Why is my job getting so few applicants?

While it is my job (our job) to bring you as many qualified applicants as possible, I cannot convince job seekers to apply for a job which does not seem attractive.  While we have a

While it is my job (our job) to bring you as many qualified applicants as possible, I cannot convince job seekers to apply for a job which does not seem attractive. 

While we have a guide to writing a good job description located in the Employer Account here (https://jobsinjapan.com/ja/employer-guide/#writing-an-effective-job-description), many employers still do not understand the difference between an internal document listing the requirements or something you would give to a dispatch/temp agency than a something to attract and persuade the right people to want to work for your company. 

Job description is one-sided

Many job advertisements look more like an internal spec sheet of what the company needs rather than information promoting an opportunity at your company.

Job descriptions are not just a list of requirements and duties; you need to explain how and why the position is desirable, rewarding and your company is a great place to work. The best job seekers have options available to them and you will want to win them over. Remember, the job description is an advertisement.

Without explaining what you offer the job seeker, there is little the job seeker knows in making the decision to apply for the job or not.

Take a look at the following job description (from another job site, our staff would have flagged this posting and notified the employer to make it better).  It is completely one-sided and does not mention any benefits to the prospective employee except for the salary. 

Take a look again while asking yourself this question: Is this job posting written for the employer or the job seeker?

If you want to attract the best people, make sure that your job posting describes exactly what the role has to offer in terms of responsibilities, culture, progression, exposure, training, and reward. 

What is the salary range?

If you mention a salary range, let’s say between 240,000 yen to 300,000 yen, without giving details of what is necessary to get the higher salary, job seekers will automatically believe that you will try to low-ball the applicant even if you are not. “Commensurate with skills and experience” is a meaningless phrase as it is too vague. 

List what it takes to get the extra pay such as “. +30,000 yen more per month if you have a CELTA certification”

Stay clear of phrases like “competitive pay,” “salary negotiable”, “market rates,” or “uncapped bonuses” as those phrases are code that you are going to try to pay as little as possible. Jobs not listing a salary receive less than half the clicks that others do. 

If your company offers “Generous Benefits” list some of them out. Don’t be shy about promoting how you are a decent employer. 

By painting a picture of what it is like to work at your company, the culture and why the position is a rewarding one, you will get more applications.

Peter Lackner is the Managing Partner at JobsinJapan.com and has had management-level positions at major job boards in Japan including: CareerCross.com, GaijinPot, CareerEngine (formerly eCentral) and currently the managing partner at JobsinJapan.com.

Running a job board gives Peter the opportunity to speak with employers and job seekers every day and find out why some are successful and others are not. Speaking to both employers and job seekers has given Peter the ability to be able to see both sides of the hiring process. This is why JobsinJapan exists - to help job seekers find the jobs they want and employers to find the candidates they need. 

Peter is active in the ETJ (English Teachers in Japan organization), a member of JALT’s School Owners SIG and currently on the Board of Directors of the Tokyo Association of International Preschools.

You can often find Peter speaking to groups on how to get a new or better job, and to employers on how to avoid making a bad hire.

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