With the economy slowing down, and a shortage of labor hurting supply chains and consumer demands, finding quality job applicants has become vital to saving our country’s economy. One of the biggest challenges employers of all industries face is hiring young applicants.
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The following image provided by Heritage.org and the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that over 500,000+ people between the age of 20-24 are missing from the workforce.
So what can you, the business owner, do to hire in a labor shortage where good help appears to be non-existent? Here are 6 ways you can utilize your website to encourage quality job applicants from.
- Build or Improve Your Online Contact Forms
- Develop Your Company’s Agenda
- Share on Social Media and Other Platforms
- Create a Video Describing Each Role AND Your Company
- Make a Quiz and Add Difficult Questions
- Make EVERYTHING Clear and Concise
1. Build Your Online Application Form
Somewhere on your website should be an accessible place for prospective employees to fill out a job application. But you already know this. The real question is, how do you go about getting them to actually fill it out?
Keep it Short and Minimalist
Job seekers are also ordinary consumers, so if they feel overwhelmed they won’t continue. Keep your application process between 5-10 minutes. A good manager views the application process as a screening process, not a direct hiring tool. Remember, you’re going to follow up with them during an interview if you choose to set one up. Your main priority in the online application is to collect information about the applicant and gauge whether they are looking for work or looking to become an active team member.
Above your contact form should be a clear and direct description of the employee’s roles, responsibilities, and contact information they can use if they have any questions.
The form will ideally have a place where the applicant can upload their CSV letter, resume, and any relevant documents, and quiz to qualify or disqualify them.
A great tip from brand design expert Yasmine Robles is to avoid overusing input fields and avoid pressuring people from submitting their phone numbers. Remember, applicants follow consumer behavior and most consumers are skeptical about submitting their phone numbers.
Make it Professional
Avoid using Google Forms, or any third-party form builder. You want this to be on your website and completely designed to fit your company’s brand. For this reason, it’s recommended you hire a website designer, graphic designer, or branding consultant to help you design an eye-capturing form that applicants will want to engage with. These professionals will also give you their expert opinion as to developing the form beyond functional capabilities.
If your site is built on WordPress and you wish to do it yourself, you may find plugins like Elementor to be a great place to start. Other plugins like Contact Form 7 are also great to use.
What if I Need Applicants NOW?
If you need applicants urgently and can’t wait to develop a professional application form then you may opt to upload a PDF copy of your application sheet that you have in-person applicants fill out. You may also build one using Google Forms.
Avoid relying solely on this method and get yourself a professionally built form that’s fully integrated on your site. Remember, taking shortcuts won’t give you the results you need to successfully grow your business. You don’t want people to leave your site, you want them to stay!
2. Develop Your Agenda and WHY
Before you build your application form, you must consider the purpose. Sure it’s to hire people, but why are you looking for help? Are you growing too fast? Are you looking to expand? Are you losing current personnel?
Good managers develop a specific agenda with their processes, and hiring is no exception.
Here are some things you want to consider:
- What age range are you looking for?
- What overall demographic of people are you looking for?
- What skill sets do you need?
- What soft skills do you need? E.g., verbal communication.
- What can you bring to their lives?
- How involved do you want to be with your workers’ personal lives?
- What does your company value? And what does your applicant value?
The more specific you get with this exercise, the better!
Hiring Gen Z & Millenials in the Digital Age
According to Shiraz Khan, founder of SpiceTree Design Agency, Gen Z and Millenials value companies being transparent and encouraging to their workers. This means that if you’re a plumber looking to hire a young apprentice plumber, you’ll need to be transparent about what you need and what your company brings to their table.
It’s not enough to offer 401k reimbursement, health insurance, or paid-time-off. These extrinsic rewards are standards by now, so you must build an effective message that offers intrinsic value to them.
Examples of good “why us” hiring statements (1 = generic, 2 = good, 3 = excellent):
- We provide a great work environment, room for growth, and over-time.
- We provide a warm and open workplace, tool reimbursement, and paid vacation.
- You’ll be welcomed to a creative workplace that rewards self-starting individuals with additional pay, bonuses, and tool reimbursement.
These are examples, but the point to be emphasized is the third talks directly to the applicant, not about you or your company. People want to be at the center of attention and be empathized with, not pitched.
Once you’ve developed that direct line of communication and allowed them to feel at the center, you can mention what your company values such as leadership, creativity, bold action, communication, etc.
3. Share on Social Media and Other Platforms
This is a no-brainer for effective managers, but you need to share your application. Make your application known to your community and target audience.
Share a link to your application on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and any other platforms. In-person communication also works wonders. Next time you suspect someone is qualified to work for you, you can ask them to go to your website or you can simply get their number or email and send a link to your application. Seeing www.xyzcompany.com/job-application will capture most people’s attention better than seeing a link to a Google Form!
The best way to get engagement is through a short video clip summarizing what you’re looking for and qualifiers for the job. Images with a detailed caption may be effective, but having a video drastically increases conversion rates!
Keep Your Business Active Online
Great employees want to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves and their bosses. They want to believe they are part of an active organization that isn’t just out to make a profit but has a mission and purpose. They also want to feel what it’s like to work at your company.
Take videos and photos of your team introducing themselves, share useful and relevant industry information, and express your business activity on social media and throughout your site.
4. Create a Video Describing Each Role & Your Company
Video grabs people’s attention. It allows you to promote your company with visuals and stimulation which employees will need in order to consider you in today’s digital age. Remember, the national average attention span is shrinking, and with a labor force unwilling to work, you need to stand out. Video is a sure way to do so.
Develop videos that describe the future applicant’s role within 1-3 minutes. Some ideas are to show another employee doing the same or similar work to the future work of the applicant. Relevant faces of managers and team members is also a must. This will reduce the “unknown” factor which can cause applicants to run away.
If adding videos for each job is too much for your company to take on, at least make a video that addresses any future applicant. They should be familiar with the general do’s and don’ts of the company, the mission, and purpose of your company, and the “why choose us” statement. A fun fact about your company, any accreditations or affiliations, may also help applicants feel more personally connected to your company.
5. Make a Quiz and Add Difficult Questions
If you’re looking to hire anyone off the street for your painting business, restaurant, or service firm, then this isn’t the article for you. But if you’re looking to hire long-term applicants, who align closely with your company’s brand, consider adding a short quiz or at least a few difficult questions.
The quiz can be something related to your industry. It’s not important what the question is, as long as it is open-ended and not a factual/yes or no question. For instance, if you’re a painting company you may ask “What steps would you take to pick up spilled paint?” This is better than “Are you comfortable working under stress?”
Avoid making the form too difficult if you’re in a hurry for employees. But make sure you disqualify applicants who won’t fill out a few questions and just want a quick buck.
Another way to find disqualify bad applicants is by saying “Please write, “I am interested in working for XYZ company.” I’ve used this for both of my companies: JCSURGE LLC and ALTOS LLC. This disqualifies applicants who cannot follow basic directions and who will usually cost you lots of money training.
6. Make EVERYTHING Clear
You don’t want to hire just anybody. Avoid getting too excited if you get a job application. If you’re established enough to where you have someone doing HR and Recruiting for you, congrats you can ignore this. But if you’re doing this yourself, or you’re trying to get an office manager or another person to do this for you, make sure everything is clear.
Clearly display a phone number they can call or email they can ask questions to regard the job position or company. Make office hours readily available on your site as well.
Clearly label the people you are not interested in hiring.
In summary, if you’re looking to attract quality applicants you’re going to need to put more work than other recruiters. You need a job application form that’s integrated with your website, a strong agenda and “why us” statement, an active online presence, a capturing video, qualifying questions, and for everything to be clear and crisp.
Not Sure Where to Start? Give Us a Call!
If you’re unsure where to begin when it comes to implementing effective digital recruiting strategies feel free to reach out to our consultants at JCSURGE. We help local businesses across the country implement effective online marketing strategies that turn websites into assets that unlock business opportunities.
If you already have a digital presence and would like some feedback, we’re happy to provide you with a FREE video analysis of your current website.
Call (917) 747-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free introductory call.