Your Biggest Hiring Pain Points Solved: Advice From an Expert

Every day, CareerPlug clients reach out to our team of experts to ask what they can do to improve their hiring results. We know that for our clients who own small businesses and franchises, hiring and recruiting is just one of many responsibilities they juggle day-to-day. Our goal is to make hiring easier so they can spend less time hiring and get back to running their business.

That’s why we have hiring and recruiting experts like Gabe Wilson. In his role as a hiring consultant, Gabe has advised hundreds of business owners and hiring managers on the strategic improvements they can make to attract more quality applicants and hire the right people. 

His advice is so helpful that he’s become a favorite resource for our clients, with one business owner writing:

“Gabe helped me to get totally started. He helped me to setup my job description, helped with the title to attract more job seekers. He helped with automation of a couple of steps, and to create a template to send emails. I had over 20 applicants the FIRST DAY!”

– Mary Conrad, Joe Homebuyer of Kentuckiana

CareerPlug’s Senior Content Marketing Manager Desiree Echevarria sat down with Gabe to learn more about the burning questions our clients have asked him over the years, along with the advice that’s been the most effective.

What can I do to attract more qualified applicants to my open roles?

The number one concern we hear from hiring managers is a lack of qualified applicants for their open roles. It can be a stressful situation, oftentimes feeling like it’s beyond their control. Some employers believe that their only options are to spend more money to sponsor their job postings or raise their pay when they may not have the budget to do so. 

But Gabe challenges employers to think about the problem differently, saying, “It doesn’t have to do with pay. Even if you don’t offer the highest pay, you still have a great chance of landing that quality hire. You just have to take a few simple steps, and [think about] what the job seeker’s perspective is.”

Gabe’s number one piece of advice is: include your compensation in your job description. By adding a pay range, you’re making it easy for job seekers to decide if it’s worth applying. Remember that job seekers are busy too, and if they’re presented with a choice between spending their time applying for a role that lists pay or one that doesn’t, they’re usually going to apply to the one with the pay transparency.

So the problem may not be that you’re paying enough, but that your pay is simply unknown. 

Gabe’s second piece of advice: add a benefits and perks section in your job post. Some employers believe that these details are only valuable if they provide standard benefits like insurance or retirement plans. However, even if you lack these traditional benefits, it’s still worthwhile to highlight smaller perks, like fun company events or flexible working hours. It’s all about the framing – by showing off your company as an attractive place to work, job seekers will want to apply. 

Gabe’s third tip: list the requirements and qualifications on your job posting. It sounds simple, but remember to write these with the job seeker’s perspective in mind. They need to be able to envision themselves succeeding in the role before they apply.

“The thing [applicants] want to know is: am I qualified? Are they clear on what the requirements are on the job posting?” Gabe says. You want to get job seekers to a place where they can say, “Okay, if I do apply for this, it’s worth it. It’s worth my time.”

When you take the time to write an effective job description, it allows job seekers to feel more confident about your opportunity. Removing those unknowns can convert an uncertain job seeker into a candidate for the role. 

Watch Gabe’s full answer in the video below. 

Do I really need to list compensation in the job posting?

In short: yes. 

But we certainly empathize with employers who feel hesitant to list pay in the job posting. Gabe makes a great case for why pay transparency is now becoming essential to your recruiting strategy on the job boards.

Gabe says, “If you don’t have pay listed, there’s a really good chance no one will ever see the posting. That sounds dramatic and extreme, but I think it’s the truth.”  

This is especially true for jobs listed in the growing number of states that have passed pay transparency laws requiring employers to disclose compensation in job ads. For example, when New York’s pay transparency law went into effect in September 2023, Indeed began removing job postings that were missing compensation information. 

It’s also important to remember that applicants tend to search for jobs using filters, and oftentimes they filter their search to only show them jobs that list compensation. If your job doesn’t have pay listed, high-quality candidates could be filtering out your jobs so that they never even see them.

Watch the video below to hear more from Gabe about the importance of pay transparency. 

How can I prevent candidate ghosting and interview no-shows?

Candidate ghosting and interview no-shows can prolong the hiring process and be frustrating for employers. According to Gabe, we need to take a step back and try to understand the root causes of disengaged candidates. 

Gabe advises: “Don’t rely solely on email. Emails go to spam. I’ve heard from a lot of hiring managers that use texting with applicants first and responding before the other employers do.” Gabe says that his recommended best practice is to contact applicants within 24 hours at most – and even sooner is better. 

“You can utilize some automation and get that sent out immediately within three minutes,” Gabe says. “You will be the number one employer, the first one to respond to these applicants, which gives you a really good chance [at increasing candidate engagement].”

Gabe also recommends that employers increase their interview availability to accommodate the schedules of busy candidates. Most candidates have jobs and it’s a huge commitment for them to take time off of work to go to an interview. If it’s at an inconvenient time for them, or something comes up at the last minute, they’ll often skip the interview because they just can’t make it work. 

To hear more about Gabe’s approach to preventing candidate ghosting and interview no-shows, watch the video below.

How soon should I contact applicants after they apply?

“I would say 24 hours at the most,” Gabe says. “A few hours is what I would recommend.” 

But why is it so important to contact candidates ASAP?

“If an applicant is moving along through the hiring process and there are three interview steps and they’re on step one, maybe another company reached out earlier and they already have that applicant on step two. They’re going to take that other job because they’re going to get that offer letter first,” Gabe says. 

High-quality candidates will always have the freedom to be picky about where they want to work, and by moving them through the hiring process as quickly as possible, you’re signaling to them that you’re extremely interested and value what they bring to the table more than other employers do.

Luckily, there are tools that can help you move quickly with your top candidates. Using an applicant tracking system like CareerPlug can automate all of this instant candidate communication so that busy hiring managers don’t need to be glued to their phones all day. 

Desiree shares her own experience using CareerPlug’s automations: “If you’re already a CareerPlug client, you can just automate this part of the hiring process. Set up Autopilot and you don’t even have to think about it. I’ve used it before and it contacts candidates immediately for me.”

To learn more about CareerPlug’s hiring automations like Autopilot, schedule a demo today. 

How do I get to the top of the search results on job boards?

Gabe says that while employers can use job board best practices to optimize their rankings (e.g. writing better job descriptions, pay transparency), he thinks that it’s actually more important for employers to turn their attention to diversifying their applicant sources and not relying solely on the job boards as their only source for high-quality applicants in the first place.

“When it comes to how to get more visibility, I would say: 1) let’s focus on the job description and 2) there’s different types of visibility. And that’s visibility from employee referrals, and Facebook, and social media, and some of these other sources.”

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to promote your job board posts, you can use that money to create employer recognition incentives or bonuses for employee referrals. This not only strengthens your company culture, but also your job descriptions, allowing you to get testimonials and include the incentives in your job posts, leading to employee retention.  

Hear more of Gabe’s thoughts on job board visibility in the video below.


Gabe Wilson’s expert insights have one overarching theme: it’s important to view your hiring practices from the perspective of the job seeker. Be courteous and respect their time and effort. Taking those small steps like reaching out quickly or investing more energy into writing a high-quality job description can go a long way in converting job seekers into hires. 

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CareerPlug is proud to provide our hiring expertise to over 60,000 small business locations. Our software is built on a proven process designed to hire and retain the right people. Plus, it’s easy enough for anyone to use – you don’t even need to be an HR pro.


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