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4 Ways to Get More Qualified Applications

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4 Ways to Get More Qualified Applications

Want to get more of the right types of candidates to apply to your job openings? Start by improving the value of your career site and ATS. Here are 4 options to try:

Option 1: Plug the leaks in your website

At Haley Marketing, we review analytics on hundreds of staffing websites. And almost every time we review a website, we find “leaks” where candidates leave the site before applying to a job. While you can never get 100 percent of candidates to apply to your jobs, we’ve seen (too many) websites where only 10 to 15 percent of job seekers complete an application.

  • Simplify your job application. This is the BIGGEST leak on most staffing websites. Forget the long ATS application form and replace it with a submit resume or quick apply form. If you need the long form, consider a two-part application process. First, get the candidate’s basic contact information and perhaps a resume, then ask the candidate to complete the full application form.
  • Make sure your website is responsive. It needs to look great and work well on any device so candidates can easily apply from their smartphones.
  • Improve job descriptions to better sell your jobs.
  • Test different job titles to see which titles produce the highest response rates.
  • Add a chat feature to allow job seekers who are not quite ready to apply to a job to ask questions.
  • Incorporate more calls to action such as search jobs, apply now, get a job agent, and opt-in for a newsletter.
  • Add fly-ins to direct candidates to specific calls to action.
  • Ensure all your entry pages are optimized to drive jobs seekers to your jobs.
  • Incorporate tracking cookies, so your company can “follow” visitors after they leave your website…and encourage them to come back to apply to your jobs.
  • Use marketing automation to follow up with people who start but don’t complete your application.
  • Activate job alerts and job mailings on your Haley Marketing job board to encourage repeat visits and referrals.

Option 2: Mine your ATS

How many candidates are currently in your ATS? Thousands? Tens of thousands? More? And when you get a new job order, what’s the first thing your recruiters do? Mine the database…or place an ad?

Staffing firms spend tens of millions of dollars each year recruiting talent. And millions more purchasing and maintaining their applicant tracking systems. Sadly, most companies don’t do a great job fully leveraging the talent they’ve paid to recruit. Why not? Because it’s easier to run another ad. The data in the ATS may be stale, filled with junk resumes or simply require more work to discover than starting from scratch. But in an era of talent scarcity, every staffing firm needs to leverage their ATS to the fullest. Here are few ways to get more from your ATS:

  • Require that a search gets done before allowing any job advertising spend.
  • Implement a sourcing team tasked with the specific job of mining your ATS.
  • Send targeted job alerts by email and text to candidates for specific, relevant job openings.
  • Conduct regular re-engagement campaigns to get candidates to update their information.
  • Start and nurture an alumni network.
  • Use tools like Candidate ID to automatically re-engage the talent buried in your database.
  • When you find a great candidate, skill market! To accelerate skill marketing, feature top performers on your website, send top candidate emails and require recruiters to make marketing calls within 24 hours of interviewing a superstar.

Option 3: Improve your referral programs

Referrals are almost always the best source of talent, but most staffing firms get far fewer referrals than they would like. If you want to increase referrals, improve your referral program:

  • Provide stronger incentives for giving referrals.
  • Ask more frequently (during interviews and onboarding, on your website, on social media, via text and email).
  • Promote referral incentives next to each job on your website.
  • Offer variable referral bonuses based on the value of each job to your firm.
  • Test referral management software like Staffing Referrals and Preferhired.

The key to an effective referral program is simply to ask for referrals more frequently. Ask on your website. Ask on your job posts. Ask in job alert and newsletter emails. Ask via text messaging. Ask at any and every touchpoint you have with your candidates!

Option 4: Send more branded communication

Every day your recruiters, sales reps, managers and executives connect with hundreds of other people. It may be via email, text, social media or your phone system. All these touches are opportunities to strengthen your brand, drive job seekers to your website and encourage referrals. Here are a few specific tactics for better branding your daily communication:

  • Create email signatures that promote hot jobs or your career site.
  • Create social sharing images to promote jobs or other content on your website.
  • Use your out of office assistant to market jobs whenever you’re away from your desk.
  • Create on-hold messages promoting jobs or content on your website.
  • Create an email signature to ask people for referrals for specific types of talent.


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Get our best marketing tips—one idea a week. You’ll also get invites to our webinars, and exclusive offers on our products and services.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.