Why your vacancy remains unfilled: 7 reasons you need to address

ALEX LAMONT • 13 Oct 2021

Monday morning. The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, the customers are queuing up outside… but where are the staff you could once rely on to make your company shine?

With a worrying report from that BBC that 1 million job vacancies are lying empty across the country, businesses, it seems, are bracing themselves for a Winter of discontent. There simply isn’t enough worker supply to meet business demand.

So what are you doing wrong? Below, we’ll highlight ten reasons you can’t fill your job vacancy, and some tips on how to fix that.

You’re taking too long to hire

Recruitment is a numbers game. According to TalentWorks, it takes an average of 50-60 applications to get a job. Your hiring funnel is racing against at least 50 others the second the best candidate pops up, don’t let them leave you in the dust!

You’re leaving candidates stuck in the mud


Bottleneck funnels are really important reporting metrics for successful talent teams. They’re always checking where the roadblocks are, and finding ways to pull candidates over the line. Is a manual process clogging up the work of your team? Consider automating your funnel. Is compliance skidding your candidates in their tracks? Ensure your onboarding process spells out clearly what you need from an applicant and how you need it.

Your advert Is too wordy

Did you know that 8 out of 10 jobs are badly written? Really consider how many job adverts the average candidate is reading in a day. Is the grammar wrong? Is the hook not enough? Does it take too long to get to the good stuff? Perhaps it’s filled with same-old-same-old catchphrases that make a reader’s eyes glaze over. On average your job advert should hook a candidate in the first four sentences. Every sentence after that makes it more likely they’ll click off.

Your advert is ugly

Job Boards like Indeed are extremely valuable, but the format doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for a candidate to really get excited about your role!

If you use recruitment software like an applicant tracking system, you should have a candidate portal which allows you to make media-rich adverts.

Have bright, colourful pictures which are eye-catching. Whip up a 2 minute video talking about how great the company culture is! These are more effective than you may realise, and will help you stand out from competitors which just rely on familiar formats.

You’re forgetting your online presence

If you’re looking for fresh talent, don’t ignore your social media or your website. Keep your LinkedIn updated, not just with brand awareness posts of your product, but of your company culture, of your people. The most important thing is a new hire is able to gel with their colleagues, so give them a taste of what those people are like while they’re doing their research! If you have a blog, don’t be afraid to write up pieces about goings-on in the office. Was there a party recently? A celebration? Your website isn’t just a shopping window to your product, it’s a shopping window to your business, and candidates are more keenly searching for businesses which they can grow in.

You’re asking too much

This is two-fold. We’re seeing administrative assistants asked for PHDs and bar staff for 10 years working experience. Advertise what you need, not what you want. The best candidates will still show up with that extra zing you’re looking for, but you could be losing out on great people before they’ve even considered the apply button.

Once they’ve entered your recruitment funnel, consider how lengthy your application process is. In the UK, the average job application takes 30 minutes to complete, but we’ve seen successful recruiters make this the maximum amount of time. Do you have recruitment software which can parse CVs? Make sure you’re using it so the candidate isn’t wasting their time!

You’re ignoring your reputation

Sites like Glassdoor exist for candidates to share their experiences with each other. Disgruntled employees are unavoidable, especially if you rely on a temporary workforce, but what about feedback you can avoid? If a candidate is assessing if you’re the kind of company they want to work for, 7 little words could be enough for them to fly elsewhere:

“Applied for a job, never heard back.”

With your recruitment software, set up some automated workflows for you to let a candidate know if they’ve been unsuccessful – they’ve spent half an hour submitting an application, it’s the least you can do!

Glassdoor edit compressedThe right candidate is out there for you, but each of the reasons we’ve listed above boils down to one overarching message: finding the perfect hire can be a numbers game. So don’t let little setbacks stop you from reaching the best talent where they’re at!

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