A sense of urgency makes us act now. This has always been important in sales, but it matters just as much in recruitment too. When it comes to convincing candidates to hit the 'apply' button on your job ads, you need to compel them to do so immediately.
But how do you get candidates to actively engage and complete the application process? Here are our thoughts on how you can create a job ad that makes candidates act now rather than later.
1. Use compelling language
Recruiters already know how important good communication is: They well adept at using the right words with the right tone to make a successful pitch. And the same goes for job adverts - language is your best tool in communicating urgency.
The very best job ads are written in a tone that makes candidates want the job. Picking the right words and using them in a compelling manner differentiates an uninspiring job advert from one that candidates simply can’t ignore. So focus on selling the job, not just describing it. And make sure you don't put candidate off by including any of these phrases in your campaign.
Remember: although you want candidates to respond with urgency, take your time when putting your job ads together! Don't forget to proofread and make sure there are no typos before posting.
Cheat sheet: Words that communicate urgency
With all of this in mind, here’s a list of words you can use to convey urgency (use them sparingly and with purpose):
Providing a reason is important when it comes to communicating why candidates should apply for a job now. You can use words like:
- Why: Simple, to the point, easy to provide a reason if you build from this word
- Get: Tell readers what they’ll receive if they complete the action
- Find/Discover/Learn: These are worth mentioning again – they convey the value in what you’re offering, reminding audiences of your expertise too
It’s worth pointing out that these words are also useful when it comes to marketing a job advert out on social networks too.
2. Use time to your advantage
This is an old advertising trick, but it’s still an effective one. What better way to communicate urgency than by telling candidates that time is running out?
Of course, majority of your audience will be wise to this tactic, so use it sparingly.
You can use a timeframe to encourage candidates to apply too. For example, ‘Job closes for applications today at 12am’. Some other variations on this include:
- Job Closes for Applications Friday at Midnight
- Last Call for Job Applications!
Time constraints make it more pressing for candidates to act, and so it makes sense that action based language, such as ‘Apply Now’ and ‘Be Quick’, work well. But, time constraints are merely a vehicle. It all rests on how you phrase and write the job advert.
3. Prey on candidate #FOMO
We all know Fear of Missing Out can be powerful in pushing us to act, so why not use this when marketing a new opportunity to candidates? For instance, sending out a job alert (to the right segment of your audience) with a subject line that reads something like: ‘Apply now or lose out’ compels people to click on it.
If the content of the email ramps up the necessity to act, then the potential candidate is more likely to hit apply. To convey urgency in this manner you do have to know your audience well. Persona marketing is the best way to truly get to the bottom of whom you’re writing to.
If you know your audience well then you can more readily define the things they’re afraid of losing. This means you can target them with the right sort of message to compel them to act. A recruitment agency could email candidates with a subject line: ‘Your CV is losing you interviews.’
The email body could be a call to join a free webinar that will teach them how to write a good CV. The catch? Limited spaces and their invite code expires within X amount of time. Close the email with a CTA: In or out?
When it comes to compelling candidates to act, remember: people don’t respond to urgency rationally. You need to understand your audience on a personal level and create emotive job adverts that they can’t ignore. Define your purpose and determine the action you want from your audience. From there you can decide how to evoke an immediate reaction.
Andy Mckendry is a copywriter with an MA in Professional Writing. In the early mornings he is known to gravitate towards the nearest coffee pot.