5 Reasons Job Seekers Aren’t Applying to Your Job Posting

So you have an open position and you’re ready to start the hiring process. You’re a great company and this is a great opportunity, so finding the perfect candidate that checks all your boxes should be easy, right? 

In fact, you were certain that when you posted your open job online, you’d immediately see an influx of qualified applicants to choose from… but maybe that hasn’t been your experience after all. 

Maybe, for some reason, you’re struggling to get applicants when you post an open job, and you’re not sure why. You’ve begun to realize, there are a lot of great companies with a lot of open jobs, and getting applicants interested in your role may take a little more effort. But what kind of things do applicants want to see – and not see – in a job posting?

We decided to survey recent job seekers to learn what gets them excited to apply to job postings as part of our 2023 Applicant Expectations Report. Their answers provide insight into some job posting mistakes that might be limiting your applicant pool. 

Read on to use what we learned from job seekers to help you improve your job postings and increase your chances of making the absolute best hire for your team. 

What makes job seekers excited to apply to jobs 

Let’s start by going over what job seekers are looking for in a job posting, and the things that have the most impact on their decision to apply. We asked the job seekers in our survey to choose their top 3 things that get them most excited about a job posting. 

Here are some of their answers: 

what makes job seekers excited to apply to jobs postings

You can use this information to determine what your job posting might be missing. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons job seekers aren’t applying to your open jobs and what you can do about it. 

Why aren’t people applying to my job?  

1. You’re not leading with benefits and perks 

Job seekers have told us again and again that benefits and perks are just as important as competitive compensation. They want to see this information up front – before applying or interviewing. Job seekers won’t waste their time applying to a job they’re unsure about. Plus, it’s a great way to show you’re a transparent company from the start. 

One job seeker told us, “Compensation and benefits are rarely, if ever, mentioned until the applicant has been put through a grueling and inconvenient interview process. Employers need to be upfront about what matters most to the applicant … salary, benefits, and work conditions, including upward mobility.”

job seeker quote on employer transparency

2. There’s no compensation listed 

46% of job seekers ranked compensation as a top reason they get excited to apply to job postings. Of course, we know that people want to be paid well for what they do, so offering a competitive salary is important. But even that won’t get you very far, if you’re not transparent about that salary in the job posting. 

There are a few reasons that not including the compensation in your job posting could be making you miss out on applicants. One thing to keep in mind is that candidates are busy and applying to jobs takes time and effort, so they want to make sure that effort is worth it. A lot of qualified folks won’t take the time to apply if they are unsure of what you’re offering. 

Plus, including the compensation can actually save you time as it helps candidates self-select in or out of your opportunity. This keeps you from spending time and resources moving someone through your hiring process only to find that you don’t agree on compensation terms at the offer stage. 

Lastly, (and very importantly) pay transparency has now become law in several cities and states, and major job boards like Indeed are actually removing job postings in these areas that don’t list compensation. 

So if you’re not seeing as many applicants as you’d expect for your job posting, not including the compensation might be why. 

3. No remote or flexible working options

In a FlexJobs study, 32% of respondents reported that they want a hybrid work environment, and 65% said they want to work remotely full-time. In our own survey, we found that remote/flexible working options are a big draw for people looking for a job. 

If you already offer remote or hybrid work, be sure to include the details in your job description. If you’re unable to let employees work remotely, consider other ways that you can add flexibility to their schedule. For example, do you have a generous time off policy? Or let employees swap shifts with other employees through a scheduling app? Let job seekers know how you support a flexible working environment. 

4. You don’t have a compelling employer brand 

When job seekers are scrolling through job boards, deciding between various opportunities, one thing that stands out is a job posting that shows off a company’s employer brand. Job seeker’s know they have options, and they will get excited about a company that has a good reputation. 

The first way to build your employer brand is to simply be a good place to work – after all, employees that have a positive opinion of your workplace will be more likely to provide compelling employee testimonials that you can showcase on your careers page

You’ll also want to provide positive candidate experiences anytime you’re hiring. This will help you build a good reputation organically, but you can also use employer review sites like GlassDoor and JobSage to actively manage your employer brand online. 

Having a stellar reputation helps you stand out in a sea of job postings, and makes job seekers more likely to apply to your open role and accept the job later in the process. 

5. Not enough focus on skills in your job posting 

We asked job seekers to tell us in their own words what makes a job posting attractive. 

One theme that emerged was the desire for skills-first hiring – or emphasizing the importance of skills and capability over strict requirements like specific degrees or experience. 

By listing skills in your job description, job seekers are more likely to feel qualified for the role, and align themselves with the position. For example, someone may not apply to a job based on your requirement for a specific degree, but seeing that you’re looking for “good communication skills” or “leadership experience” may make someone feel like they are a better fit. 

Here’s a couple of quotes from job seekers on this: 

job seeker quotes on skills-based hiring

Get more job seekers to apply to your jobs

Now that you have a better idea of what job seekers are looking for, you can improve your job postings to attract more applicants. 

The job seekers we surveyed get the most excited about job postings that list benefits and perks, compensation, and flexible working options. They also prefer companies that take a skills-based approach to hiring and have a strong employer brand. 

If you’re not getting as many applicants as you’d expect for your open roles, start by taking a look at these key components and adjusting your job posting accordingly. Doing so can help you find your next awesome hire for your great opportunity! 

Attract more high-quality applicants with better job descriptions

Download our Ultimate Guide to Effective Job Descriptions e-book to learn everything you need to include in your job description to attract more and better candidates. Click the button below to access your free copy.


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