4 Big Reasons Why Candidates Aren’t Applying to Your Jobs

October 3, 2018

Today’s job candidates have lots of leeway to be more demanding than they have ever been before, as there are more jobs available now than there are people to fill them; a candidate-driven market as you’ve likely heard before.

And on top of that, what makes filling positions today even harder for companies is that young talent are accustomed to instant gratification: they can buy groceries online and eat them just a couple hours later, being finding a life partner with the simple swipe of a finger, and apply for a career change with the click of a mouse.

If your recruitment efforts are failing to draw the volume or quality of applicants you’re looking for, it just might because you aren’t effectively speaking to today’s talent pool. Here are 4 big reasons job hunters either aren’t seeing or aren’t applying for your open spots:

1. The application process is too burdensome

In order to compete with most other aspects of life for a job seeker these days, your application process should be a breeze. How do you know if it meets that criteria? Make sure you can answer, “Yes!” to all of these questions:

  • can applicants apply online?
  • can applicants upload their own resume if they choose?
  • is your online application mobile-friendly?
  • are there fewer than a dozen required fields in the form (i.e. fields that prevent submission when not complete)?
  • can candidates apply without creating an account?
  • is there a save option, so that candidates can save their progress and come back to the application at a later time?
  • does the entire process take less than 20 minutes from beginning to end?
  • can candidates apply without having a specific position in mind?

As a general rule, if it’s difficult to get through the form and error boxes pop up while they’re trying to submit their application, it’s highly likely they will simply move on.

2. The listing doesn’t stand out

If you don’t set yourself apart from competitors with the title and first few words of your listing, candidates likely aren’t even reading the posting in its entirety. And sharing the complete job description on a bunch of job boards isn’t automatically going to land you a bunch of candidates either.

However, being unique and creative, yet clear about both what you need and what you can offer in return within your job posting can get more interest – and interest gets you applicants.

If you’re struggling to get traffic to your posting, do some research. Find out how other companies advertise their open positions and learn from those that intrigue you. Involve your marketing department if you need a little extra flair and don’t forget to highlight the perks, benefits, awards (if you have any) and unique aspects of company culture that make your organization a great place to work.

3. Your employer brand is negative or unmemorable

Applying for a new job looks something like this:

1) search for positions
2) find one you like
3) research the company

Company career pages and anonymous employer review platforms allow current and former workers to evaluate the companies they’ve worked at, giving potential employees important first-hand inside information they look for to make an informed decision about where to apply.

Do you know if your employer brand is positive, negative, or unmemorable / non-existent (which could be just as bad as negative)?

Bottom line is candidates will want to imagine themselves at your company based on the impression your employer brand gives them; if you don’t know what your employer brand is, ask yourself some honest questions and consider gathering feedback from your employees about it – whether on review sites like kununu or directly in conversation or an internal questionnaire.

4. Company information isn’t accessible

Candidates want to know who you are and what you stand for before they make decisions about employment and also before they even apply.  And that makes a lot of sense – since employees of any company spend a lot of their waking hours at whatever place they work, it ought to be a place that they really know and agree with. To that end, your career page should clearly represent your authentic company culture and potential candidates should be able to easily access information about your mission, vision, and core values.

Although maintaining an edge on the competition and sharing enough information with candidates requires a careful balancing act, giving potential employees the information they want to know about the wage range and benefits can increase your applicant pool, too. Don’t forget to touch on what your company does to support work-life balance, autonomy and teamwork among employees.


Those are just some of the top likely reasons candidates aren’t applying to your jobs. There’s also always a possibility that there are other factors coming into play, like the time of year you’re hiring (summertime is notoriously slow for both job seekers and companies), the amount of competition for the same type of candidates in your region, or something else that’s going wrong in the early stages of the candidate experience. What it all comes down to you is you and your HR team taking a hard look at all of the possibilities and making an action plan to address why you’re not getting enough applicants. Otherwise, you’re just doomed to suffer even longer without filling the positions that you need filled.




Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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