The S.E.R.V. Method: 4 Levers for Increasing App Flow

In today’s job market, getting more applicants through the door can feel more like luck than science sometimes. In fact, “Total Applicant Volume” was the #2 challenge in a recent survey Snag conducted, with 81% of respondents scoring their performance a 5 or below on a scale from 0-10. The average score was a dismal 4.11. Yikes.

But when you’re looking for a systemic way to scale applicant flow, there are 4 universal levers you have in your toolbox to pull. They are: 
  • Speed
  • Experience
  • Relevance
  • Visibility
These 4 levers—what we like to collectively call the S.E.R.V. Method—are factors that are in your direct control. Here’s how you can leverage each one.


App Flow Lever #1: Speed

Speed is highly correlated with conversion rate. Faster time-to-hire = higher completion rates. Slower time-to-hire = higher applicant drop-off. Above all else, hourly job seekers want to get to work STAT. They need hours and a paycheck, and they can’t afford to wait around on any potential employer. Most just don’t have that luxury. 
10.9 Days: Average time to hire, according to Snag's Q4 Benchmarking Survey. See a by-industry breakdown inside.
From job search to application to interview, focus on condensing the time applicants spend in each stage. Aim to respond to new applicants within 2 hours, and weigh information value vs. drop-off when looking at your job application length/time to complete. 
Some brands are even taking out application time altogether. Tools like Snag’s recruitment chatbot let you apply, answer screening/qualification questions and schedule an interview within seconds, not days.
+143%: Increase in # of scheduled interviews with Snag's chat-to-apply feature. — Muy Pizza, Pizza Hut Franchisee



App Flow Lever #2: Experience
Much like Speed, Candidate Experience can be a huge factor for conversion—and thus, applicant flow. The faster, easier and more convenient you can make your apply process, the more applicants you’ll see come out the other end. Now, all applicant traffic is not created equal…sending more unqualified applicants through the top of your funnel won’t give you more high-quality hires out the bottom. 
But, in today’s hourly job market, great candidates have enough other opportunities on the table to be picky. They don’t have to bother with jumping through a lot of hurdles, hoops, clicks and scrolls to get through yours. They’re onto the next job opening.
And since 80% of hourly workers search and apply for jobs from their phones, ensuring your application process is mobile friendly from start to finish is a must when looking to boost app flow. That means everything from your careers site to job postings and descriptions, to the online application. Not to mention setting up—and then actually showing up—to the in-person interview.
Drop-off doesn’t just happen between click and completed application; it can happen throughout your entire hiring funnel. Optimizing your candidate experience is a big competitive lever you can pull—especially when you consider just how many applicants typically drop off out of the process.
Average Drop-off Rates: Industry vs. Snag
Streamline, simplify and always solve for mobile. Earlier this year, we launched our new Text-to-Apply feature to solve this exact issue. Applicants walking into your store, reading a flyer or stopping by your booth can text a unique company codeword to 272727 and instantly get a link to view all of your job openings on your mobile-optimized Careers site and apply.
Snag customer First Watch Restaurants implemented a 2-pronged recruiting approach: 1 that could solve for salaried needs and 1 that was optimized for the hourly candidate experience. First Watch's existing careers site talked a lot about its culture, management opportunity and took a lot of clicks to actually get to the application—which was great for management applicants, but the team knew all of those clicks and scrolling would crush their hourly drop-off rates.  
Hear firsthand how First Watch optimized its hourly job applicant experience with its 2-click rule—and ended up boosting app flow by 45%—on our on-demand webinar!


App Flow Lever #3: Relevance

This lever for impacting applicant flow has to do with: 1. Relevance of the audience you’re marketing to; and 2. Relevance of the job to the job seeker

The first is a core tenant of Marketing Best Practices 101. The more targeted you can get with your recruitment advertising, the more likely that you’re talking to the candidates you actually want to hire. Clicks are great, but if they’re not converting—or they’re not sticking around 60+ days after getting hired—you’re just wasting budget driving unqualified applicant traffic.
Your jobs need to be in front of the right applicants—passive or active—at the right time, with the right message. Advertise on sites where people are specifically looking for and want hourly jobs and careers in restaurant and retail…not where people are more likely to see it as a stopover while looking/waiting for a salaried position. Go where your ideal workers are. (Disclaimer: We like to think Snag’s #1 network of 60M+ active hourly job seekers is a great place to start!)
The second aspect of the Relevance lever is relevance of the position to an applicant. This one might seem a little obvious, but it’s worth calling out. It’s also a pretty easy fix for app flow. That’s because hourly job seekers are trying to answer 1 big question when looking for jobs. Which also happens to the the same exact question employers are asking, too.
“Is this a good fit for me?”
Candidates aren’t interested in wasting your time anymore than they are theirs. They want to know upfront—before clicking apply—if:
  1. Does this job meet my needs?—This is the most basic box to check. Will it give me the hours I need? Can I get to it? Does it feasibly make sense? If I’m taking night classes or need to pick up my child from daycare, will it work?
  2. Am I qualified to do it?—They want to know if they even have a shot. Do I have the experience and job qualifications necessary to get this job and keep it?
  3. Does this sound like some place I’d like to work?  What’s the workplace culture, benefits/perks and growth opportunity like…is it better than the same position next door? #3 won’t matter if you can’t check off #1 and #2. 
The problem is, job postings often don’t provide applicants with enough of this information to self-disqualify upfront.
Wage and hours are the 2 most important factors in hourly applicants’ job decisions, yet the majority of employers still hesitate to include this info in their postings. “Competitive” doesn’t give someone a good enough idea if they’re going to be able to make rent or not. Applicants need this info to determine whether or not a job can meet their most basic needs.
After adding wage estimate data to all postings on Snag, we saw a 5% total increase in applicant volume
Use this as a competitive advantage to get more applicants. By setting clear, realistic and detailed expectations in your job descriptions, you’re likely to get more of the applicants you actually want for the job.

App Flow Lever #4: Visibility
In today’s crowded market, it’s not enough to just be in the room, your jobs need to stand out. This lever is all about maximizing total applicant reach. Eyeballs = clicks = applicants. You can’t wait for job seekers to find you, you need to proactively get in front of them.
Premium ad placement is a huge lever you can and should be pulling to drive store-level applicant flow. Like paid ads on Google and Facebook, premium ad placement on job sites put your jobs in the most visible, high-traffic places. Instead of scrolling down the page, your jobs are the first listings job seekers see in their search results pages…or on the home screen…or in their recommended jobs list.
And because you don’t want to rely on great candidates finding you, you want to also be pushing your jobs out. Make sure you’re covering multiple channels and mediums. Snag, for example, offers targeted email blasts, premium placement in daily job alert emails and mobile app alerts all as ways to proactively get your jobs in front of more qualified candidates—even if they aren’t actively applying.

Want to talk more ways you can boost app flow with Snag? 

We live for this stuff! Check out our Snag Performance Recruiting infographic for a closer look at our hourly marketplace demographics, what we offer and who you can reach.

Then, ping your Account Executive directly, email our team and/or drop us a line here to see which services make the most sense for your team.


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