How Many Applicants Will I Receive? The Impossible Question.

When speaking to new customers, we come across the same impossible to answer question: ‘how many applicants do you think I will receive, roughly?’ We know that investing in advertising...
Posted in Employer
June 26, 2023

When speaking to new customers, we come across the same impossible to answer question: ‘how many applicants do you think I will receive, roughly?’

We know that investing in advertising can be a risk. Will it work? What if it doesn’t? How many applicants will I get?

A lot of people focus too much on the quantity, rather than the quality. But that’s a whole other article for another day.

The truth is, we can’t predict how many applicants you will receive down to the many variable factors involved.


Well known job advertising platforms, like Indeed and LinkedIn are quick to offer an estimation of how many candidates may apply to your job advertisement. Coincidentally, the number of those estimated applicants conveniently jumps up significantly if you’re willing to spend money with them. But estimating this is like trying to estimate the fish in the ocean or leaves on the trees.

There are many factors that contribute to a successful job advertisement, and in turn, a healthy amount of qualified applicants.

Let’s delve into those factors a little deeper and see what can affect both the quantity and the quality of applicants you can attract:


To show the salary, or not to show the salary… that is the question.

We often hear that clients don’t want to price anyone out or risk not attracting top talent by making the salary too low, so they choose to just keep it confidential.

But honesty is the best policy and not disclosing the salary on the advert can cost you in the long run. Putting your realistic salary bracket on offer helps a candidate decide if it is within their expectation, and stops time wasting on both sides. What is the point in going through several stages of interviews to find out the salary expectations just don’t align?

Looking at Reed.co.uk’s data, in 2021, they found a 27% increase in the number of applications for jobs that disclosed a salary. Additionally, their data showed that 40% said salary was the biggest motivator in applying for a job.

Lastly, there are many different filters that candidates can use on job boards, one of which is (you guessed it), salary. Salary is a primary filter for candidates searching for jobs, so adding it to your job ads is a no-brainer here.

Market Value

Another big factor in both quality and quantity of applicants to job adverts is the value of the package on offer.

If you’re not offering the market value for the role, you’re not going to attract candidates, plain and simple.

If you’re advertising for a Software Developer with a salary of £25,000, and the typical market value for that role is £50,000, that would mean the average candidate would be cutting their salary in half to join your company. Making sure your salary is in line with (or above for a competitive edge) the market value is a must if you want to attract top talent and lots of it!



The location of your role can play huge part in the quantity of applications.

If you’re advertising in a relatively remote area, you should expect a smaller portion of applications vs an advert that is placed in a large city. This can go hand-in-hand with the type of role you’re recruiting for. For example, if your business is based in a market town and you’re looking for someone with retail or hospitality experience, you could expect a larger amount of transferrable skills such as these compared to niche skills and experience.



The job boards can be a magical place for both employers and candidates, but they’re not miracle workers. Often, people see the job boards as a cheap solution to an expensive problem… and it can be for most. But for very niche skillsets, job titles and industries, the job boards can struggle.

For example, if you are a company that is only 1 of 50 in the UK that offers a certain service and/or product, and you need someone that has several years experience of this, it’s unlikely you’re going to find what you’re looking for on the job boards. A recruiter, whilst expensive, is going to be your best bet.

We’re not saying it’s impossible! We’re just being honest.



Be honest with yourself; it’s a bank holiday weekend, or the annual leave week in August that you’ve been looking forward to for what feels like eternity. Are you spending that time looking for a new job?

Most services/products go through seasonal lows and highs, with the job market included in this.

School holidays, bank holiday weekends and seasonal annual leave periods can have an effect. Both good and bad. Some could argue that candidates have the time to be looking for a new job, some would argue that this time is spent with family or having fun… either way, we never truly know how it’s going to go when it comes to applications. But it’s something to bare in mind when it comes to the affect of application quantity.


The Market Mystery

The job market, just like the oceans, can be a cruel mistress. You never know what you’re going to get in terms of trends, highs and lows.

It goes through stages of being company led, and then back to candidate led. We see high rises in one industry need one minute and a shortage of skills in another the next. These things have knock-on effects and we never really know, or can predict, what’s coming next.


Your Job Advert

Lastly, we arrive at your job advert, which is probably the single most important factor.

Most of what we have talked about in this article can relate to the job advert itself, but what we’re talking about here is how it’s written.

A job advert should be just that – an advert. This is the time to be selling your company and telling people why they should want to work with you. We’re not talking about how long you’ve been established or how many industry awards you’ve won, but about the things that matter to people like the environment, job responsibilities and the benefits.

Some companies make the mistake of posting job ads that are a long list of responsibilities and demands of what they expect with little to no details of what the candidate can expect in return. Ask yourself honestly; who would want to apply to that?

Using a few clear cut bullet points of what is expected, and what skills/experience you need with a welcoming tone can make the world of difference.


When you couple all of these factors together with the fact your dealing with numerous job boards, the simple answer is that we can’t give an estimation of how many job applications you will receive. What we can do, is help you write the best job advert possible, packed with keywords and encouraging language, and give you advice on all of the issues mentioned above to give your advert the best possible chances of thriving on the job boards.


Would you like advice on how to post the perfect job advert online? Get in touch today!

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