A few weeks ago I attended a round table discussion which was part of TruLondon arranged by Bill Boorman. During this session a stat was shared (I forget the source) which stated in the last 12 months the average number of candidate applications to a job in the UK has gone from 85 to over 200.
A 3 fold increase is a big jump. Various people at the table agreed or disagreed with this stat based on which industry they were in and what skills they were hiring. Clearly the companies that attract such interest (or higher) need to focus on improving candidate quality and perhaps less on quantity of applications from their marketing activities.
I chatted with a few people who were experiencing such increases, their main source of applications were generalist job boards and staffing agencies. In all the cases the volume of applications from their own career site was unknown, this channel received little love. Obviously this was not scientific and only involved a handful of employers, but it did interest me.
I checked out these employers career sites, they were all full of very very long winded application processes. It appeared (from the discussions) that these employers felt their career site did not perform well, so they ignored it. Now that job boards and staffing agencies are over subscribing them they are uninterested in showing their career site some love for fear of increased application volumes.
My findings backed up my initial gut feeling, the attraction marketing activities are failing to target the right candidates hence resulting in a over subscription of unsuitable candidates. The employers most powerful tool - their career site - is their opportunity to reach the right candidates through an inbound and CPC marketing strategy. They could increase quality of candidate. Not only could these employers improve the level of talent they hire, they probably would be saving money too. Why is this being ignored?
I don't think its education of techniques or strategy. Marketing is only one part of the recruitment role, I think its lack of suitable tools to make it easy and guided. One tool I saw recently gives employers the opportunity to spend their budget on attracting very targeted candidates is OnRecruit which I encourage people to check out.