Case Study: How a Job Search Portal Increased Conversions by 154% Without Changing a Single Word in Job Ads

Portal Increased Conversions by 154%

Sometimes the best solution can be the one you least suspect. That was the case with one job search portal in need of fast results. After employing a fairly counterintuitive idea, they managed to more than double their conversions!

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What the number one psychological barrier is for customers that companies often overlook.
  • How testing ideas that seem counterintuitive at first can actually reveal the most effective solutions.
  • How the strategic use of social proof increased conversions by 154%.
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When looking for a new job, a lot of questions are swirling around in your head. “Will I be a good co-worker?” “Will I fit in with the new team?” But, perhaps, the most burning question of all is: “Am I good enough to land this dream job?”

Recent graduates, the unemployed, and those seeking new job opportunities tend to look for work, or their next big career move, on job search websites. JobAngels is one such site, working on a commission-based model. Companies list their job openings on the JobAngels website and ideally people respond to them. But as you’ll soon find, that wasn’t always translating into “cha-ching!” moments for JobAngels.

Our job was to increase conversions and convince more people to send in their resumés.

Logically speaking, the more resumés an employer receives, the higher the chance of them hiring a JobAngels candidate, and the more likely the portal will earn a commission as a result.

As Matej Sucha, co-founder of behavioral economics consultancy MINDWORX, puts it: “The mission was very clear. Our job was to increase conversions and convince more people to send in their resumés.”

Armed with a whole arsenal of research on behavioral economics and the psychology of human behavior, MINDWORX endeavored to find the best solution to JobAngels’ conversion rate woes. But there was one small caveat. 

The MINDWORX team could suggest any changes to the portal’s user interface so long as they didn’t lay a finger on the job ad copy. A fairly reasonable condition, you might say, as it’s the companies who write and publish the job listings, not JobAngels. And with hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of job openings, changing them all would be utterly unfeasible (and costly).

“We were given a huge playground to work with and lots of wiggle room. We could pretty much suggest anything we wanted. I mean, this just doesn’t happen that often with our clients, so we were pretty motivated,” Sucha admits.

Behind every successful design solution lies a whole corpus of fascinating behavioral economics research. And job recruitment was certainly no exception.

How gender plays a role in job ad conversions

MINDWORX knew right from the get-go where to start looking for inspiration. They delved deep into some behavioral research which had already been done on recruitment and job hiring, and their consultants uncovered some rather compelling findings, particularly on how men and women react differently to job ads.

Women tend to screen themselves out of the conversation and end up applying to 20% fewer jobs than men.

This observation was confirmed in a Hewlett Packard internal report which, in short, concluded that, on average, it was enough for men to fulfill only 60% of the job requirements for them to want to apply for the job. Meanwhile, women felt they needed to fulfill 100% of the requirements. 

This interesting difference in how men and women perceive job requirements was later confirmed by LinkedIn internal research, which “analyzed billions of interactions between professionals, companies, and recruiters” and found that “women tend to screen themselves out of the conversation and end up applying to 20% fewer jobs than men. What’s more, women are more hesitant to ask for a referral from someone.”

So, any proposed solution must bear this caveat in mind. If companies had, let’s say, too many irrelevant, difficult-to-fulfill, or Catch 22 requirements in their job ads, they could discourage a lot of candidates from applying.

This finding prompted MINDWORX to build a solution that would address the fear of not fulfilling all the requirements.

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