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Scarcity work: what is it, and how can you use it to boost your application rate?

Written by David Jameson on 30 Oct 17
Scarcity work: what is it, and how can you use it to boost your application rate?
In today’s competitive market, businesses need to offer their customers something extra if they want to convince them to invest in the company- and to buy their products. In the age of the Internet, with hundreds of companies competing for the same people, this is even more relevant: what makes your services stand out?

This applies in the world of recruitment, too: with 42% of people aged 18-34 and 20% of people over the age of 35 on the lookout for a new job, you need to offer an extra incentive to get people to apply for your vacancy rather than somebody else’s- especially as the UK’s unemployment rate is currently at a 42-year low.

How can you incite people to close the deal and apply to you?

One way is through using scarcity. 

Using scarcity tactics has become popular in the world of marketing and selling. Based on the principle that people are scared of missing out, scarcity at its simplest involves inciting people to buy by threatening the limited availability of a product. By telling customers that there are only 2 products left in stock, or that they only have a certain amount of hours left to buy before a deal expires and the product becomes twice as expensive, scarcity is about capitalising on a person’s fear of missing out.  

Though it’s important not to use it excessively- the key to using scarcity successfully is about influencing your customer rather than forcing them to choose your product- there are several ways that it can be used to encourage browsers to apply for jobs. There are several types of scarcity that can be used: limited period discounts, displaying the number of other customers looking at the same product, displaying stock scarcity- for instance, for dresses in a certain size. It’s also important to avoid being misleading: for instance, by displaying the wrong amount of stock left, to avoid inciting users into making a hasty decision. 

How do we use it?


At 4MAT, building scarcity into the websites that we create can be a valuable way of boosting the visibility of jobs and helping viewers to decide whether or not they want to apply for it. When building the website for Fircroft, a global workforce solutions provider to the technical engineering sectors, we included a scarcity feature on their jobs, displaying the time that users had left to apply before the job deadline passed, which only appeared as the time drew closer to the deadline. Thanks to our scarcity work, we boosted their job application rate, especially for older jobs on the site.



We take great pride in staying one step ahead of the curve, and scarcity is one of the many features we include in our carefully-built websites to ensure we do so, ensuring that our customers can effectively boost their visibility and conversion rates online.

Have a look at our work with Fircroft here. 

Interested in scarcity? Have a look at some more of the features and functionality we offer Employers and Recruitment Agencies to give your website a boost, or browse our blog for more inspiration. 

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