How can you boost job ads conversions by 154% without changing a single word in the job ad?

Case studies
2019 Mar 19
By Kristína Radová

One thing each job posting site strives for is to make sure job-seekers who visit the webpage, engage beyond just viewing job ads, but also send in their CVs. And yes, sometimes they struggle to achieve this. 

The challenge

One of them, the job posting site approached us with an interesting request:
Help us increase the number of people who send in their CVs.

We were thrilled, thinking, “Piece of cake, let’s look at the specific copy of the ads, and figure out how to use behavioral principles to make it perform better”. We know how effective than can be as it brought us great results in the past.

But then the bomb dropped when we were told, “Guys, you can't change the ads themselves, only the user interface”.

So we said “Ok, game on”, and started analyzing the decision-making process and current research. 

How we approached it

The first thing to consider was to ponder why a number of sent in CVs usually only comes up to a fraction of total number of visits. 

Although many potential job-applicants view and read the ads, they won’t send in their CVs. Why is that? Surely, for some a specific job offer might not be a good fit. But how about those, who despite being interested in the job, won’t take any action? 

Still looking for answers, we dove deeper into the mindset of a job seeker. Imagine you find a job offer and then see a large number of people who had previously applied for the job. Despite liking the offer, your chances of actually getting the job, drop significantly. So you might be discouraged to apply and less likely to do so.

But then we thought “hang on, this might work the other way round”, because behavioral economics teaches us, that in moments of uncertainty, which looking for a new job definitely is, we tend to look at what others have done in a similar situation.

This is a principle known as Social proof. It taps into an ever stronger motivation to gain the approval of the herd and acceptance by the group. Doing what others are doing, is usually a safe way to ensure that. We were excited to test how this would work in the epitome of uncertainty - deciding on a new job. 

But remember you couldn’t change anything in the ads, we had to shift focus from writing a new ad on the things we had control over -  little tweaks incorporated directly into the webpage.

First, we looked at specifics spots where introducing some visual information might be beneficial. We tested several behavioral interventions directly on the webpage. 

We wanted to see what would happen if we added a banner to show the job seekers how many people have already applied for the job. So we ran the test for several weeks and were shocked by the results. 

How it all worked out

Due to a little red box below CTA  which provided information on how many people have already sent in their CVs,  the probability that any new visitor will send in your CV went up by 138%.


We could have sit on our laurels thinking that's good enough. Bu we wanted to see if there were other things to try out. 

We went back to our research, it turns out that for the average man, it’s enough to fulfill 60% of the requirements and he’ll happily apply for the job. Women however, feel they need to fulfill nearly every single requirement before they send their CV.

So another of our interventions addressed the uncertainty of not being qualified enough. When the person viewing a specific job posting scrolled down to the candidate requirements section and the website noticed she (or he) wanted to leave, a pop-up window appeared:

“Do you like the job offer but think you don’t fulfill all the requirements? Make sure to send your CV anyway, it’s just a few clicks and costs you nothing.” 

One of the main aspects of the copy in the pop-up window was to tell them that it was easy to do. And the result was astounding! That's what we call a 154% increase in the likelihood a person would send their CV.

Do you want to learn about more intervention which turned struggles into bullseyes? Learn more about Social proof, Uncertainty and many more read our other blogs. 

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