May 2, 2013   view past issues

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Increase Your Applicant Conversion Rate

Increase Your Applicant Conversion Rate

The single most important metric for customer retention is your applicant conversion rate. How many candidates who view a job posting are converted into applicants? The higher that number, the higher the probability you’ll retain a customer and increase the business you do with them.

But, here’s the rub: a growing number of candidates are seeing jobs posted on your site and then leaving without applying. They’ve been told that the single best way to land the job is to network with friends and colleagues who work for the employer that posted it. If there’s a brass ring in job search, they now believe it’s employee referrals.

The net effect of this development is “credit theft.” Your site sourced the candidate, but didn’t get credit for the applicant. You did all the work and aren’t being recognized for it.

What should you do? Teach your site visitors the “Application Two-Step.”

Avoiding Credit Theft: The Application Two Step

This technique enhances a candidate’s prospects for success because its two steps diminish a recruiter’s workload in two ways:

  • Step 1 ensures they don’t have to enter the applicant’s credentials into the organization’s ATS for them, which is typically the case with referrals;
  • and

  • Step 2 prevents them from having to wade through all of the applicants to find those worth considering.
  • Step 1, then, is an important test for the candidate, while Step 2 is a way to differentiate themselves.

    Step 1: Pass the Test

    A job posting is a test. Its purpose is to determine whether or not a candidate paid attention in Mrs. Murphy’s kindergarten class. What was the first lesson they were taught there? That’s right: to follow directions. So, a job posting is, first and foremost, a test to determine whether the candidate will submit their application according to the employer’s instructions.

    Whatever the method that’s specified, the key to being considered a bona fide applicant (and to diminishing the recruiter’s workload) is to do exactly as they are instructed. It doesn’t matter if it’s easier or more convenient for them to do it some other way. Step 1 is pass or fail; either they follow the employer’s directions and are thus worthy of consideration or they don’t and are a drag on the recruiter’s productivity.

    Step 2: Stand Out

    If Step 1 enables a candidate to pass the test; Step 2 helps them to ace it. As soon as they have positioned themselves as a bona fide applicant, they must reposition their resume to make sure it gets priority attention.

    The single best way to stand out with recruiters, of course, is by having their resume submitted a second time by an employee of the company. And the single best way to generate such a referral is by networking.

    So, applicants should reinforce their application by scouring their connections on social media sites, their college or university alumni organizations, and the discussion forums on the Web-sites of their professional and trade associations. What they’re looking for, of course is one (or both) of two kinds of contacts:

  • Employees of the organization whom they know
  • Employees whom they don’t know, but with whom they share an affinity (e.g., they have the same professional affiliation or a common alma mater)
  • Yes, the Application Two-Step causes the job seeker to do extra work, but it does so to reduce the work a recruiter must do. And a recruiter who’s less hassled is more likely to notice the applicant who made their life easier.

    Join the IAEWS Today

    Why bother?

    Well, there are a lot of reasons, including the twice-a-year conferences and peer-to-peer networking, the proprietary industry research and the market differentiation provided by our Code of Ethics.

    In addition, there are the new initiatives we are constantly introducing. Here are just two of the most recent:

    TalentNapkin is an e-magazine that will feature original writing by IAEWS Members. It’s a chance to see yourself in print and shine a spotlight on your insights and ideas. Why call the publication TalentNapkin? Because many of the best ideas in our industry began on a cocktail napkin in a watering hole somewhere.

    The 360 Perspective Discussion Tour involves local meetings among IAEWS Members and their guests. These sessions will provide an opportunity for networking and the discussion of the IAEWS Source of Employment Survey, which explores the attitudes and behaviors of both job seekers and employers.

    So, join the IAEWS today. Click here to reach the Membership Info page on the IAEWS site. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the link to the appropriate Prospective Members Packet for your organization.

    The New Golden Rules for Job Board Success

    The IAEWS is pleased to announce the publication of The New Golden Rules of Job Board Success: Four Principles for Optimizing Operational and Bottom Line Performance.

    Here’s how one industry executive described the book: “The New Golden Rules offers the most original thinking about job boards sine Monster created its first Super Bowl ad back in the last century.”

    Sure, you’re busy, but this book is a quick and easy read. More importantly, it’s filled with never-before-published research findings and data that are sure to get you and your colleagues thinking outside-the-box, both about where your site is today and where it can be tomorrow.

    So, get your copy today. Simply send an email to to request an order form. The book retails for just $24.95 and multiple copy discounts are available.

    What Makes the IAEWS Benchmark Survey Unique?

    There are, of course, other fine surveys in our industry, but the IAEWS Global Benchmark Survey is the only data collection effort designed by job boards for job boards.

    A Steering Committee of your peers has now finished updating and improving the survey questionnaire to ensure it captures information that is important, accurate and useful to you.

    In addition, we have retained a research team from The Ohio State University, one of the leading academic institutions in the world, to ensure that your data are kept absolutely CONFIDENTIAL and that you get absolutely WORLD CLASS ANALYSIS.

    How can the Benchmark Survey help you?

    As the only benchmarking survey in our industry, it alone collects key operating and investment metrics and formats them so you can compare your site to its peers based on revenue, years of operation, location, industry/career field specialization and other factors.

    As a result, it gives you an uniquely accurate picture of your site’s competitive strengths and potential vulnerabilities. In addition, you are also able to discuss the implications of those findings in private forums with executives from other participating organizations.

    We expect the IAEWS Benchmark Survey questionnaire to be released later this month, so now’s the time to register your site or sites for participation. Simply click here to sign up.

    The survey is open to all job boards worldwide and costs absolutely nothing to participate.