Why People Aren’t Applying to Your Jobs: What You Need to Know

Jason Hanold
4 min readSep 11, 2019


As a recruiter or HR professional, you’re responsible for identifying strong job candidates for your employer. Because recruitment can guard against turnover, it is important to hire the right people for each and every position. However, it’s difficult to find the right candidates if not very many people are applying to the jobs you posted.

There are several reasons this may be the case. The following are just some of the more well-known. Review them to determine if they apply to your job listings. Once you know what you might be doing wrong, it’s much easier to make the necessary improvements.

Your Job Descriptions Are Vague

You have to perform a delicate balancing act when drafting job descriptions. On the one hand, if you provide too much information, you may overwhelm a potential candidate, discouraging them from applying as a result. On the other hand, if you don’t provide enough detail, they may struggle to understand what the job entails.

job applicant

To determine if this is an issue, consider distributing your job listings to trusted peers. If their current roles are similar to those being described, without being identical, even better. Ask them to provide insights, letting you know whether your job descriptions provide sufficient information, or whether they could be fleshed out with greater detail.

You Didn’t Provide the Company Name

Don’t make this simple (but easy-to-overlook) mistake! Unless they’re desperate, most people want to know about a company before applying for a job with it. If you don’t provide the company name in your listing, no one can research it, significantly limiting the number of potential candidates that are likely to apply.

It’s also important to clearly define where the person who eventually fills the role will have to work. In an age where more and more people are working from home, it’s important to let applicants know whether they can work remotely, or if they have to work from an office. If they’re expected to work from an office, let them know where the office is.

This doesn’t just attract more applicants. It attracts the right applicants. You don’t want to waste your own time sorting through resumes from people who live far from the office and won’t be willing to relocate or commute. That’s not something you have to worry about when you clearly provide this information in the job description.

You Haven’t Described Your Company Well Enough

Some company names are well-known brands. If someone is applying for a job at Google, they don’t need to be told what type of organization Google is. However, in many instances and industries, there are plenty of companies (including highly successful ones) that job applicants may not be immediately familiar with.

Honestly assess whether your company is one of them. If so, don’t merely describe the job in the listing. Make sure you also provide a brief description of what the company does.

Sometimes people don’t apply to jobs because they are confused about the nature of the organization. Even if the description of the role is clear, they may not understand the company’s bigger mission or function. Make sure that doesn’t happen by including a summary when necessary.

Your Job Title Doesn’t Clearly Set Expectations

These days in particular, it’s not uncommon for recruiters and hiring managers to try and make jobs sound more appealing by using unique listing titles. Examples include “Are You Our Social Media Ninja?” or “Looking for a Content Superstar to Join a Growing Team!”

job hiring

It’s easy to understand why some people use this tactic. When there are many other companies vying for the same applicants, you need to take steps to make sure your listings are attention-grabbing.

That said, using such titles is typically a mistake. Job seekers would much prefer your title to clearly state what the job is. Vague terms and fun buzzwords are less effective than honesty and clarity.

You Haven’t Provided Compensation Information

While some salaries may be negotiable, it’s best to at least include a potential range somewhere in your job posts. People looking for jobs don’t want to apply to positions where they won’t earn a salary commensurate with their skill.

If they don’t know what they can expect to earn at your company, they may feel that applying to a job there is a waste of their time. On top of that, if you don’t provide any information about salary, they might assume the role doesn’t pay anywhere near the average for similar positions.

Keep these points in mind if you’re struggling to attract job applicants. Again, once you know what mistakes you’re making, you can start adjusting your strategy accordingly. You’ll be much more likely to find the right employees for your company as a result.



Jason Hanold

Executive Recruiter, clients NFL, Google, Patagonia, Under Armour, Gucci, Nike, Northwestern, eBay, UFC, Vail, REI, Electronic Arts, Live Nation, #HR #Recruiter