Refresh Your Talent Search

A quick guide to modernizing your candidate search.

Has your ‘help wanted’ sign been up for months and no luck finding anyone? It might be time to reassess your candidate search strategy! Sure, the candidate pool is slim, but there are businesses out there hiring and finding employees. Here are some action items you can deploy to attract more candidates.

Data: Help wanted in hospitality | Restaurant Hospitality

Post to online Job Boards

The “Help Wanted” sign in your window isn’t talking to the right people. You need to advertise the job where the job seekers are, and that’s online. Candidates now have the convenience of searching for and applying to jobs online from the comfort of their own home and on their own time. They’re searching online for jobs.

Don’t just post to any job board, make sure to do some reasearch: are jobs posted on that job board appearing on Google job indexing? How many visitors are visiting the website each day? Have other employers found success in getting applicants from this job board? When possible, post to regional or industry-specific job boards that will target the right location and talent.

Pssst … Gorge Hired is hyper-local for the Columbia River Gorge! We advertise to job seekers on google search every day and our jobs are Google Jobs Indexed, you can post for free anytime!

Add a careers link to your website homepage

And put the link on the top!

When we audit a business’ hiring strategy this is one of the first things we look for: is there an easy ‘careers’ link on your website’s front page? Does the candidate have to scroll to the bottom of the page or search to find it? Visitors to your website should be able to see and click on your job listings page within the first 10-15 seconds of landing on your page.

Make the application process as simple as possible

With the job market favoring candidates, you need to make your application process as easy as possible. Especially with entry and associate-level positions, your application process shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes to complete. As HR and Recruiting Expert Dan from HR says, “The more obstacles you put in your candidate’s way, the more difficult it is for you to get good applicants.”

Here’s some ways you can do that:

  • Create an online application. Are you asking people to drop off a resume in person or e-mail a resume? For some like introverts and younger generations, crafting an email is intimidating and they’ll apply to a company with an easier application process. Most people don’t have printers anymore so asking someone to drop off an application in person is a huge barrier. Move your application online, we have a great template here.
  • Simplify your application questions. You may be losing applicants during the application process. If it takes too long to fill out, you’re getting applicant cart abandonment. Ditch the requirement to write a cover letter, answer tedious questions and short-form essay questions.

Try going through your own application process yourself, see how long it takes and if it’s mobile device friendly. If you’re frustrated with the process, then the applicant surely is too and it’s time to update your process.

Post the Wage

Yes, it’s time to post the wage. “DOE” is not cutting it. “Competative wage” also does not cut it. Why should you post the wage? Employers who do get more applicants. Period. You can read about one company’s 229% increase in applicants after posting salaries on their job postings. Applicants don’t want to be bothered by having uncomfortable conversations about pay. Just tell them upfront.

There’s a few ways to do this:

  • Post the Base Salary. For example: “$20/hr + DOE” or just “$20/hr”
  • Post a Range: “$20 – $25/hr”

If a better candidate experience and getting more applicants is not reason enough to be upfront about the wage in the job posting, consider that not posting the wage contributes to gender and racial pay gaps. Women are less likely to negotiate for a higher wage than their male counterparts. By posting the wage you are helping even the playing field for men and women.

Leverage Your Current Employees

Consider building a referral program to help acknowledge and thank employees who refer hires to the company. Some considerations to a referral program:

  • Which employees are eligible for the program?
  • How do they refer someone?
  • What is the reward for a successful referal?
  • What criteria must be met to qualify?

Reassess the Job’s Value Proposition

If you’re doing all the things listed above and still not getting applicants, then it’s time to take a look at why. Think of your job opening like a product, if you have no one buying it then it’s time to ask some questions: Is it not being marketed well? Are you not communicating the value proposition well? Or is it a product that less people wanted than you originally anticipated? Put on your business thinking hat and take a hard look at the Value Proposition of your job on today’s market.

  • Are you offering a competative wage? There’s a good chance you’re not keeping up with the labor market as it’s changing extremely quickly. Look at the job and region on – is the wage your offering benchmarking with at least the median? Another way you can research if your wage is competitive is to look at similar job postings in your area.
  • Are you offering a work/life balance? Work-life balance comes in many forms. For the resturaunt service industry, consistent, predictable scheduling and guarenteed days off may be what your employees need. For administrative jobs, the ability to complete some aspects of the job remotely is a big plus. You can also get creative here with perks like a flex-friday, where once every-other week your employees enjoy a paid day where they’re not expected to perform work.
  • Benefits and Perks there are state laws that may require you to provide sick time and unpaid leave for your employees, but if you’re offering the bare minimum prospective employees may be turned off by that. Consider expanding your sick and vacation time offerings in addition to medical and retirement benefits. Offering other incentives like gym discounts, pet insurance and housing assistnace may also help attract candidates.
  • Do you have a favorable online Employer Brand? Go to or look at reviews on google, do people have good things to say about your business, staff and working there? Do you have any employer branding at all? You may want to cultivate a section of your website and social media where you highlight the perks of working for you and your business and why your employees like working for you.

Are you an employer in the Columbia River Gorge ready to get the word out you’re hiring? click the link below!

Employer Tips, Job Posting