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5 reasons candidates aren’t applying for your jobs

Posted by
05 Mar 2018
We have partnered with 

CV-Library , the UK's leading independent job board, who have written this guest blog. 



It can be disheartening when you’ve put time into crafting the perfect job advert, only to find it hasn’t received as many applications as you wanted. Whatever the reason for this may be, the good news is it can be resolved, you just need to get to the root of the problem. Job hunters often have high expectations and this is understandable – work is the place where we spend the majority of our time. But this means there may be some areas where you’re going wrong. Below, we explain how you can overcome this and draw in more candidates.  

1. Confusing job title 
If you don’t want to fall at the first hurdle, ensure you master the job title. Your job title should be clear, self-explanatory and accurate. Think about what candidates will be searching and do your research before picking a title.  
Make sure you use the most common title for the role rather than making up your own unique name. While it may seem creative to be different and stand out, it could prevent candidates from finding your job posting. 

Top tip: It’s a common mistake to add unnecessary words into the job title, for example ‘urgent’, ‘full-time’ or ‘temporary’ and even locations such as ‘Sales Assistant wanted in London’. However, these words aren’t needed – they should be included in the main description. Adding these filler words can also prevent your advert from being found on job board search engines. 

2. Short advert
Your job advert needs to have enough detail for candidates to decide if they want to work at your company or not. You need to include all the necessary information including the job title, type of work (full-time, part-time), an introduction to your company, the roles and responsibilities, person specification and finally, the company benefits (holiday allowance or perks). Imagine you’re selling the role to job hunters, this means you need to cater the role towards the candidate’s needs rather than the employer’s needs. 

Top tip: Think of your advert as a pitch, it needs to be clear and to the point, but also include all the necessary information. Try splitting up the paragraphs with bullet points, as this will ensure it doesn’t look too wordy, improving readability as a result. 

3. Bad company reputation
If current employees haven’t been making great comments about your company it can give you a bad reputation as an employer. Candidates are likely to check out company review sites and social media for inside information. If you aren’t fairing too well in this area, don’t fear. You can improve your employer brand but it needs to start from within the organisation. Make this one of your priorities and invest in your workforce. This will have a positive effect on your outside reputation too. 

Top tip: Communicate with your employees about how they’re getting on at work and seek to make any necessary improvements. You could run a staff survey and then take action on the feedback. This will help your employee retention rates and future recruitment efforts. 

4. Asking for too much or too little
Remember the above advice; you need to sell the job. If you’re asking for loads of qualifications and over 10 years’ experience, you need to be willing to pay for it. You have to be realistic and fair with everything you ask for, or candidates won’t be interested in your role. This means making it clear that you are open to accepting equivalent qualifications and are flexible (if this is the case). 

Top tip: Go back through your job requirements and justify everything you’ve asked for. Think about what is a fair ask and what is actually unnecessary for the job. It might be that you’re asking for a specific degree or qualification, which isn’t really needed for the position. 

5. Poor company website

Candidates will often do research on a company, just as you will do research on them. Remember, it’s likely that your website will be the first result to pop up. If it is outdated, has errors or lacks information, it may put them off applying to your jobs. Ensure your candidates gain a positive impression of your business by making sure your website is up-to-date and gives a positive impression about your business. And, if you don’t have a company website, this could be another red flag for candidates to not apply.

Top tip: Make a meet the team page to add some personality and friendliness to your employer brand. This can reassure candidates that you’re the type of company they want to work for and give them some insight into the people behind the brand. 

Remember a few small changes can go a long way towards improving your recruitment process. Follow the above advice to address any areas you need to improve on. 

CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board, offering job posting and CV searching. For more expert advice visit their Recruitment Insight pages.

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