1 Simple Way to Boost Job Applications

November 19, 2014

One of the most frequent questions we receive from employers is how to to increase the number of applications they receive. The drop-off after viewing the job description to clicking through and completing the application process on your website is regularly -50%. (We’ve even seen it as high as -70%.)

The truth is: most applicants probably hate your ATS.

But there is one radical (and simple) change we know will increase the volume and quality of the applications you receive. 

Accept Resumes Via Email

You’re probably thinking “that’s crazy. Why on earth would we do that?” Here are 3 compelling reasons to start:

1 – You’ll Receive More Applications

As we discussed in “Why Engineers Aren’t Applying to Your Job” –

In almost all cases, engineers will go through your ATS process if they believe there’s a good enough reason to do so. And what is the most compelling reason you can give them? That you’ve reviewed their information and are interested.

The simple solution proposed in that post is to, upon receipt of an applicant’s resume via email, respond with an invitation that lets candidates know there’s a real possibility they could be hired for this role and gives them the link (to your ATS) to complete the application process.

Email Response to ATS

2 – You’ll Get Better Quality Candidates

You’ve probably heard that the demand for engineers is sky-high almost everywhere. Engineers know this, too. And like water, humans tend to follow the path of least resistance. In the case of job applications, the easier it is to apply the more likely it is engineers will submit an application.

With countless other opportunities available, they’re simply not willing to a) register with your site and b) spend 15 to 30 minutes filling out several pages of information. (Whether it actually takes that long or not doesn’t matter; that’s their perception, and it keeps them from moving forward.)

There is an inverse to this rule, too: the more difficult it is to submit an application, the fewer candidates will complete it, and the more likely it is that those candidates are extremely motivated (read: desperate) to get a job. These probably aren’t the candidates you want to hire.

By allowing applicants to email (and then follow up through your ATS), you not only increase the volume of applications received, but you’ll also increase the pool of passive candidates that apply.

3 – You’ll Have More Candidates in your CRM System

For any given job, a number of the candidates that apply won’t be quite right for the particular job they applied for – but they could be someone you want to keep tabs on in the future.

These are exactly the kinds of candidates you want integrated into your CRM system.

With the increased volume of applications you’ll have more candidates in your pipeline to engage who aren’t successfully placed yet – but may be valuable talent acquisition leads down the road.

One Key Place to Implement this Tactic

If you’re still thinking “this is way too much work,” or “I have too many jobs to manage all of this,” we understand. But even if you don’t implement this tactic for all of your jobs, test this method on the jobs that matter the most: competitive and narrow talent pools.

The harder it is to obtain the talent, the fewer obstacles there should be to impeding their path of progress.

Even if you only accept email-first resumes for the “purple squirrel” jobs in your queue – that alone is an incredible competitive advantage.