Seven ways to correct poor performing postings

by Amanda Hurley 

Don’t you love it when your computer is acting up and you call IT and they start the process of troubleshooting the issue? Oh, you want me to turn my computer off and turn it back on? Seriously, that’s the magic fix? I wish that troubling shooting all life’s hiccups were that easy. Where is that reboot button? Most people think that a poor performing research participation program posting is hard to troubleshoot, but in reality it is pretty easy. So if you’ve posted your opportunity on several employment websites, but are not getting the response you need, here are a few steps to troubleshoot the problem and reboot your posting.

  1. How long has your posting been live? The average posting time for some industries is over 60 days! You may need to hurry up and wait for the candidates to find and decide to apply.
  2. What information are you providing the candidate? I bet you have included a lot of information about the research that they will be doing, but what about your company? Today, candidates are spending more time researching opportunities prior to submitting their applications. To help expedite the time it takes for candidates to apply, why not provide them information about your organization and your culture right there in the posting.
  3. Keep it real: Are you being realistic with the type of candidate you are seeking? I know you would like to have an MBA with four years of experience, but make sure the candidate’s qualifications are appropriate for the opportunity.
  4. Are you linking to your social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)? The candidate is going there anyway to search and find you…make it easy for them.
  5. Check your reporting. Are you getting a lot of views, but not a lot of clicks? That means you need to check the title you’re using for your opportunity and also the titles your competition is using. What does your competition look like? Do a search for title in your area and see how many other competitors are looking for the same talent. If there is a lot of competition, you may want to reword your title.
  6. Check your reporting again. Are you getting a lot of clicks but not many applications? This could be the competition again, or it could be how you have worded your posting. Use the posting to explain why a candidate would want to work for your company. Make an emotional connection! I bet you already know the companies that do this well. Have you seen SalesForce’s Instagram where they showcase the exciting lives of their employees? My invitation for their Star Wars themed holiday party must have been lost in the mail. We all know that REI’s employees “opted-out” on Black Friday in 2016. The point is, think about what makes your organization unique and how best to share it.
  7. The application process: If you haven’t done it lately, go to your posting and follow the steps that your future participant will have to complete. HINT: If it takes you longer to apply than it did to apply for your mortgage, then you have a problem. We see that the peak time for applying to research participation program opportunities is Monday-Wednesday, right in the middle of the day. So, if a candidate can’t complete your application during their lunch break, you are missing out on candidates!       I know you need certain information, but you don’t need it to on the first introduction, do you? Think of it like dating. Let’s have coffee before we commit to having dinner. The candidate doesn’t know if they like you yet, and you don’t know if you like them. Let’s ask for a little bit of information (coffee), enough for me as a recruiter to know if I’m interested, and then let’s ask them for full application (dinner). 

If you implement the steps above, you will see more success with the quality and quantity of the applicants you are seeking. Happy posting!

About the Author
Amanda Hurley is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Previously, she worked for, where she recruited top talent, managed various projects and developed retention strategies for companies across the United States. Hurley has a background in recruitment, marketing, sales and organizational communication. As an ORISE project manager, she recruits for and manages the relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Research and Development Office. She is the subject matter expert for recruiting trends and technology. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.