Two Main Causes of Small Candidate Pools

Issues with job ads and where hiring teams advertise them can yield small candidate pools, which can limit the quality and diversity of hires. At least according to the R&D team at Datapeople.

Many things can cause small candidate pools, but two elements loom larger than the rest. The first is the content and language in the job ad and the signals they send to job seekers. The second is how the job ad goes out into the world, or how well it’s syndicated. To create more qualified and diverse candidate pools, Datapeople says, hiring teams should pay close attention to job ads and how they’re reaching candidates.

The first element that can cause small candidate pools is the job ad itself.

Job ads need searchable, industry-standard job titles. Titles are huge when it comes to job ads. For one, job boards use them as search terms on their platforms (i.e., titles serve a technical purpose). For another, job seekers use them to gauge whether they qualify. If a job title is obscure, job seekers may not know what it is, or it may not even show up in job board searches.

Datapeople says that, while gendered or otherwise biased language can deter job seekers, clear and concise content is actually more important. Job seekers want to see certain content in writing, including perks and diversity statements. They don’t want to see a never-ending bullet list of requirements, overinflated requirements, or confusing groupings of skills.

Also, language that is accessible, clear, and inclusive for job seekers of all backgrounds is vital, according to Datapeople. Things like wordiness, internal jargon, and “10-dollar” words can confuse and turn off any job seeker. So can passive voice, third-person addresses, salesy pitches, and generally awkward phrasing.

The second element that can cause small candidate pools is job ad syndication.

The Datapeople R&D team suggests using an applicant tracking system (ATS). These systems simplify data storage by putting all candidate information in one place. They also speed up the resume review process through automation and enable hiring teams to collaborate throughout the hiring process, among other benefits.

It’s also important to post a job ad in as many places as possible to reach as many job seekers as possible, Datapeople says. This is one area where an ATS can be a big help because most ATSs on the market enable posting jobs to multiple job boards directly from the ATS.

Finally, Datapeople suggests tailoring syndication strategy to the specific job. While big job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn tend to dominate the market, niche job boards are a resource as well. Hiring teams looking for a remote employee might consider using a remote job board like FlexJobs. For a developer, they might try posting to a developer job board like Stack Overflow. And to reach candidates from historically underrepresented groups, they might try using diversity job boards like Fairygodboss and Pink Jobs.


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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Scotland News journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.