Do Candidates Know (and Care) About Your Jobs?

Thousands of companies are hiring at this very moment. Some of them are your direct competitors. But this isn’t your only competition. Does Domino’s Pizza compete with Uber? Maybe not directly in business, but they definitely compete when it comes to recruiting employees. What are the most important hires that you need to make? Who are you competing against for this talent? How are you going to win?

If you cannot win the competition for talent, then you cannot win in your business.

How Strong is Your Talent Magnet?

If you want to win the competition for talent, you need to start by attracting more qualified applicants. We call this building a Talent Magnet.

The strongest Talent Magnets belong to the companies that have such a great reputation that they naturally attract tons of candidates to their website to apply to their jobs. Think about companies that are known as a great place to work, just as Google is for technology professionals. Look at companies like Apple that have a loyal following of fans who would love to work for them. Their Talent Magnets are so strong that they have a significant advantage over their competitors.

Not there yet? Not to worry – we’re not either! The good news is that us mere mortals can build a Talent Magnet too. If you don’t have candidates lining up to apply, then you need to build your Talent Magnet by creating a compelling job posting, getting it out to the right people and places, and standing out from the crowd to get more clicks and applications.


Step 1: Get Organized

The first step is to create a compelling job posting. The goal of a job posting is to explain the mission and responsibilities for the role to get the right candidates to apply.

Key Elements of an Effective Job Posting:

  1. Job Title – This is the first and most important test; if you don’t get this right, then your target candidates will not even read the job description.
  2. Overview – Show them the mission you want to accomplish as a company and how your open position is important to making it happen.
  3. Responsibilities – Help them understand what the job entails and what success looks like in the role, and avoid listing out every possible responsibility. You’re still selling jobseekers right now, and you can always present a formal job description later in the process.
  4. Qualifications – Be clear about what is required, but be careful not to scare away good candidates with ideal qualifications. Only include 100% requirements – is 5 years of sales experience really required to pass your initial review?
  5. What You’ll Get – Focus on more than just compensation and benefits; remember to also reference growth potential and development opportunities.
  6. Next Steps – Be sure to include a call to action or overview of the hiring process. Show applicants that there is an immediate need and interviews are being conducted.

Think of these key elements as a sequence of hurdles or gates. As candidates review each one, they are asking themselves: Is this a good match for me? It starts with the Job Title and works its way down to Next Steps, which should encourage them to apply.

Step 2: Get Posted

Now that you have a compelling job posting, it’s time to promote it in the right places and to the right people. First and foremost, be sure to get the job added to the Careers Page on your company website. You don’t want to miss out on the candidates who come to your website and are interested in working for you. Though this is the right place to start, most of your potential candidates do not yet know about your company. You need to also get the word out to other people and places.

Key Channels for Promoting Your Jobs:

  1. Your Employees & Network – The benefits of building a strong pipeline of employee referrals are numerous. A strong Talent Magnet should have employee referrals as the number of source of new hires. Achieving this goal is a sign that you have built a great place to work!
  2. Your Customers – Your best customers could become your best employees. Let them know that you are hiring and make it easy to learn more. Tip: Scrap the paper applications and train your hiring managers to send applicants to your online Careers Page. This gives you more control over the applicant’s experience with your brand and increases consistency for your managers.
  3. External Job Boards – You will get the most applicants from this channel. Applicant quality will be mixed, but you can still make great hires here.

These key channels are listed in order of importance. Don’t skip Your Employees and Customers and go straight to External Job Boards. If you do, you will be missing out on some of your highest quality candidates.

Source applicants from referrals, your customers and external job postings

Step 3: Get Clicked

Getting your jobs posted on external job boards is great, but now you have entered the competition with hundreds of other employers looking for the same people. How will you get noticed, and more importantly, how will you get people to click on your job postings?

Key Strategies to Get More Clicks:

  1. Show Up in the Right Search Results – Use a job title and job description keywords that the right candidates will use to find jobs like yours. SEO isn’t just for your marketing team.
  2. Keep Jobs Fresh – Jobs that are newer typically get more exposure. Consider updating or reposting jobs that are more than 30 days old.
  3. Add Compensation – Some search engines will show a compensation amount on their search results when it’s provided. This can help you stand out.
  4. Make It Easy for Mobile – More than half of jobseekers apply to jobs from their mobile device. Mobile job search has become so common that certain job search engines will prioritize mobile-friendly jobs. Make sure your job postings aren’t filtered out just because they aren’t mobile optimized.

A Few More Tips

  • It’s important to showcase your company in your job postings. Too many companies have a nice looking Careers Page, but then their job posting pages look dull and generic. Remember that most of your visitors are coming from external job boards, not your Careers Page, so be sure that their first experience in seeing your job showcases your company and brand.
  • You may be wondering, how do I get my jobs promoted in all of these places? Applicant Tracking Systems like CareerPlug can make your life easier when it comes to job posting distribution. Once you post a job, the system automatically adds the job to your website and posts it with our network of job board partners. You can also promote the jobs on social media within a few clicks.
  • The best way to optimize your results is to test, measure and test again. If you have a position for which you recruit on a regular basis, it is worth your time to develop a couple of different job postings and job titles to test and see what works best. Measure your results: Which jobs got the most clicks? Which ones converted clicks to applicants at the highest rate? What are your best sources for applicants and hires? This will allow you to refine your process and optimize your results.

Start Building Your Talent Magnet

If you want to win the competition for talent, you need to start by attracting more qualified applicants. The keys to building a strong Talent Magnet are straightforward:

  1. Create an attractive opportunity for the right candidates.
  2. Promote this opportunity in the right places and to the right people.
  3. Make it easy to apply from any device.

Once you develop these parts and build a process to make it repeatable, you will start to see predictable results. And that’s when you’ll start winning the competition for talent.

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Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.

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The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.

In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

Jenny Leman


Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”

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Clint Smith

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Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.