Chris Russell

2 min read

Recruiting Tactics

How to Attract More Job Applicants

To win in talent acquisition today employers must begin to make job offers in a matter of days not weeks according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG). They also need to streamline the mobile application process.

It’s no secret that employers face a daunting hiring challenge. The numbers are staggering: 4.5 million people left their jobs last November, and there are 10.6 million active job listings in the US along with a net labor shortage of 4.3 million workers.

In 2020 and 2021, the vast majority of turnover occurred in the hourly service sectors like hospitality, retail and food service. In response, many companies have gotten creative to compete in the hiring war for hourly workers, incentivizing potential employees with sign-on bonuses, increased wages and additional PTO. But this latest BCG report finds that employers need to adopt an analytical, data-backed approach to their pipeline to truly attract more job applicants and improve their hiring rates.

“Our analysis shows that many successful companies employ a ‘test-and-learn’ approach to hiring. The right data that is accessible to the right people is critical to success, ” said David Welch, managing director and senior partner at BCG.

Here are four things employers must do today to effectively compete for job applicants;

  • Expedite the Hiring Process
    BCG’s analysis of proprietary data from ATS provider Fountain found that employers who present job offers in less than seven days yield 80% more hires on average than organizations with longer timelines. What’s more – each day removed from the hiring process improves that rate. The best candidates looking for work are applying to multiple positions, and the employer presenting jobseekers with their first offer are more likely to win that talent. Texting job s cam also add speed to the process.
  • Broaden Your Screening Qualifications
    BCG’s analysis found that the quality of candidates can vary greatly across various job boards, and with myriad options to choose from, employers that explicitly balance hiring quantity and yield will improve business outcomes. Eighty-four percent of applicants reported applying for a position using their smartphone, so companies need to make sure they are targeting candidates more strategically. Location is a common screening tool that employers use when searching for candidates. While 70% of applicants seek jobs less than 15 miles from their homes, BCG found that applicants willing to travel farther were hired at an equivalent or higher rate.
  • Job Postings That Articulate Company Benefits
    According to BCG’s report, 46% of job postings analyzed did not mention benefits provided. Yet analysis showed that offering certain benefits improved applicant yields and resulted in higher quality applications. Benefits that increased hiring rates most significantly included bi-weekly pay (34%), 401k (34%), medical leave (27%), tuition reimbursement (25%) and PTO (25%).
  • Revise Job Requirements to be More Inclusive
    BCG found that employers need to continuously analyze certain criteria throughout the process of crafting job listings to increase the likelihood of improved hiring results. For example, positions without explicit age requirements generated more applicants but resulted in a lower hiring rate than positions with age requirements.

BCG also discovered that companies attracted more applicants when they relaxed requirements tied to work experience, but saw double the hiring rate when they specified that experience.

Finally, education requirements like a GED or high school diploma decreased applicant pools by 40% without improving the hiring rate. Hiring is both science and art. Organizations than can leverage data to improve the hiring experience will stand out to job applicants.


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