I told Kevin Walker, Director of Employer Insights of Indeed, that I wanted to write an article about best practices for small business hiring. He responded that many of the hiring challenges facing small businesses were the same as those facing large companies. To find and hire the best employees, all businesses need to follow the same best practices.
When listening to the advice, I came to the conclusion that smaller businesses had 2 main advantages when hiring employees:
- Small businesses are not wedded to legacy HR systems, and as a result, can allow applicants to submit resumes from their smartphones.
- Small businesses (which have less bureaucracy) can take advantage of data to advertise job titles which are likely to get the best responses. These topics are explored in more detailed in the interview below.
The Q&A below is based on my notes from the interview, but do not represent Kevin’s exact responses.
How important are job titles in attracting candidates to look at job descriptions?
Job titles are crucial and a business can change both the number of candidates looking at their job and applying for the job by improving the job title. Let me share a real world example. A company was advertising a position using the title “Marketing Coordinator 3”. If you asked a roomful of people what a “Marketing Coordinator 3” does, I think the responses might have a wide range. As a job title, “Marketing Coordinator 3” is not very informative. When the company changed the job title to be more descriptive, their results improved dramatically. By changing the title to “Marketing Event Coordinator”, the number of candidates that looked at the full job posting increased 300% for the organic listing, and 1000% on the sponsored listing.
How can you choose the right title for posting a job?
We offer a great tool for you to find out what job titles are being used by other employers on Indeed and popular places for posting jobs. Not only can you see what the most popular job titles are over time, but you can compare two job titles against each other. We tend to find that the most popular job titles used by employers for positions with similar responsibilities, tend to attract the most views among potential applicants.
However, what works for one company in recruiting employees may not work for another. Factors such as industry and location play a major role. We highly recommend that employers do A/B testing of their job titles and other components of their job description to see what gets the best results. With Indeed, unlike a job board, there is no fee for listing a position. So you have the freedom to try out many changes without incurring large costs. Advertising a job is still advertising, and its important to apply some of the best practices of advertising, such as testing different “creative”.
What are some of the other best practices for marketing positions to find the best employees?
Taking ownership of your reputation as an employer is crucial. Studies show that 83% of potential employees care about a company’s reputation. A company’s reputation impacts their decision to apply for a position. Reviews by current and former employees are critically important in forming a potential employee’s opinion of your company, with 46% of job seekers citing reviews as important in making decisions.
Indeed offers employers the ability to have company pages where they can share information, and where past and present employees can leave reviews. We take steps to confirm the reviews are from actual employees. Just like companies put effort into getting great reviews from customers, they should do the same with employees!
How do companies unintentionally discourage people from applying?
Many companies don’t make their application process mobile friendly! Roughly one quarter of job seekers exclusively use their smartphones to research and apply for positions. Many companies (93% of the Fortune 500), don’t enable applicants to easily submit resumes through their smartphones. By limiting how people can apply, they are greatly reducing their applicant pool. Indeed enables applicants to respond to job postings via their mobile phone.
How many people have to see a job advertised before you find the right person?
Around 10% of the people that read a job description, apply for a position. Employers hire about 1.8% of the applicants that apply. Using these numbers, you get a ballpark number of about 500 people clicking on a job description for every 1 hire.
Kevin Walker, Director of Employer Insights of Indeed.
Indeed’s Director of Employer Insights Kevin Walker pairs platform data with industry trend analysis to share Indeed’s story and bring the value of the company’s programs and solutions to life. Presenting on stage at large events, during industry-wide webcasts and in conference rooms at the world’s largest companies, Kevin has helped countless employers better understand online search and optimize their recruiting practices. He is an engaging communicator and excellent listener who is passionate about technology and dedicated to helping clients find and attract the best possible candidates.