3 Reasons Recruiters Should Close Evergreen Jobs

Evergreen jobs are hard to find on job boards, they can turn off candidates who don't get a response, and they wreck recruiting analytics.

Evergreen jobs are convenient because you don’t have to advertise the same role over and over. And they seem to make sense. If you’re always hiring for a role, why close the job? But evergreen jobs make attracting applicants harder and measuring recruiting efforts all but impossible.

Why are evergreen jobs a problem?

Rather than create a new job every time, some hiring teams just leave the job open. But evergreen jobs are hard to find on job boards, which defeats the purpose of advertising the job in the first place. They can turn off candidates who don’t get a response right away (or at all). And they wreck recruiting analytics, which makes it impossible to measure almost anything for that particular hiring effort.

1. Evergreen jobs are hard for candidates to find on job boards

Turns out job posts are pretty technical documents and advertising open roles is a pretty technical process.

Think an exciting job title like ‘Marketing Guru’ or ‘Design Sensei’ will attract more candidates? It may, but you won’t know if candidates can’t find it easily on job boards. Job seekers use titles as search terms, and they search for industry-standard titles, not senseis. 

Think adding ‘Senior’ to a title will attract more candidates? Not likely. In a study of financial analyst titles, the Datapeople R&D team found that job titles including the word ‘Senior’ attracted fewer applicants on average. They attracted 29% fewer applicants overall, 39% fewer qualified applicants, and 27% fewer female applicants. If the requirements and responsibilities don’t match the title, it’s confusing. 

Job posts are technical documents with many technical considerations. Not surprisingly (or maybe surprisingly), the advertising process is technical as well. Job board search engines attempt to provide a good search experience. Part of that is showing new listings at the top of the page so job seekers don’t have to scroll down. 

You can see why evergreen jobs are problematic. Because they don’t close, they keep falling down the search results. The longer they’re open, the farther they fall, until they’re all but invisible when job seekers search for them.

2. They can turn off applicants who don’t get a response

Some hiring teams like to have a candidate pool hanging around in their applicant tracking system (ATS). These ‘Pipeline Reqs’ rely on evergreen jobs to continuously collect applicants, which recruiters can then ‘funnel’ into other open requisitions. But this approach can lead to the ghosting of applicants and a ding to your employer brand.

Imagine a job seeker sees your job (after exhaustive scrolling through search results), gets excited, and applies. Then imagine how they feel waiting for weeks or months without getting a response because you aren’t currently in a hiring cycle.

They’re likely to walk away from the interaction (or lack thereof) feeling less than enthused about your company. Candidates quickly tire of job boards full of ‘phantom’ jobs that aren’t really open, are only open for legal reasons, or seem tailored to a ‘unicorn’ candidate.

Receiving no response or even a timeline of when to expect one can put job seekers off. If they don’t feel like your company is interested, they’ll turn to other companies that have shown interest. It’s not a good look for your brand.

The whole point of evergreen jobs is to continuously advertise for a role. But if no one is monitoring applications or the company isn’t really hiring, you’re just ghosting applicants. Which, no surprise, can turn them off. And when you finally do reach out them, they may just ghost you back.

3. Evergreen jobs are recruiting analytics wrecking balls

Recruiting analytics can tell you how well your jobs and your talent pipeline as a whole are performing. However, evergreen jobs are a major impediment to recruiting analytics. 

It’s a data hygiene problem. Because they stay open, evergreen jobs don’t offer an end-to-end view of each round of hiring. You can’t see how many applicants went through a particular hiring round or even whether a round resulted in a hire.

You need full pipeline data to measure your hiring efforts, which means clear metrics on every stage of a job’s hiring process. Those metrics can tell you not only how many women applied, but how many applied, received an interview, and got an offer. 

If you see candidates dropping out after the phone interview phase, for instance, it could mean you have issues in your phone interview process. If you have a healthy gender breakdown throughout the hiring process for a certain department but no female candidates receive an offer, you can address it thanks to clear data points. Clear recruiting analytics enables you to see where you’re doing well and where you’re not.

Evergreen jobs wreck 2 key metrics: days live and time to fill

Days live is the time that your job ad is live on an online job board. It can tell you how well your job ads are performing. 

Days live is often confused with requisition days live, although it’s a different metric. Days live concerns the job ad, while requisition days live concerns the requisition in your ATS. Regardless, evergreen jobs – ads or requisitions – take a wrecking ball to recruiting analytics. There’s no way to measure days live if your job ad stays live forever. 

Time to fill is the total time it takes to fill a job. It can tell you if your hiring processes are taking too long and where to tweak them. 

Time to fill is often used interchangeably with time to hire, although you can separate the two metrics out. (Time to hire can also cover how long it took a hire to move from application to offer acceptance.) Again, evergreen jobs wreck your chance of measuring time to fill because they don’t have a beginning and an end.

Close your evergreen jobs

It’s tempting to use evergreen jobs or collect candidates in your ATS and move them between requisitions depending on their qualifications. From a general recruiting standpoint, those types of actions make sense. 

But when you view things from a recruiting analytics standpoint, those actions can give recruiting operations folks nightmares. Any time you sever the connections between candidates, requisitions, and job ads, you lose the ability to measure hiring efforts accurately. 

Sure, evergreen jobs are convenient, but they’re more trouble than they’re worth. They’re all but invisible on job board searches. They can turn off job seekers who don’t receive a response. And, because they don’t offer clear metrics, they’re also recruiting analytics wrecking balls. Our advice? Avoid them.

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