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Home Business Techie turn-offs: Top 7 things that put talent off applying for tech roles

Techie turn-offs: Top 7 things that put talent off applying for tech roles

by maria

According to research from LinkedIn, 150 million new technology jobs will be created in the next five years; however, a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum found that 39% of the UK didn’t have the digital skills required to match this demand.

So how can companies attract the talent with the digital skills required to apply for zxthese positions?

A recent survey by Haystack, a tech careers marketplace, discovered the top things that are most likely to put off techie applicants from applying for a role.

1.  Lack of salary information

Something that seems to be a bug-bear across industries when it comes to job ads is the lack of transparency around the salary being offered, and in the tech industry this is no different. 73% of respondents noted that the lack of salary on job ads was their biggest turn off when it came to applying for jobs.

Professionals don’t want to waste their time applying for a role only to discover later that the salary does not match or exceed their expectations. By including the salary in the ad, employers appear more transparency focused. Haystack’s proprietary data also found that ads with salary disclosed get 65% more applications than those without.

2. Too difficult to apply

Over half (52%) stated that when a role is too difficult to apply for they are immediately put off trying. 

Many job seekers are already in employment when searching for another role, meaning they often don’t have heaps of time to be jumping through hoops or filling in a lengthy application. Only the most important information should be required in the first instance, supported by a CV. 

Any additional details can be gathered during or after the first interview when the applicant has progressed further in the application process and likely more willing to commit some of their time.

3.Unhelpful job description

Half of the survey participants were put off by unhelpful job descriptions. Many employers are guilty of sacrificing detail for flowery language in an effort to stand out. Unfortunately, applicants need to know the ins and outs of the role they are applying for, including:

-Working hours


-Required tech skills

-Typical duties


All of these should be included in the first instance. Any additional information is a bonus and likely to be appreciated.

4.Irrelevant tests

Similar to “too difficult to apply”, 38% won’t apply for a role if there are irrelevant tests involved. Time is precious and it is likely applicants won’t be applying for just the one role, if role A involves a lengthy test and role B is a simple form and CV submission, role B will win. Keep things simple.

5.Too one-sided

Just as with conversations, one-sided job descriptions cause nothing but frustration for over a quarter (27%) of potential candidates.

Too many employers are guilty of including only what they are looking for and what is required from the successful applicant, forgetting that it is a two-way street and applicants need to know what they can expect in return. 

6.Poor mobile experience

It isn’t just Google that is mobile first. 22% of survey respondents said they would be put off applying for a role because of a poor mobile experience. 

Whether it is because they can browse jobs on their private mobile devices or want to do so on the go, techies prefer companies that offer a good mobile experience and without one could mean that certain businesses are overlooked by talent.


A year of working from home for many has caused a shift in priorities. People are no longer satisfied with the 9 to 5 in the office. This is why 15% of techies consider a lack of flexibility a turn-off when it comes to searching for a job.

Mike Davies, COO and co-founder of Haystack, said: “Finding the right talent with the desired skills is difficult enough with the digital skill deficit the UK is facing, without the job descriptions putting those with the requirements off applying.

“Companies should ensure that they make their job descriptions as transparent as possible, taking note of the turn-offs and ensuring they do what they can to avoid making those mistakes.

“Our survey also found that the top three things techies are looking for in a company is opportunities to upskill and progress (72.8%), positive working culture (71.7%) and flexible working (69.6%), showing the types of qualities this talent is searching for within a job description, and therefore companies should ensure are included.”