Are you having trouble attracting the right talent to fill an open position at your company? If most job seekers who have applied for the opening seem unfit for the role for one reason or another, you should consider revisiting your job posting. Although it may look innocuous at first glance, there is a good chance it may be causing your organization to miss out on quality candidates.
A job posting is akin to an advertisement intended to attract and engage top talent. Perfecting this post is one of the first steps in the talent acquisition process. Yet, unfortunately, many hiring managers and HR professionals fail to craft compelling job postings and end up losing their perfect-fit candidate to a competitor.
It is also worth mentioning that job postings often serve as the first impression of the hiring company on a potential applicant. Therefore, creating concise and interesting posts is extremely crucial for your business to thrive in this economy and attract ideal candidates in this tight labor market. Moreover, the stakes may be even higher if you have decided to handle your talent acquisition process yourself instead of working with a reputable recruitment firm with a structured hiring process.
While a professional search firm can take care of all of your hiring woes, here are a few tips on how to write attention-grabbing job postings that may help you attract the best candidate for the role.
However, before we delve deep into the topic, let’s clarify one of the most common misconceptions about job postings.
A Job Posting Is Not the Same as a Job Description
It is not entirely uncommon for HR professionals and hiring managers to treat a job posting like a job description. Many even mix up the two, which can be a critical mistake in the talent acquisition process. Although both of these documents are extremely important, they serve different purposes.
For starters, a job description is an internal document that describes the essential responsibilities of the jobholder, defines work standards, features details about compensation and benefits, and outlines the possibilities for career progression. In other words, it is used for compliance and illustrates how success is measured for the particular role at the company.
Furthermore, job descriptions can be a bit tedious. Nevertheless, they are tremendously useful. They typically comprise more than one page, detailing every major and minor aspect of the position for the perusal of the new hire.
On the other hand, a job posting is used for advertising a job opening at a company. Although it should not be as short and SEO-heavy as a Google ad or laden with hashtags and buzzwords like something you may see on your social media networks, a good job posting should be crafted with all intents and purposes of attracting the right individual to apply for the open position.
Compared to job descriptions, job postings are short and succinct. They are also easy to read and only include the most important information a jobseeker may require about the role. Great job postings also give potential candidates a glimpse of the company culture and set the tone for future communication between the recruiting team and the applicant.
In simpler terms, if you want a qualified and experienced individual to click the “Apply Now” button, you should refrain from using job descriptions as job postings. While it may look harmless, doing so can make your job posting look thoughtless and monotonous. Instead, you should try to craft job postings that can convince and persuade high-quality candidates to become a part of your company.
How to Write a Job Posting that Stands Out From the Competition
These are some simple and easy tips for writing interesting job postings that will help improve your talent acquisition process – especially if you have not partnered with a recruitment firm.
Keep it short and to-the-point
Once you have defined your candidate search, you can start composing a job post.
It may be tempting to include as much information about the open position as possible in your job posting. However, it may not be an effective strategy considering shorter job posts are likely to gain more traction than lengthy ones. Research has shown has shown that job seekers spend 14 to 30 seconds reviewing a job post on average, which means you must cover the most pertinent details about the position, the company, and the benefits.
Of course, it is not always easy to do so. Moreover, a LinkedIn study found that job posts that are 300 words or shorter receive more applications than the longer ones. So, it is recommended to keep your job posting as brief as possible.
Use the right tone and language
For many job seekers, a job posting reflects the internal culture of the hiring company. Thus, you must use the right tone and language to convey the message. You can look at it this way: just like prospective employers expect candidates to sell themselves to the company and explain why they are a good fit for the position, hiring managers and HR professionals also have to sell potential applicants on their company by grabbing their attention.
Therefore, if your job posting feels too formal or stuffy, it might indicate an unfriendly atmosphere at the organization. A qualified candidate might even think the hiring company subjects its employees to a litany of restrictions based on the tone and wording of the job post. So, they may decide not to apply for the role.
However, your job posting should not be too informal either. To make a good first impression, it is best to use the tone and language that accurately reflects your brand values and company culture. Moreover, it is also good to update the company website and social media profiles regularly, as many prospects visit these platforms to find out more about their future employer should they get hired.
In addition, consider using gender-neutral terms and titles in your job posting to highlight that your company values inclusivity and diversity across all levels.
Write a compelling introduction
Whether you are looking to fill an entry-level or a top-level position at your organization, it is best to start your job post with an attention-grabbing introduction that directly addresses the reader by mentioning the job title.
While it is recommended to work with a renowned recruitment firm to hire for executive-level positions, hiring managers and HR professionals must take extra care while crafting this portion of the job posting. If the introduction does not attract the job seekers, there is a good chance they will move on to the next post without thinking twice about it.
Well-written job postings typically start with a brief introduction of the role followed by the qualities and capabilities of the ideal candidates. This introduction is usually two to three sentences long and appeals directly to the talent pool.
Be clear about job requirements
The next part of a job posting focuses on the job requirements. Whether you are hiring for core capabilities or technical competencies (or both), make sure to provide accurate information in this section, as it will play a key role in attracting the right talent. Further, it will help prevent candidates who aren’t ideal from applying.
Be cautious not to focus too much on prospective candidates’ formal educational titles. While educational qualifications are important, job requirements should clarify what makes an individual a good fit for the role – for instance, their prior experience in the field.
Being transparent with the job requirements and specific hiring standards allows hiring companies to draw the attention of talented candidates who can excel in the role.
Summarize job responsibilities and benefits
Once your job posting has explained the details about the job title and its requirements, make sure to add a few bullet points explaining the job, and what success in this role will look like. For example, if the position requires new hires to travel frequently, please make sure to mention it in this section of the job post. Moreover, if the title comes with any unique or additional job duties, it is good to be transparent about them here instead of blindsiding the candidate later in the talent acquisition process.
Similarly, it is just as important to discuss the salary range and other benefits in your job posting. While it is highly recommended to keep this part brief and concise, hiring managers and HR professionals must ensure the post accurately reflects the ideal candidate’s compensation if they get hired and choose to accept the offer.
Build a positive image of your company
It is ideal to add a short paragraph about the hiring company at the end of your job posting.
This section aims to foster a positive employer image among prospective candidates. Therefore, instead of copying a paragraph or two from the “About Us” page on your company website, consider creating a new draft that is tailored for the job posting.
For example, instead of mentioning when your company was founded or how many clients it may have, consider addressing the following questions:
- What does your business do?
- What are your products and services?
- What are your niche areas?
- How does your company stand out from the competition?
- What are your goals, and how do you help your employees achieve them?
A good job posting requires thought and intent. Your efforts will be worthwhile though, because a well-written post can make your hiring process a lot more efficient. If you are interested in learning more about the fundamentals of finding perfect-fit hires, access our Guide to the Recruitment Process.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for an experienced recruitment firm to take care of your talent acquisition process, contact AEBetancourt today to start a conversation about your specific needs.