Why candidates aren’t applying for your job
No applications? We reveal the top obstacles that may be stopping prospective candidates in their tracks.

SEEK research has revealed that there are a number of barriers why candidates don’t complete job applications. However, many of these obstacles are ones that employers and recruiters can address.

While more than half of Australia’s workforce search for jobs frequently (59% have done so in the last week), less than half (41%) say that this search is easy.

There are a number of reasons why people don’t apply for jobs but SEEK research has found that there are four main explanations as to why candidates are reluctant to put themselves forward.

The top 4 reasons why candidates don’t apply for jobs

1. They don’t have a good understanding of the role

While nine in 10 candidates say the information in a job ad is critically important, only four in 10 are confident in knowing what the job involves.

2. A salary range isn’t stated

This is a very important point for many candidates, with one in two people wanting to know more about salaries.

3. The job ad doesn’t contain information about the location or the requirements of the role

SEEK research found that two very crucial pieces of information for candidates to see in job ads are location and an explanation of the duties required.

4. Candidates expect the application process to be complicated and/or time intensive

When candidates expect the application process is going to be complicated and they don’t know the salary on offer, many will not invest the time to submit an application.

“Ensuring that the candidate experience is personable, encouraging and timely is crucial to calming any fears that the process will be time intensive,” says Natasha Hawker, Managing Director of Employee Matters and author of ‘From Hire to Fire and Everything in Between’.

Key information candidates are looking for in job postings

SEEK research identified that there are multiple pain points during the search process, but the main points relate to salary and understanding the role.

  • Only one in three (34%) candidates are confident they can find out how much the job pays
  • Just two in five (39%) are confident in knowing what the job involves when searching online

Hawker says that before employers write a job ad, it’s important to work out the reason why someone would want to work for your organisation. “What are the benefits? What is the culture? What are the career opportunities? How do you make the world a better place,” she says. “Then pepper these into the ad.”  

Related content: Find out what candidates in your industry are looking for in their next role with SEEK Laws of Attraction.

What candidates expect after they apply

After applying, candidates are still uncertain about the process, with only one in four (27%) feeling confident in monitoring the status of their application, and only one in three (36%) saying that they know what happens to their job application after applying online.

Hawker advises that employers develop and adhere to a candidate communication approach by developing rapport with the individuals who have applied. “This can be automated, but it needs to be friendly, professional and on-brand,” she says. “You need to make candidates feel valued and show professional courtesy. It is frightening to see how many employers never get back to candidates who have taken the time to respond to their ad.”

What you can do to attract the right candidate

With SEEK research finding that 38% of candidates are focused on the quality of jobs rather than the number of job opportunities, it’s worth paying particular attention to ensuring that your job ad showcases what is on offer.

It’s important to consider incorporating a salary range into your ad, and to be concise but as detailed as possible when explaining the role and location. Some employers may wish to provide an easy-to-read version of the job ad with a ‘find out more’ button that expands to reveal extra details.

Related content: Job ad writing: The good and the bad

Quick tips to attract more candidates

Problem 1: Candidates don’t know how much the job pays or the location.

Solution:  Include a salary or salary range in your job ad and the location of the role.

Problem 2: Candidates want more information about the job.

Solution: Provide an easy-to-read version of the job ad with a ‘find out more’ button that expands to reveal extra details.

Problem 3: Candidates expect the process to be complicated/time intensive

Solution: Let candidates know that you will be communicating with them throughout the process and keep them informed, regardless of whether they are successful or not.