You Built It. Why Aren’t They Coming?

Don’t wait for candidates to come to your career site.

January 31, 2020

Anyone who has ever helped plan a career site knows the enormous amount of work that goes into each decision. Beyond the design and layout, there is taxonomy and copy to consider, search engine optimization and user experience, and of course, the necessary integrations. The whole process, from start to finish, takes weeks, if not, months to prepare. Finally, after all of that is complete, it’s time to launch. The excitement builds as expectations intensify, but what happens next doesn’t match the output. Rather than a firehose of qualified talent knocking down the proverbial door, the results amount to little more than a trickle of traffic.


Disappointing as that may sound, career sites, while essential to the overall recruiting funnel, are hardly the end-all, be-all source for attracting and engaging candidates. Rather, career sites work best as one of many avenues for finding interested candidates, supporting recruiting marketing efforts and emphasizing the employer brand.

Knowing this, it becomes clear that there’s a need to diversify recruiting initiatives and look beyond the immediate. Peter Cappelli, Professor of Management at the Wharton School and a director of its Center for Human Resources, explains why in this Harvard Business Review article, tracing the evolution of the function from the post-World War II era to present day. Cappelli summarizes, “…The majority of people who took a new job last year weren’t searching for one: Somebody came and got them. Companies seek to fill their recruiting funnel with as many candidates as possible, especially “passive candidates,” who aren’t looking to move. Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context.”

The problem with simply trying to fill the pipeline, whether through career site or other methods, Cappelli writes, is that employers don’t know whether this approach produces satisfactory hires. Instead of leaving this critical measure to chance, or the whim of a basic internet search, employers need to get more serious about sourcing.

A dedicated discipline, sourcing requires a unique skillset and the right technology, particularly when it comes to highly specialized talent searches. It’s here that career sites fall short of finding and converting qualified candidates. As recruiting technologies grow smarter and more sophisticated, it becomes possible to sift through thousands of candidates to find the few that align with, and are interested in, the position in question. This echoes Cappelli’s sentiment and suggestion to “Create a smaller but better-qualified applicant pool to improve the yield.”

Hiring Funnel

But he also emphasizes, “It should be easy for candidates to learn about a company and a job, but making it really easy to apply, just to fill up that funnel, doesn’t make much sense.” The career site is imperative as it makes it easy for candidates to learn about the company and job while also providing the option to apply. But thinking a career site is enough for a strong recruiting funnel is where companies lose sight of the end goal: to hire the best candidate for the job. Sourcing gives the search a direction and a stronger pool of qualified candidates. And with technology now able to automate some of the more monotonous top-of-funnel tasks, connecting with qualified passive candidates becomes more achievable.

Learn More About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at

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Recruiting Strategies