


Here’s the thing: The cream of the crop talent that’s out there is likely already gainfully employed. That’s right—they’re skilled, qualified, and already earning a paycheck.

And, because of that? Well, you can bet that they probably aren’t spending their precious free time perusing job boards or networking with their contacts just to see what else is out there in the working world.

That’s not to say that these professionals are totally unwilling to explore a new role or company if the right opening came along. They’re passive candidates—meaning that opportunities need to sort of fall into their laps, rather than them needing to aggressively seek those jobs out for themselves.

The cream of the crop talent is likely already employed. To get their attention, the opportunities need to sort of fall into their laps.

This is one of the many issues with the traditional hiring process. The whole “post a job and wait for the applications to roll in” approach barely ever touches these passive candidates.

You need to make it painfully easy for them to find you and then immediately pique their interest when they do. Even if a new role isn’t at the forefront of their minds at that point in time, seeing something awesome might just plant the seed.



2. You’re relying only on traditional job boards.


Piggybacking off of that point, relying on solely traditional job boards to blanket the world in your open position isn’t going to produce great results.

As somebody who works in the hiring space, you’ve likely already heard those industry-relevant statistics that go like this:

But, guess what? You aren’t the only one heeding that advice and those warnings.

Yes, your candidates are too—meaning job boards likely won’t be the first places they turn when they decide it’s time to start the hunt for a new job. They’re going to find other ways to learn more about your company and wiggle their feet into the door.


Job boards won't likely be the first places high-quality candidates turn when they decide it’s time to start the hunt for a new job. 

So, if job boards make up the entirety of your sourcing strategy, it’s well past the time to add some new tactics into the mix, like social recruiting. 

Read on: Social Recruiting: How to Use Facebook to Source Candidates





3. You’re not building awareness.


Are you ready for a brutal piece of truth? Many qualified candidates likely don’t know that your company exists—let alone that you’re hiring.

And, the two problems that we’ve outlined above are really part of a larger issue: You aren’t building any awareness around who you are, what you do, and when or if you’re hiring.

There are so many companies out there who are all competing for the exact same talent as you, and unfortunately, it’s the big ones with the major reputations and the instant name recognition that will continue to beat you in regards to hiring—unless you do something about it.

Many qualified candidates likely don’t know that your company exists—let alone that you’re hiring.

If you want to create some awareness about your employer brand, you need to go beyond the somewhat archaic hiring practices of the past and find a way to meet your prospective candidates where they already are.

One great place to start? Social media. With an estimated 2.62 billion (yes, billion) social media users worldwide, you’re missing out on a huge audience of potential candidates if you neglect to use social as part of your recruitment strategy.

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4. You’re not making it easy enough to apply.

Job applicants expect to roll up their sleeves when they actually land the position. But, needing to invest tons of blood, sweat, tears, and time in order to just complete the application? Well, that’s sure to discourage even the most work-oriented candidates.

Make this your hiring golden rule: 

The more streamlined your application process is, the more qualified candidates you’ll get.

No frustrating form fields where they need to enter the same information each time. No broken links or 404 error pages. No lengthy questionnaires.

Trim the fat from your application process and make it as fun and engaging as you possibly can. Do that, and you’re sure to see an uptick in your number of applicants.




How to Find Stronger Job Applicants


Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the potential roadblocks that are preventing you from finding highly qualified candidates, you likely have one other big question that’s plaguing you: How can you do better?

If there’s one answer that will address all of the above problems, it’s this: You need to get out in front of candidates, rather than waiting for them to stumble upon your job listing themselves and apply.

But, how can you effectively do that? Focus your sourcing efforts on social media. Doing so will enable you to appear directly in the feeds that candidates are already scrolling through on a daily basis.

Focus your sourcing efforts on social media.

With Hundred5’s sourcing tool, you can create a hiring campaign and then reach your target candidates on social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Rather than crossing your fingers that people eventually stumble upon your career page or a random job board, this tool enables you to stand out and capture people’s attention directly on their social media feeds.

If they like what they see in that campaign? They can click through to find out more about the position, take a relevant (and quick!) assessment, and toss their hat into the ring to be considered for that open role.

And, using this tool won’t just help you find more candidates. It’ll help you find the right candidates, as you can target very specific people and get in front of the most suitable audience.

For example, you can set your campaign to target people with a certain job title or users who like specific pages or list interests that are necessary for your open role.

It’s undeniably effective, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive. In fact, when companies match up the cost of social media targeting campaigns at the expense of using traditional job boards, the price tag ends up being almost exactly the same.

The major difference isn’t in cost but in the quality of your candidates. With job boards, you’ll get mediocre results. But, with a targeted social media campaign? You’ll get the best of the best.

For more sourcing ideas, check 11 Innovative Ways How We Source Top Candidates.



Ready to Find Better Talent?


We can’t blame you. 

Get started by signing up for Hundred5 today for free, and prepare to put your company in front of tons of top-notch candidates.

Remember, by sourcing on social media, you’re in the driver’s seat of your recruitment efforts. And ultimately, when it comes to finding and attracting the very best talent, it’s all about being proactive rather than placid.


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