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How to Attract More Qualified Job Applicants Through Your Site

Posted on 1.19.2017

The main purposes of your website are to increase brand awareness, attract new customers and earn more sales from the customers you have. There’s another function that many business owners tend to overlook, however: recruiting.

By building a designated page or section of your site to attract talent, you could diversify your pool and attract a steady stream of applicants who are ready to fill your open positions. 

Opening up your job application process to the world could mean having to sort through lots of unqualified candidates, though. So what can you do to make sure the applicants who turn up are suitably qualified? 

Strategies to Attract Solid Talent

These are just some of the things you can do to draw better incoming talent via your website: 

1. Make sure your site works and speaks to your target audience.

Just as you need to write copy that appeals to your target customer, you ought to make design and writing choices that appeal to your ideal job candidates if you want good people to apply. For example, if you’re targeting millennial job candidates, you’ll want to make sure your site is easy to use on mobile devices, and take some time to show off your company culture and what it stands for. 

2. Have a dedicated Careers page.

It’s in your best interest to have a Careers page focused exclusively on attracting talent. If any job applicants might look at your site with an eye to applying, this makes everything more obvious and easier to find. You’ll also have an opportunity to explain a little about what it’s like to work for your operation, and you can list all your open positions on one page. Your Careers page will be more effective and easier to manage. 

3. Add full job descriptions.

Exhibiting detailed job descriptions is worthwhile if you want to attract good fits for your open positions. A basic job title will filter out some potential applicants, but if you want candidates to be a closer fit, try to be very specific about the demands and perks of the job in question. The more detailed you get, the fewer responses you’ll elicit, but the quality will more likely be higher. You’ll also save some time in the interview process, since you were proactive in describing your expectations. 

4. Mandate minimum criteria.

Only 2 percent of online job applicants ever get to the interview stage. This is most likely because the vast majority of them weren’t what the employer was looking for. You can spare yourself and prospective candidates a ton of time by being clear about your minimum criteria. Let them know you aren’t interested in hiring anyone who doesn’t have at least these qualifications. 

5. Add helpful tips.

You want candidates to apply, and you want them to be successful. Including a helpful tips section can provide some clues about what you’re looking for. For example, you might list some of the skills or experience that would make candidates stand out; or request a response to a prompt, such as: “What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in recent memory?”

6. Restrict types of submissions.

Of course, some people will fail to follow your instructions, possess the minimum requirements, or heed your tips (even though you’re trying to help them succeed). In these cases, it’s a good idea to set some restrictions on what types of applications you’ll accept. You might reduce and systematize the application process to a series of questions and answers on your site to avoid in-box clutter.

Updating and Refining

Chances are, if you’re interested in recruiting online at all, you’ll experience a recurring need for new hires. It also means your information -- such as which positions are available and what your minimum requirements are -- will probably change as well.

If you want to keep up and maintain your incoming talent at the highest possible levels, you’ll need to constantly update and refine your careers section. Take stock of the type of applicants you get, and tweak the details to get the inbound talent stream you desire.

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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