There is a strange irony that exists in the business world: there are easily tens of thousands of jobs available but not enough of the right candidates to fill the roles. The task of finding the right candidate for a job opening is not just a challenge, it can sometimes be an altogether daunting task for any organization.

There are multiple factors to this of course— competitive job markets, lack of interest in that specific field, bad company reviews— but more often than not it is not those factors that are making up the majority of the struggle to find good help. Typically, what all that struggle may come down to just has to do with effectively marketing the positions that are available in any company. If companies can’t get people to see a job posting, then it only stands to reason that filling the role will be even harder.

Let’s talk about some of the potential reasons as to why it’s difficult to market an open job position.

Oversaturated Job Boards and Online Platforms

The rise of online job boards and platforms has introduced a whole new way in which companies can effectively market their job postings. Despite the leaps in innovation, ease of access, and even the free nature of most of these platforms (at least for prospective employees) many companies are faced with the challenge of standing out and effectively marketing their open job positions. While there are plenty of features that help people to narrow down what they might want out of a job, there can be even more ways in which a posting can be ineffective.

Oversaturation of certain markets may be one potential cause.

The oversaturation of job boards and online platforms has made it increasingly difficult for employers to attract top talent and fill their vacancies. Depending on the field and industry, there can be a broad spectrum of demand for certain roles— nursing careers are a great example of this.

While there are certainly fluctuations in this behavior, trends emerge as demands culturally and economically which tend to have a higher affectation upon the eventual success or failure of job postings. So, despite the need, if there are a collection of major competitors all hungry and looking for fresh talent, that can lead to oversaturation of job boards.

Sadly, there are only so many ways to make a job position stand out from all the other “computer programmers” or “radiology techs”. With high demands in fields, and too many opportunities, the question for employers should become, “What makes our company and position stand out from the others?”. In order to stand out, employers must invest time and resources into creating compelling job descriptions and promoting their openings effectively.

In a saturated job market, it can become crucial for companies to invest in various targeted marketing strategies in order to best reach and hold the attention of the right candidates. The good news is that there are plenty of means by which a company can do this such as leveraging through social media platforms, utilizing more niche job boards, or just going the old-fashioned route of networking with industry professionals.

This focused targeting of marketing onto specific channels to key audiences means that employers have a much higher likelihood of increasing their chances of attracting qualified candidates.

Reaching Passive Job Seekers

Job posting takes two sides, the employer and the job searcher. While this may sound like a simple formula, the process is far from easy, because what it all boils down to is not just an interview, but finding the right candidate to fill the role, hopefully for years to come. This means finding and attracting the talent that is best for the position, but in a competitive field like computer security or psychiatric mental health care, how does a company do that if most of the best talent available is already taken?

While there may be plenty of currently active job seekers searching for job openings and applying proactively in a market and at any one time, it is the passive job seekers who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job opportunity.

At any one time, depending on the industry, field, and department type, passive job seekers can often make up a significant portion of the talent pool. While job boards have an effect, and recruiters and hiring managers certainly have their place, their reach is only as broad as the people and networks that they have created. This is why targeted marketing is so important to job postings.

If the message is reaching the right audiences, then even the passive job seekers that don’t know that there are better opportunities out there will begin to explore new options. With the right type of incentives, good talent can be persuaded to leave.