So many job ads and career sites fail to meet the expectations and aspirations of their target candidates, resulting in low view-to-application conversion rate. In this blog, I draw the similarities between a standard sales funnel and the candidate application process and then give you 5 tips to help you increase the conversion rate from your ads.
Is Applying For A Job Technically a Sales Funnel?
The modern marketing and sales funnel is generally broken down into four sections: Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action. To demonstrate the significance of marketing and sales in the early phases of recruitment I have applied the funnel to a candidate deciding whether to apply for a vacant position.
- Awareness: This stage generates the greatest number of applicant prospects. It’s at this stage active job applicants are in the market for a change and have begun searching for a position and become aware of your organisation. This may be through your social media presence, your reputation, client or employee referral or via other avenues. This stage done well can also attract passive job seekers.
- Interest: At this stage, the number of candidate prospects begins to decrease, but the possibility of a sales conversion increases. This is generally when a candidate will engage with your organisation, request more information and ask questions. A critical reason why job advertising needs to include the hiring manager’s contact details.
- Decision: Once a candidate has become aware of your organisation, reached out and sought answers to questions, it’s time for the decision. This stage of the process may include conducting further research such as checking out your company’s website, particularly the career section, but also the ‘About Us’ page to review your company annual reports and learn about the executive or senior management team. It can also mean reading company reviews left by your ex-employees, candidates, clients, suppliers that are readily available via social media.
- Action: The previous three stages funnel down into the final step: action. At this point, the applicant has decided to apply for your position.
Your primary goal is to move people from one stage to the next until they are ready to apply for your vacancy. If at any point your marketing lets you down, you risk your candidate walking away or more likely in today’s digital world, bouncing to another page.
Tip # 1. Make sure what you advertise is a true reflection of the position available
Don’t mislead your applicants by falsely advertising. It’s a waste of their time but also your recruiters. Worse of all, it will manifest in your employee turnover rate.
Tip # 2 . Keep a close eye on your social media presence
Particularly on job board review pages – disgruntled employees, applicants and customers can leave scathing reviews about their Employee, Candidate or Client Experience. A huge deterrent for any job seeker.
Tip # 3 . Ensure your website is up-to-date
Particularly your Careers Page. Is it easy to navigate, informative and interesting? Can it be easily found by the browser and not hidden right at the end of the page? Does it provide all the details a prospective employee is looking for to help them decide that your company is the right fit for them?
Tip # 4 . Include contact details in your job advertising
Always include contact details in your job adverts and make sure the contact person will actually answer the phone or return calls. If a direct line is not available, then be sure that the first person answering the phone is professional, courteous and aware of who the recruiter is. There’s nothing worse than ringing up to inquire about a job to get lost in the phone system while the receptionist is trying to track down who to direct the call too!
Tip # 5 . Make the time to screen applications and don’t wait until the closing date to do so
A lengthy application period can be off-putting and frustrating for candidates. If you come across a great applicant, act fast. Pick up the phone and let them know your interested before someone else does.
In a competitive candidate market, it’s so important to get your marketing right and get as many suitable candidates into the recruitment funnel as quickly as possible. You can’t rely on putting an ad up on a job board and hoping the right candidate will come across it and apply. You have to ensure you’re getting the right message across and that your social media presence is working for you and not against you. Candidates, after all, are just as good at searching online as customers. One bad review or online interaction can cause them to drop off and look to another organisation offering what they are searching for.
Until next time…