You’re probably aware that there’s a shortage in the labor market right now. Covid-19 unemployment benefits may be at least partially responsible for that, but there are other reasons people aren’t applying for jobs, too. Some of those factors are out of your control, but a few simple adjustments to your hiring process can help you get more applicants.
When it comes to filling your applicant pool, there are two levers you can pull:
- Get your job in front of as many people as possible.
- Make the content of your job postings attractive and competitive.
Here are a few ideas on how to do both.
Get your job in front of as many people as possible.
You know your industry and market better than anyone else, so it’s up to you to get creative about where to find the best candidates to fill your jobs.
The obvious channels:
- Popular job boards like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Simply Hired, LinkedIn & Craigslist
- Your company’s website
- Your company’s social media profiles
- Employee referrals
- Temp & recruiting agencies
The less-obvious channels:
- Industry-specific job boards & newsletters
- Local trade schools, colleges & universities
- Hanging posters at local businesses, bars & restaurants
- Paid ads on social media or radio
- Industry networking events & tradeshows
- Direct mail
The difference between these two categories? The less-obvious channels might require a bit of time and money (or both) to develop. The obvious channels are often quicker and easier (and sometimes cheaper) but those avenues alone will not give you a competitive edge when it comes to getting more applicants for your jobs.
Make the content of your job postings enticing and competitive.
You should think of your job postings as advertisements for your company. In a world where people are constantly bombarded with marketing messaging, the best advertisements are the ones that stand out from all the rest. Making sure you've included two specific types of benefits (compensation details and training/educational opportunities) will help you do just that.
First of all, include pay information! This is essential for three reasons:
- Job boards are more likely to place your job in a higher position when compensation details are included.
- Applying to jobs is a time consuming process, and most people won’t waste their time doing it for a job that might not meet their pay expectations.
- This will ultimately save you time in filtering out applicants whose expectations don’t match your compensation for the job.
You don’t need to provide an exact number and pigeonhole yourself in. A range is perfectly acceptable. We recommend using a statement similar to this:
$XX-XX/hr, depending on experience
Training & Educational Opportunities to “Skill Up”
Yes, applicants need to know what they’ll be expected to do on the job, but that’s not enough to make you stand out in a competitive labor market like the one we’re currently facing.
In a previous post we talked about the skills gap created by the Covid-19 pandemic. As employers have found new ways to do more with less (people), it's also increased their need for workers with strong technical and digital skills. But, because the cost of education and training is a huge barrier for many low-income jobseekers, it often limits their options in the workforce.
The solution? Offer on-the-job training, certifications, and other educational programs at your company, then promote those perks in your job descriptions and advertisements!
As a reminder, Team Engine’s Ed Hallen recommends the following structure for organizing the content of your job descriptions:
- High-level overview of the position: In as few words as possible, explain what the job is, cover why it's awesome and someone would want it, and define what type of person would be great at it.
- Who you are: In one sentence, what does your company do and why are you the best at it?
- What they will do in the role: Be realistic about what the job entails and what the primary responsibilities are. Provide detail, but not too much detail.
- Experience and qualifications for the position: This section should act as a baseline for what you hope to see from a strong candidate, not outline the perfect applicant.
- What you can do for them: This is where you talk about those benefits, perks, training and educational opportunities. Don’t be afraid to gush over your company, and what makes it such a great place to work. This is what will distinguish you from the company up the road who is hiring for the same position at the same pay rate.
Looking for more help on finessing your job descriptions? Download our free blue-collar job description templates. If you’re already a Team Engine customer, they’re available directly within the software!
Which lever should you pull harder?
While both are important, getting your job in front of more people is ultimately what’s going to move the needle and get more applicants. (That, and being transparent about compensation.)
If that means spending $50 to make sure your job is at the top, then don’t be afraid to do it. If it means sponsoring an event where you’ll have the chance to talk directly with hundreds of qualified candidates, you should definitely consider it.
Looking for more ideas on how to get more qualified job applicants? We created a visual guide to the five channels of job promotion that we recommend to all clients. It contains starter steps for each channel, more advanced techniques, and pro tips to streamline your efforts. Download your copy here.