5 Ways To Improve Your Job View to Application Conversion Rate

In All, The Human Resource by Alli BakerLeave a Comment


The Internet is a wonderful thing but it is a noisy, noisy place especially when it comes to recruitment.  And it’s been made even worse this year as the Job Board Wars of 2015 heat up and your ads are suddenly appearing across dozens of job sites multiplying the number of people who might see it.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds.  This means a goldfish, which has an average attention span of 9 seconds, will spend more time considering your job ad than a potential applicant.

Furthermore, 96% of all page views last less than 10 minutes.  So, my question is, what are you doing to grab that perfect candidate’s attention and hold it enough to entice them to apply?

In our recent webinar, 5 HR Hacks to to Reinvent Your Tired Recruitment Strategy, we explored ways to apply the creativity, analytical thinking, and metrics of “hacking” to source and select the staff you need.

We all know the typical HR metrics:

  • Application rate
  • Time-to-hire
  • Cost-per-application

But what I want to know is — are you tracking your job view to application conversion rate?  More importantly, do you know how many people view your job ads and don’t apply?

Does this change depending on the role?  The time of year?  The time of day, even?  How does it compare to your competitors?

Good people are always in short supply and while online job advertising is going the way of their newspaper ancestors as best-in-class companies invest in building Talent Communities, advertising is still the primary source of candidates used by most companies and a great funnel to kick off that talent pool of your own.

So, doesn’t it make sense to optimise your job ads for the best results rather than pull out the same old, dusty template?  I think so.  No, I know so.

Here are 5 ways to improve your job view to application conversion rate:

  1. Use a descriptive job headline – the job title alone is not good enough.  Bloggers are advised that only 2 people in every 10 will read beyond the headline. The same applies to you as the job ad writer.  Your job headline should make a candidate want to click to read more so you have to tell them what’s different about your job, who it’s best suited for and what’s in it for them. Would you rather apply for “Chocoholic Team Leader who loves laughing and getting stuff done” or “Shift Supervisor?” Enough said.
  2. Throw out your job description and start fresh.  Focus on the team, who will this new hire being working with?  What challenges will there be?  Don’t be afraid to paint a realistic picture – you want the bad hires to bugger off and the good ones not to flinch.  Tell them why the role is important so they understand they’re an important cog in your company machine and that their role has meaning.  And most importantly, tell them what’s interesting about the team, the place, and the company.
  3. Give your job ad an authentic voice.  Your existing employees are your single most important brand ambassadors – use them!  People trust people like them a lot more than official spokespeople (the Woolies ads are a perfect example).  Why not record a quick sound byte on your smartphone from a team member the new hire will be working with about what they love about working for you and that they look forward to working with them?  Better still, if the person before them is leaving on good terms, grab a quick exit sound byte directed to their replacement about passing on the reins, what they loved about their job and advice for being successful in the role.  Include these in your job ads as written testimonials or 30 second videos.
  4. Focus on the why.  As Simon Sinek says in his TEDx talk Start with why, “The goal is not to hire people who need a job.  It’s to hire people who believe what you believe.” … “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they work for your money.  But if you hire people who believe what you believe they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”  Too many job ads focus on the what.  They list the responsibilities and the requirements, but very few describe why they do what they do or what they believe in.  According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2015, six out of 10 Millennials want a “sense of purpose” in their job.  As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  It’s biology.  So use your job ad to tell potential applicants what your purpose is – why does your organisation exist? What are you trying to achieve?  And I’m not talking about a boring mission statement.  Describe it in layman’s terms so people can relate.  If they can’t or don’t want to help you achieve your goals, they’re unlikely to apply.  If they can and they do want to help you achieve your goals, they will.  Just to really nail down this point, among Millennials who are relatively high users of social networking tools (the “super-connected Millennials”), Deloitte also found that 77 percent report that their company’s purpose was part of the reason they chose to work there and among businesses where Millennials say there is a strong sense of purpose, there is significantly higher reporting of financial success, employee satisfaction, and recruitment.
  5. Show people who they can become within your organisation.  Expanding on the last point, tell potential applicant’s what’s in it for them long term.  Why is it a good career move for them to join your team?  What doors does it open?  What pathways are there for them to follow?  Remember, we live in a “me” culture so tell them what it means to them personally to become part of your team.

Do you measure and track your job view to application conversation rate?  If so, what’s your idea of a good ratio?

Eternal Optimist. Self-Confessed Nerd. Seashell Collector. Philly Native. Status Quo Challenger. Speaker. Author. Futurist. Co-Founder & CEO of @Workible

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