5 Reasons Why Job Boards Aren’t Working for Retailers in Canada

Photo:  PostMyJob

Photo: PostMyJob

By Mario Toneguzzi

The current talent crisis in the retail industry makes it imperative that retailers, and their Human Resource departments, use the world of job boards more effectively.

Suzanne Sears of Best Retail Careers International Inc., is retained primarily by retailers for private searches to fill roles from the Executive to Sales Clerk level, says those departments have no real idea how job boards work.

Knowing how to navigate has become increasingly more important in this day and age.

“For companies posting on job boards, one of the big problems is that the response rate is very poor. Job boards are becoming less and less relevant to younger generations. They don’t have the time to spend to do all this uploading and all these complicated procedures to apply for the job” said Sears.

Photo:  The Balance

“The problem for the Human Resources hiring people is they’re not getting the quantity and the calibre of candidates that they need quickly enough to fill their roles. So the issue is what are they doing wrong and what can they do better?”

She said the number one mistake companies make is underfunding the job postings. They don’t spend enough money on their ads. They don’t spend enough money on external recruiters. They don’t spend enough on ads to make sure they don’t get buried in the sea of competitor ads on job boards.

“The problem for retailers (when they spend only a small amount on job postings) is that your ad is only going to be prominent or dominant on the first page for one or two clicks and then it falls back in-line with all the other free postings,” said Sears.

“There are over 16,000 people a day in Toronto alone searching for retail jobs. That’s a lot. A job is being posted every few minutes because the talent shortage is so great. So the biggest mistake retailers are making is not spending enough on the pay per click ad campaigns. They need to cut bigger budgets. A reasonable budget - and this will astound HR Departments - is $750 to $1000 (a month) for a single Sales Clerk job.

Photo:  NetHope

Photo: NetHope

“If you post jobs for free, with 16,000 people looking and people posting every few minutes, it doesn’t take long - it only takes a day or two - and your ad is somewhere on page 10 or farther back. So no one is going to see it.”

Sears said retailers looking for people have to spend the money so their ad continues to appear on the front page of job boards long enough to attract the number of candidates needed to apply for one single job. And that’s 50, she said.

“Free ads do not work. You need a budget and you need a healthy budget so that your ad stays at the front,” said Sears.

The second biggest mistake retailers make is the job title in postings. Standardized job titles are a must.

“Don’t get fancy with job titles. A mechanic is a mechanic. An Assistant Manager is an Assistant Manager,” she said.

A third mistake retailers make in job postings is not personalizing the ad.

Photo:  GovTech

Photo: GovTech

“You need to create ads that reflect the personality of the company and people can read them as if they are one on one conversations and not job duties and requirements,” explained Sears. “It has to express some of the culture of the company.”

The fourth biggest mistake that employers make is not including testimonials from employees on their website and being more informative about the company culture as a place to work.

The fifth mistake they make is not listing the compensation for a position in the job posting.

“Job ads that list the compensation get at least 25 per cent more qualified applications,” said Sears.

For more information on retail recruiting efforts, visit www.brcareers.com


Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com.

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