The current discrepancy between the amount of open positions and the amount of applicants is worrisome to say the least. If the rumblings are true, European companies will struggle in the foreseeable future to attract the right skilled workers, due to a variety of reasons. As a result, the labour market will likely be squeezed even further; and be tighter for it.
Softgarden: a market leader in ATS
With more than 1,000 customers, ranging from a variety of industries and sizes from all over the world, Softgarden is one of Europe’s leaders with its Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Talent Acquisition Suite. In an attempt to be part of the solution in the ever-changing job market, they recently conducted an extensive bit of research.
That research is based on responses of over 30,000 applicants, over a two year span (2018-2020). “Changing market conditions require new solutions”, the company says. “The willingness of candidates in existing jobs to change occupations is significantly lower; the resulting bottleneck on the employer side is greater. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Recommendation 1: Multiply or die
But luckily, things can be better. And it all starts with making sure you use multiple job boards, also known as multiposting. Generally, only 13.6% of job seekers apply direct to a job ad after an initial search — so you need to double down on the amount of job boards where you place your ad, Softgarden says. “Multiposting with interfaces to relevant job boards is the basic prerequisite for the targeted broadcast of ads and the downstream measurement of success.”
Recommendation 2: Befriend Google
The vast majority of job applicants (80%) searches Google because a job ad usually just doesn’t provide enough information. “An SEO optimisation of your career page with the help of user-generated content (employer reviews) leads to a better ranking on Google and thus gives you a competitive advantage.”
“Employers whose jobs are not advertised on Google Jobs are giving away potential, as this target group of 70%) is most likely to apply directly to a job ad.”
Moreover, 10% of job seekers actually start their search directly on Google, of which 40% prefer to view job ads directly in the Google Jobs search box. “Employers whose jobs are not advertised on Google Jobs are giving away potential, as this target group of 70%) is most likely to apply directly to a job ad.”
Recommendation 3: Think mobile and think speed
Most job ads are viewed on a mobile device — resulting in a different manner with which Google ranks websites: speed. “Fast loading times mean a high user experience and there- fore pay off not only for SEO. A fast load time, especially on mobile devices, is the basic requirement for optimal findability of your career site.”
60% of applicants are not willing to spend more than 10 minutes on an application — the same amount that drops out of the application process due to the (over)complexity of the process.
Meanwhile, candidates are growing more and more impatient with regards to the amount of data points they have to fulfil in order to apply. 60% of applicants are not willing to spend more than 10 minutes on an application — the same amount that drops out of the application process due to the (over)complexity of the process.
Recommendation 4: Integrate ratings on the careers page
80% of candidates view employer ratings as a relevant factor in the decision-making process for a possible application. So if the ratings are out there, there’s a big chance the candidate will find them. According to Softgarden’s surveys the rating score should always be at least 3.5 stars (out of 5), while 40% of candidates will only apply if the grade is higher than 4 stars.
“Integrating employer reviews on the career page significantly improves conversion.”
So if the information is there to be found — you may as well include it on your own career page, Softgarden adds. According to their research, approximately 60% of job candidates say they prefer career pages with employer reviews: “Integrating employer reviews on the career page significantly improves conversion.”
Recommendation 5: Allow for (digital) employee referrals
As previously preached by renowned recruiting expert Dr. John Sullivan: referrals are the way to go. On the applicant side — 80% say they greatly trust job recommendations from their own network. Moreover, their success rate tends to be higher due to a high-level of candidate trust. “By using a digital employee referral program, you can track the success rate”, Softgarden says.
Recommendation 6: A little transparency, please
Softgarden found that only 10% of all employers provide salary range information in the job ad — whereas 30% of applicants say they want to be informed in the job ad on their potential earnings. Therefore, mentioning specific salary information in the job ad is one of the simplest things recruiting and TA teams can do to increase their chances of success.
Moreover, one of the largest disconnects is the notion that companies aren’t quite transparent enough about their recruiting KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). It comes during a time where online consumers are completely accustomed to transparent information — such as the delivery time of a UberEats order.
By sharing recruiting KPIs, you build trust and a realistic expectation on the candidate side.”
“Today’s online consumer makes decisions based on the content of the information”, Softgarden adds. “Sharing recruiting KPIs can be a way to meet the applicant eye-to-eye. The candidate shares highly trusted and personal data with you and invests time in an application. By sharing recruiting KPIs, you build trust and a realistic expectation on the candidate side.”