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Why You Should Survey Applicants for Job Advertisement Effectiveness

Posted by Kelly Robinson

12-Aug-2015 12:00:00

Recruiting processes have a natural byproduct: metrics. If used properly, these metrics can improve recruitment effectiveness and efficiency. A simple way to analyze metrics in your recruiting function is job ads. If the job posting isn’t working at peak effectiveness, then you could be losing prime candidates from the talent pool. These 3 easy questions can be made multiple choice and/or fill in the blank; they offer insight into the effectiveness of the job advertisement. Ask them of your applicants to get a better feel for how your ads could be pulling in top talent or… pushing them away. 



Is the job advertisement written well and visually attractive?

What made you apply for the position? 

You just might be their dream employer who just happens to have a rare opening, so they thought they would take a stab at applying for their dream job at their dream company. Was it a catchy ad, an employee referral, your efforts on social, something more traditional like an agency referral? 

Surveying job applicants after they’ve applied for a position - or simply the application alone - can be a baseline for candidate surveys and job ad metrics. First, however, you have to understand what attracts the candidates and how your employer branding fits into those holes. Mary Delaney (@marywdelaney), former President of CareerBuilder’s Human Capital Consulting Division, Personified, said: 

“Until companies know what their target talent values in an employer, who their competitors for talent are and what differentiates them from those competitors, it is premature to create a brand strategy, brand messages or advertising.”

It’s very difficult to know, unless you start asking. Track this metric starting now!


broadbeantwitter-01 It’s difficult to know what makes candidates apply. Learn how to track this metric starting now!


Is the job advertisement clear about the position and responsibilities?

Is there any other information you’d like to know?

Obscurity in a job posting is not only ineffective, but it’s also considerably more difficult for candidates to relate to the position; 77.3% of candidates feel like the job ad could have included more information for a clearer purpose. Because diversity is still a growing concern for many companies, the idea that women will only apply for a position if they are 100% confident in their ability compared to the 60% faith men have in their talents makes the importance of an unambiguous job posting. 

After a candidate has been denied or rejects the job offer, ask them what other information they would have liked to know before they applied or earlier on in the recruitment process. Doing so gives you the necessary information to adjust your job ads accordingly with more pertinent details. Understanding where candidates may have been misled or misunderstood the job ad is crucial to changing the recruitment process for the better. 



 77.3% of candidates feel like the job ad could have included more information. Are you being clear?


Your job ads perform the best on which sources?

How did you find us?

While it is important to know what attracted your candidates to the job ad in the first place, you also need to understand why. Without the ability to measure, the information from candidates quickly becomes irrelevant to the overall recruitment strategy. However, with surveying applicants with scalable questions gives data - actionable data - based on what was successful about the ad itself. 

You can use the application process as a means to survey candidates about the external effectiveness of a job ad. Because recruitment is - now more than ever - ignited with the importance of numbers and interpreting the information. Simply asking a few multiple choice questions, taking those statistics, and subsequently adjusting the job ads to rectify any performance problems will increase their effectivenessYou can save time early in the recruitment process by using the tools you already have. Candidates are already in the application process, right? Use that as an opportunity to add a questionnaire at the end.


With a platform like Broadbean’s Candidate Sourcing Platformyou have the ability to see which platforms perform the best in accordance with your budget. So, with the right job ad (complete with input from previous applicants), even the sources that don’t perform as well can see an increase in the number of clicks, applicants, and candidates.

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Topics: Job Advertisements