5 tips to increase applicant flow

How Do I Attract More Job Seekers?

There’s no question that the quest to find enough, qualified applicants is frequently a priority for employers–particularly those with positions that traditionally have high turnover. Are you interested in a “chicken or egg” debate? In HR that question is always, would we rather have a large quantity of applicants or a batch of high quality applicants.

Employers obviously want both, but when they have to pick one or the other, in today’s pandemic-sensitized hiring environment, our clients are asking for quantity. Maybe they’ve decided that finding the perfect applicant is like finding the needle in the haystack and they want to hedge their bets? Maybe their organization decided years ago that having a specific, “middleman” recruiter wasn’t worth it given all the accessible hiring software platforms?

Whatever your reason, we hear you! You want more applicants! Here are five tips to get more applicants based on our team’s experience helping clients leverage technology to improve hiring experiences.

ExactHire Success Team
1. Share your job posting to multiple sites.

Share. Share. And share some more. Simple math will tell you, if you are interested in bringing in more applicants you must first reach more applicants. One of the best benefits of using the ExactHire ATS is that it can be your one-stop-shop for posting your job to your own career site AND pushing your job to other third party job boards.

The ExactHire ATS will automatically push your jobs to numerous job boards such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Google for Jobs. There is more evidence that sponsoring job postings on these job boards can increase your applicant flow by 5X (Indeed)  ExactHire can work with you directly (and your third party job board representative) to make this work. In addition, you should not put all of your eggs in one basket!  ExactHire’s applicant tracking system “Promote” feature will increase your job’s visibility to:

  • state workforce development / unemployment offices,
  • colleges and universities,
  • diversity-specific job boards,
  • social media sites,
  • Potential referrals from existing employees
  • emails and newsletters with tracked links that may be customized within our ATS.

Kathleen McCoy-Anderson | ExactHire
2. Increase your chances of being found by job seekers.

Your job is now posted everywhere – various job boards, your website, newsletters, social media, on the highway billboard, etc. The next step is to make sure applicants are finding your job listings based on the content you included in the description. You don’t have to be a top salesperson or great at marketing to implement these few tricks, although, if you have someone on your team who is – ask that they take a look at your posting and provide suggestions.

Write distinctive and descriptive content

Start by making sure your job titles are unique. Job boards will often clump together similar job titles to prevent job seekers from encountering seemingly duplicated job descriptions. What’s the end result of this clumping, you ask? Well, some of your job listings may not be shown as often as others in search results–perhaps because you have two Server positions listed for the same location without much variety in their description text.

Do whatever you can to differentiate these titles and their descriptions. Consider adding your location, company name, ID number of the position, hours, or team name to the body of the description and/or the job title. If you are hiring two “Servers” the postings may be lumped together, but if you are hiring one “Server, Green Team, Weekdays only” and one “Server, Night Shift, North”, those two postings are less likely to be placed together as one.

Use hashtags on social

Use creative and professional hashtags to promote jobs on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Unsure of which hashtags to use? Start by adding the basics to the bottom of your posts and only use 2-4 hashtags total per job posting. Here is a standard list:

  • #nowhiring
  • #jobopening
  • #employment
  • #jobs
  • #hiring
  • #work
  • #career
  • #jobposting
  • #jobsearch

Job description keyword density matters

Writing repetitive keywords is crucial if you want job seekers to encounter your job listings on external job sites when they do specific, job-related keyword searches. “Enjoy food and people? Our position allows you to work with our great team and our loyal customers,” can be improved to read, “As a Server with Acme Co. not only will you become part of the Serving Team, but you will also get to serve and interact with our loyal customers.” This may seem extra silly and a bit extreme, but this example does demonstrate how you can swap words to make a bigger search engine optimization (SEO) impact (ie work with other teammates is replaced with work with other servers). The more often you can repeat the position title and other related job-specific keywords that align with the potential search queries of job seekers, the greater your chances of being found.

Nancy Meyer
3. Make it easy for more job seekers to show interest.

If quantity is really what you’re looking for, then make it easy for more job seekers to say they are interested in your positions. The ExactHire ATS makes this simple and customizable by allowing clients the ability to create multi-step employment applications! Implementing a short, initial application step is the quickest, easiest way for an applicant to raise his/her hand and show interest. In this hiring climate, think: contact information and a resume; or, contact information and no more than five job-specific questions. After you’ve screened the first step of the application, you can decide if you want the applicant to go to the next step.

Chantel Hatch
4. Over-communicate to job candidates.

Once you have an applicant’s information, keep him/her on the hook by quickly responding with professional communication. The ExactHire ATS allows you to utilize an instant ‘Thank You’ email template. Using the multi-step application process, you can invite the applicant to complete another section of the application seamlessly, and with little effort on your part.

Want to “talk” to an applicant quickly? No problem! The ExactHire ATS features two-way emailing and text messaging with candidates directly within the platform. This leaves you with no excuses for not quickly engaging applicants to start the interview process…or, for ghosting applicants when it comes to rejection messaging.

Randi Renee Shuck
5. Know what NOT to do with third-party job boards.

And last but not least, knowing what not to do when pushing your job listings to external job boards can be as important as knowing what to do. Job boards will often provide blogs or newsletters on how to operate most efficiently within their own platform. Because Indeed is typically one of the more popular websites for job seekers to search job openings, it’s critical to understand how its job content quality control process may impact the visibility of the job listings you share with Indeed.  To see if you may be excluding your jobs from Indeed inadvertently, review our tip sheet: How to Exclude a Job From Posting to Indeed.


Don’t fall into the trap of placing all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to creating visibility for your employer’s career opportunities. As I’ve discussed here, you have many avenues for creating awareness for the positions available within your organization–it just takes some attention to detail to make these tools work in your favor.

Need help strategizing on how to increase applicant flow for your company? We are dedicated to helping you utilize our ExactHire ATS to provide you with more AND better candidate results. Change doesn’t always come easy, but having the right team in place can certainly make it more pleasant. Let us know how we can help!

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