Missed Opportunity: Nearly Half of Job Descriptions Do Not Mention Benefits, Leading to Lower Candidate Attraction: New Appcast Report

Appcast, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services, today unveiled its “Job Ad Content: How Benefits Impact Candidate Attraction” report. The report examines a representative sample of 100,000 job descriptions across 23 industries/job functions from Jan. 1 – July 31, 2021, revealing how employers’ benefits (healthcare, family, additional compensation, education & professional development and paid time off) impact apply rates – a key performance indicator for job advertising that measures conversions from click to submitted application on a job ad.

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The report’s key findings include:

  • Despite a tight labor market, only 52% of job descriptions mention benefits, highlighting a missed opportunity to attract more candidates as including benefits leads to a 22% increase in apply rate.
  • The offer of regular, incremental bonuses proved to boost apply rates by over 150%, which is more than any other benefit.
  • Despite employers’ efforts to entice candidates with signing bonuses, warehousing & logistics was the only industry that saw a correlation between signing bonus mentions and increased apply rates.
  • Although the pandemic has elevated the importance of mental wellness among job seekers, behavioral health benefits were only included in 2.9% of job descriptions.
  • Overall, Appcast finds that pet insurance is a benefit that positively impacts apply rates by 37%.

The Benefit of Benefits is Clear

Appcast found that only 52% of the job descriptions analyzed mentioned any of these benefits. Overall, job ads that mentioned none of the benefits had an aggregate apply rate of 5.0%. Job ads with one or more of these benefits had an aggregate apply rate of 6.1% (22% higher). In a job seekers’ market, including benefits within job ads presents an opportunity for employers to improve candidate attraction.

Job Seekers Prioritize Health and Pet Benefits

Healthcare benefits in job descriptions (including health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and mental health benefits) were generally associated with higher apply rates. While vision insurance was mentioned frequently in job descriptions, there was no positive impact on apply rate.

Pet insurance seems to be growing in popularity, driving a 37% increase in apply rates. It should be noted that pet insurance was most often mentioned in job descriptions containing four or more benefits.

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Despite the pandemic further emphasizing the importance of mental health, just a fraction of job descriptions mentioned behavioral health benefits, yet Appcast observed that the inclusion of this benefit correlated with an increase in apply rate in several industries and/or job functions.

  • Science & engineering jobs were impacted the most by healthcare benefits, with job descriptions that mention healthcare benefits seeing an increase of nearly 40% in average apply rate
  • Marketing & advertising jobs demonstrated the strongest correlation between increased apply rates and health insurance mentions – job descriptions that included this benefit saw an increase of nearly 50% in average apply rate.
  • Within the healthcare industry, job descriptions that mentioned pet insurance saw an increase of nearly 70% in average apply rate.

Despite Hyping Signing Bonuses, Regular Incremental Bonuses Take the Cake

Upon studying the impact of additional compensation benefits on job advertising performance, Appcast found that including regular, incremental bonuses most dramatically increased apply rates. Despite employers’ efforts at enticing candidates with signing bonuses, warehousing & logistics was the only industry that saw a correlation between increased apply rates and signing bonus mentions. When job descriptions mentioned stock options or employee stock purchase plans, the ads yielded a higher apply rate across a variety of disciplines. Likewise, including 401(k) in a job description is a draw for some disciplines, but overall this individual benefit did not have as dramatic of an impact on apply rates as others.

  • Regular, incremental bonuses impacted apply rates the most, especially in the customer service function and technology industry. Customer service jobs saw an increase of nearly 150% in apply rates when they included these bonuses; technology jobs saw a 130% lift in apply rate. Interestingly, this benefit did not boost apply rates in the food service and transportation industries, which are grappling with severe pandemic-related labor shortages.
  • Science & engineering jobs saw the largest stock-related increase in apply rates, with jobs descriptions that include stock specifics increasing the average apply rate by over 100%.
  • Within the warehousing & logistics industry, signing bonuses proved enticing to candidates; job descriptions that included this benefit saw a 60% increase in apply rates. Referral bonuses, stock options and 401(k) benefits in warehouse & logistics industry job descriptions also correlated with an increase in apply rate, which provides meaningful insight for employers to not only attract but retain employees as current labor shortages across this industry creates supply chain challenges.

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