How to Get More Applications for Open Roles at Your Startup

How to Get More Applications for Open Roles at Your Startup

The job market has undergone many changes over the last five years. Morale and employee satisfaction rates were low before the pandemic, but they didn’t get much better in 2022. Widespread disengagement led to the Great Resignation, an ongoing problem for employers.

Now, hiring a top-performing employee is harder than ever, but that shouldn’t discourage you. If other employers are refusing to change, you’ll be the organization that quality employees pick. 

How to Get More Job Applications When Hiring

If widespread resignation and lower applicant accounts are plaguing your startup, it’s time to make a few changes. 

Here are 7 ways to attract more quality applicants for your open roles.

  • Really Know Who and What You’re Looking For

You’ve likely stumbled across this article because you want to hire quickly, but that’s a very bad idea. Quality talent is hard won because they have so many choices. If you want to be their first choice, you need to describe who and what you’re looking for, as it shows you’re organized.

Before creating a job description, consider what tasks your new hire will work on, what skill set they need, recommended level of experience, and personality traits that appeal to your culture.

  • Write an Incredibly Accurate Job Description

In a competitive job market, candidates will use job searching portals to look for positions and relevant recruiters. You should do the same thing when writing a new role’s job description.

Search a few general and industry-focused sites (i.e., ProBlogger for copywriters) to see what job postings quality candidates are clicking on. Remember that candidates take as much of an emotional approach to the job search as a logical one, so use psychology to attract hires.

For example, a quality job description will provide a “yes” answer to the following questions:

  • Is the job posting relevant?
  • Does the job sound exciting?
  • Am I qualified to work here?

In the job summary and the responsibilities, qualifications, and skills section, write information that may entice quality talent. But don’t forget to add your top employee perks and benefits.

  • Bring Attention to Your Perks and Benefits

Job seekers are expecting more than salary, but a high paycheck always helps. Workers these days want to take jobs that take their well-being into account. They gravitate towards employers that offer flexibility, better health coverage, and non-traditional benefits, such as paid sick leave.

Jobs that are difficult to fill should offer remote work as a perk. Most employees prefer to stay home, especially if their job doesn’t require office involvement. 

Other than that, you should offer:

  • Additional healthcare benefits (dental, vision, and insurance)
  • Paid time off (sick leave, vacations, or PTO)
  • Retirement savings plans (401(k), pension, IRA)
  • Paid parental leave (for both parents)
  • Home office stipend (i.e., office equipment) 
  • Employee education reimbursement programs
  • Gym memberships (or other health-conscious perks)

While perks and benefits are expensive, the cost of turnover will always be higher. If you can’t offer everything, consider speaking to your staff about what perks/benefits matter most to them.

  • Encourage Employees to Review Your Company

On nearly every employment website, you’ll find a section dedicated to company reviews. While the reviews themselves won’t be visible unless a candidate clicks on the job ad (and they will), the star rating will appear next to your company name. 

Here’s an example you’ll find on Indeed:

Candidates will look elsewhere if an employer doesn’t have an excellent rating. Even if the startup has a great environment, fantastic pay, and incredible benefits, happy employees are less likely to leave reviews. That’s why you need to encourage your current employees to do so.

Employees can use employer review websites, like JobSage, to review their company. Or, they could use other employment sites, like Glassdoor or Monster, to provide less focused reviews.

  • Do A/B Tests of Your Job Ads and Job Postings

A/B tests are randomized experiments that show two variants of a similar product, usually an advertisement. While this point is small, it can do wonders for your startup, as the right ads can attract the right candidates. You’ll only know who you’re attracting if you’re A/B testing.

When conducting A/B tests, test job titles, descriptions, and branding content. Ask yourself what receives the most engagement. Use a mix of trendy and traditional keywords to make sure suitable candidates are finding your ads when they’re searching on Google or social media.

  • Publish and Share Your Jobs on Multiple Channels

If you sit back and wait for applications, you’re already losing the talent acquisition game. 

Top-performers likely already have jobs and aren’t actively looking, so you can’t just use employment sites for your job search. You’ll need to work harder to increase the visibility of your job openings by posting to multiple channels, including social media and your company website.

When posting your job openings, we recommend doing the following:

  • Publish your job on LinkedIn and invest in outreach.
  • Publish your job on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.
  • Perform outreach at local colleges and universities.
  • Post your job in relevant groups, like LinkedIn Groups.
  • Reach out to passive job seekers via their email or inbox.

If you have a referral program, ask your employees if they have any leads. Speak to your network and see if anyone has a great employee to recommend. Offer incentives to your team (like a company-wide referral bonus) for candidates that place (and stay) in your business.

  • Always Offer Feedback (Even to Non-Hires)

Feedback can help candidates understand why they did or didn’t move on to the next step.

Your reputation plays an essential role in the acquisition process, but employers may forget that their recruitment tactics are also judged. Quality applicants understand how this process should work. They know that a copy-paste rejection letter takes a second to write and deliver.

But if you want to knock your rejection letter out of the park, offer feedback in a kind way. If you’re worried about it backfiring, ask your HR staff to review and/or revise your message.

In the end, timely feedback (24-72 hours) is more critical to the candidate than hurting their feelings. Candidates tend to feel better when they have an answer because they can move on to the next step. Plus, this experience will encourage them to apply again once they’re ready.

In Summary 

Finding qualified talent is only going to get harder, but if you adjust to the new hiring market, you’ll be considered a top employer in your industry. Never underestimate the value of an incredible candidate at your startup, as they’ll help your business scale into an enterprise.