Want to Expand Your Talent Pool? Simplify Your Application Process

talent poolWith the new year in full swing, staffing agencies continue to experience many of the same challenges they faced in 2018. The primary challenge remains finding enough qualified candidates to fill orders. With the tight labor market projected to continue for at least the first half of 2019, staffing agencies must evaluate their recruiting process to increase creativity and stand out from the competition.

The first step towards expanding your talent pool and refining your recruiting efforts is to simplify your application process. If candidates don’t get past the application, how will your recruiters fill open orders? If you want to expand your reach to increase your pool of qualified candidates, here are a few simple changes for your application process:

1. Write accurate and searchable job descriptions.

Your job description should be both clear and easily searched via popular job search engines (e.g. Monster, Indeed, Google, etc.). Make sure that your job description is creative and compelling while also targeting the most popular keywords for which candidates might be searching (e.g. forklift operator). Also, it’s important to include the location for the position as this is a common way that search engines provide relevant job postings when candidates search for jobs.

2. Minimize the steps to complete the application.

With more candidates searching and applying for jobs on a mobile device, it’s crucial to cut down the number of steps required to complete an application. According to CareerBuilder, one in five employees spend less than 10 minutes on a job application, or two to three pages on a mobile device, before they drop off. 1 If you don’t need the information as part of the application process, then get rid of it. It’s also important to optimize your onboarding process for mobile and web applicants. If you don’t already have an online onboarding system in place, then start researching the staffing tools that can help.

3. Trim down your screening and experience requirements.

Does your staffing agency have the flexibility to remove background checks and drug screening tests as part of the required application process? Or, if you find that many candidates don’t have the required years or type of experience, can you offer training for candidates so that they can become qualified to apply for open positions? According to a survey, 66 percent of employers said they will train and hire workers who may not have all the skills they need but have potential.2 Staffing agencies should avoid overlooking high-potential employees that may not immediately stand out as a perfect match during this tight labor market environment.

4. Send a personalized message to candidates that submit an application. 

According to a recent survey, 76% of employees report they expect to receive a personalized email from an employer acknowledging they received the application while 18% of employees expect to receive a text message.1 Regardless of the means of communication, it’s clear that candidates expect to receive a communication from your staffing agency after they submit their application. Create an email template with some customizable fields that you can quickly and easily send to applicants. This is a simple way for your staffing firm to improve the onboarding experience.

When it comes to improving your recruiting efforts, your application process is a good first stop to create efficiencies and expand your talent pool reach. If you’re looking for more ideas on improving candidate engagement and retention, read this next: How to Improve the Candidate Journey from Offer to Start Date.


  1. CareerBuilder, 2018 State of Recruitment and Onboarding Report,
  2. CareerBuilder, 44 Percent of Employers Plan to Hire in the New Year, According to CareerBuilder’s Annual Forecast