Career Sites

What Is and How to Improve Your Apply Rate

Apply Rate refers to the number of job seekers who visit a job posting and actually apply for the job.


Apply Rate refers to the number of job seekers who visit a job posting and actually apply for the job. The average Apply Rate across employers today is just 5%.

That means that 95% of the job seekers who visit a job either decide not to apply or are unable. 

Frustratingly, there are a sizable number of job seekers today who find jobs that are a great fit but can’t submit an application. This might be because of confusing requirements that they don’t understand or an application process that can’t be completed from a phone.

A low Apply Rate can be devastating for high-volume employers that are dependent on people to make their business run. These employers risk spending a large amount of their recruiting budget on job advertising only to lose it on low apply rates.

Imagine bringing your bucket to a well and filling it repeatedly, only to find that there’s a huge hole in the bottom. Maddening right?

The good news is that fixing your apply rate is easier than patching a leaky bucket. And an increase of just a few percentage points can have a huge impact on your hiring.

Here are 4 ways you can instantly improve your apply rate.

Make it easy to apply from any device

More and more job seekers today are applying for jobs from a mobile device. The percentage of job applications submitted from a mobile device grew from 61% in 2020 to 67% in 2021 – a huge jump over a single year.

Many job applications, however, are still built with a desktop-first mindset despite two-thirds of job applications being submitted over mobile.

Making your job applications accessible over both a mobile browser and text messaging is an essential step to increasing your apply rate.

Text messaging has become a go-to part of our lives as consumers. As more and more job seekers turn to text message notifications to learn about new job opportunities, the option to fill out a job application over SMS becomes critical to converting them into hires.

Dalia automatically converts your job applications into a mobile browser and SMS format giving job seekers the option to apply via text message.

Don’t ask questions you already know

When it comes to increasing your apply rate it’s important to count your clicks. If you visit one of your jobs and try to apply, how many clicks does it take to submit an application? How many questions do you have to answer?

The average job application today requires 51 clicks to complete.

Every click or question you to your job application process lowers your apply rate.

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Job seekers like this one who apply for jobs between shifts don’t have time to do a lot of clicking.

Many applicant tracking systems and career site platforms have attempted to reduce clicks by asking job seekers to create accounts. However, this strategy has backfired.

Job seekers have now had to create so many different accounts to apply for a job there is no chance that they will ever remember their login. The result is job seekers needing to click and answer questions more than ever.

Our approach is different. We autofill any known candidate information without the need to create an account so job seekers have to click and answer questions as little as possible. 

It’s still highly recommended to keep your application process short and to capture contact information first so that jobs can be remarketed to job seekers should they drop off.

Accelerate your hiring process

The old hiring process workflow looks something like this: apply for a job (hear back in a few weeks), schedule time for a screening call (hear back in a few weeks), and then schedule an interview with a hiring manager (hear back in a few weeks). Wow, six weeks can add up quickly.

Here’s what your hiring process should look like: apply for a job and schedule an interview with a hiring manager instantly.

Ask your screening questions as part of your application process and then have candidates self-schedule on a hiring manager’s calendar. Eliminating unnecessary wait periods can accelerate your hiring process dramatically.

How does accelerating your hiring process impact your apply rate? 

If I’m a job seeker who goes through this process and schedules an interview in just a few minutes, chances are that I would happily apply for a job with this employer again. No way I’m jumping to another company’s career site and waiting to get through the six-week, back-and-forth hiring process.

Ask people to connect

We have already talked about the job seekers who are logistically unable to apply to your jobs, but what about people who just aren’t ready?

I’m talking about the people who don’t have time to finish a job application because they’re catching the bus or who aren’t mentally prepared to commit to a job a change at that moment.

Giving job seekers an opportunity to connect requires less of a commitment than applying for a job and means that those job seekers aren’t lost for good.

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Just because a job seeker can’t finish applying at that moment, doesn’t mean you have to lose them forever.

Talent networks can lead to a lot of eye-rolling among talent acquisition professionals because oftentimes job seeker information gets collected, but these new talent pools go unused.

Dalia automatically enrolls job seekers who connect in an automated nurturing program that shares helpful content and relevant jobs on behalf of employers giving them a huge return on their talent network.

Asking job seekers to connect is no longer just a nice thing to do, but a necessity for increasing your application rate.

About Dalia and how we can help

Dalia makes it easier for people to find jobs and for employers to hire more efficiently. Employers use our candidate experience platform to automate talent nurturing and connect with job seekers faster. We hear firsthand from job seekers about the ups and downs of their search and use that feedback to keep making it easier for them to find a job. If you’re searching for a job – sign up, and if you’re hiring – get a tour.

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