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How to Attract and Hire More Qualified Applicants

How to Attract Qualified Applicants and Convert Them to Hires

Hiring new staff is harder than it sounds. Reaching a broad enough applicant pool to find the right people is only the first part of the challenge. Once you’ve identified those ideal candidates, you must convert them to hires. It’s a tall order.

The peak of the post-pandemic jobs boom may be in our rearview mirrors, but 73% of UK recruiters still report trouble finding and hiring qualified candidates. How do you attract qualified applicants and convert them to hires? Success largely rests on these three factors:

Sounds simple enough, but how do you do those things? More importantly, how do you do them all at once? Your budget is limited, and your timelines are tight. You can hope for a miracle, but that’s not much of a hiring strategy. (And if miracles are on offer, is that really what you’re using yours on?)

There are steps you can take to increase your reach, boost applicant quality, and improve your hiring process — all of which will enhance your chances of finding and hiring the people you need quickly. Let’s examine them.

Reach More Potential Candidates

How to get more qualified applicants lesson one: the more applicants you reach, the more likely your dream hire will see and respond to your job ad.

Reach More Potential Candidates

1. Cast a Wide Net

If you only advertise a vacancy on one job site or platform, you automatically eliminate all potential candidates who don’t use it. Get more eyes on your posting by leveraging a broad network of hiring platforms and job sites.

2. Optimise Your Ad

Don’t limit the visibility of your job ad. Some applicants browse Indeed or Monster on their computers, but more than half of job-seekers search using their mobile devices. Design your job ad with mobile users in mind, and include keywords to ensure it shows up in search engine results for a free boost in traffic to your posting.

3. Make Ads Stand Out

Your job ad is one of hundreds, if not thousands, job-seekers will view in their search for the right position. If your posting looks the same as everyone else’s, qualified applicants might scroll right past it. Use an eye-catching headline to grab applicants’ attention — but make sure it still accurately describes the position. (We’ll talk about why that matters in the next section.)

good ad copy and visual example
bad ad copy and visual example

4. Leverage Your Network

Don’t underestimate the power of your network. There’s a good chance you’re already connected to your ideal hire through someone else you know. Reach out to your contacts and ask them to share your job ad with their network. Don’t spam everyone you know with a generic message asking them to share your ad — for this technique to work, keep your list of potential sharers small and make the request to each of them personally.

Reach the Right Applicants

Thousands of applicants from people who aren’t the right fit for a vacancy aren’t worth anything, so broadening your reach isn’t enough. You’ll also need to ensure your job ad appeals to the candidates you’re trying to reach.

5. Identify the Right Platforms

There is no single “best” hiring platform. The ideal place to post your job ad will vary based on factors like the industry you’re hiring in and the qualifications you’re looking for. Data from previous hiring campaigns (if you have it) can help identify which job sites and hiring platforms deliver the best results for which type of posting.

6. Perfect Your Posting

Attention-grabbing headlines are great — until they put off qualified applicants. Clichéed language like “rockstar” and “ninja” can actually hurt your reach with candidates who want a clear picture of what the job entails. It’s also vital to keep your list of qualifications clear and concise. Studies indicate that while most men will apply for a position if they meet 80% of the listed qualifications, the average woman won’t apply unless she meets all of them.

7. Build Your Brand

Applicants who already know (and like) who you are and what you stand for are more likely to apply when they see you’re hiring. Put your company values front and centre in recruitment campaigns. Let candidates know how they’ll benefit from working with you, whether it’s unique benefits, flexible work models, or a commitment to diversity or sustainability.

Improve the Hiring Process

Improve the Hiring Process

The qualified applicants you’re looking for are likely in demand with other hiring teams too — so it’s not enough to ensure they see your job opening and apply for it. You have to actually close the deal and hire them before they accept an offer elsewhere.

8. Show Some Respect

Potential hires who know their skills are in demand will not jump through hoops or sit around and wait through a lengthy series of interviews. A well-crafted job description and a couple of automated screening steps in your ATS should weed out most unsuitable applicants. Respect the time of those who’ve made it this far. Communicate timelines and next steps clearly and move quickly and efficiently toward a final decision.

9. Ask for Feedback

People who’ve experienced your hiring process first-hand are in the best position to tell you what’s wrong with it. Ask candidates — successful and otherwise — what they liked about their application experience with you, and what they felt didn’t work. Monitoring your employer reviews can also provide valuable insights here. Many applicants who reach the interview stage will do their homework about you, and you’re likely to lose them if your current and former staff have a lot of negative things to say.

Hire Better, Hire Faster. Hirematic.

Hirematic’s advanced job ad platform helps you reach a broader pool of applicants while targeting your ideal applicants. We combine the power of AI with the expertise of recruitment experts to optimise job ads, lower cost-per-applicant, and help you find and hire the right people quickly. Not convinced? Talk to our team about a free, no-obligation trial today.