“We want an ad so compelling that makes someone say, ‘That seems like a cool company. I want to check that out.’” – Jay Goltz
While discussing ways companies can bring in better quality candidates and eliminate hiring mistakes during his recent webinar, Hire With Purpose, small business expert Jay Goltz suggested companies pay more attention to the content of their job postings.
While it might not seem like it, job postings play a major role in the hiring process. After all, consider how much time you take to scan a resume – that’s probably about the same amount of time a job seeker takes to review a job posting. In other words, you have mere seconds to grab – and keep – a job seeker’s attention, so what you say – and how you say it – matter.
With a little effort, however, you can turn your ordinary job posting into one that truly stands out in the eyes of job seekers, drives more applications and leads to better hires. All it takes is knowing what to include – and what to avoid – when creating your next job posting. Consider the following tips:
DO THIS: Utilize keywords as often as possible. NOT THAT: Get keyword-happy.
The more keywords your job posting contains that are relevant to the position – and that job seekers might use to search for jobs – the easier it is for search engines to find it; in effect, the higher it will appear in organic search results. Look at your job posting and consider where you can substitute keywords job seekers might use in their searches. (For example, instead of saying, “The person in this position will be required to…” say, “The Marketing Manager will be required to…”) Just don’t flood the posting with so many keywords that you lose the message.
DO THIS: Go traditional with job titles. NOT THAT: Advertise for “rock stars” or “rainmakers.”
Not only are these terms nondescript, but job seekers aren’t searching for these terms. Stick to advertising for more traditional job titles, which will increase the ability for your postings to show up in search results on job boards, search engines and social media sites.
DO THIS: Think beyond healthcare and 401(k)s. NOT THAT: Leave out “Free Bagel Fridays”
What may seem like small perks are really a window into your company’s culture. And that, for job seekers, plays a major role when considering potential employers. While you should definitely still include traditional benefits like healthcare and retirement, remember that the little things count, too – and are often what differentiate you from any other organization. In fact, when considering which benefits to include in your posting, seek the advice of those who know best – your current employees.
DO THIS: Break it up. NOT THAT: Pile everything into one block of text.
The challenge with creating any job posting is finding a way to maximize what small amount of space you have in order to ‘sell’ your company to a prospective applicant. And again, most applicants are probably skimming your job posting for relevant key words – at best. Make the most of the space you have by creating categories (such as “qualifications” and “responsibilities of the role”) and utilizing bullets (to list required skills, responsibilities and company benefits, for examples). The easier the job posting is to read, the more likely a candidate is to read the posting in full and recognize whether or not he or she is truly qualified for the position.
DO THIS: Show. NOT THAT: Tell.
Text alone won’t grab job seekers’ attention. Create a visual experience. CareerBuilder data finds that job postings that include logos bring in 13 to 21 percent more applications. The number goes up to 34 percent when the job posting is accompanied by a recruitment video. Why? Videos help you communicate your employment brand more clearly than any other medium, because potential recruits get to “see, feel, and hear” what it’s truly like to work at your organization from the employees and leaders themselves.
DO THIS: Address the elephant in the room. NOT THAT: Leave salary information out.
Research shows that job seekers are turned off when companies fail to include salary information in their postings, so reference compensation information whenever possible—even if it is only a salary range or a statement such as “competitive pay,” “salary negotiable” or “compensation commensurate with experience.” It’s important that you let job seekers know your organization understands that money is, if not everything, at least pretty important.
DO THIS: Proofread. NOT THAT: Assume candidates don’t hold you to the same standards as them.
If you wouldn’t give a resume with a mistake in it a second look, why should job seekers treat a less-than-perfect job posting any different? Even the best, most thorough writers aren’t immune to the occasional typo, so proofread your postings yourself – or better yet, ask a colleague to check for errors that you might have missed.
DO THIS: Double- (or triple-) dip. NOT THAT: Post your job under one industry and call it a day.
If applicable, associate your job posting with multiple industries to increase visibility. Many professions can be cross-posted, such as public relations, accounting, web design and programmers, just to name a few. Doing so allows candidates to pull up your job posting in more searches – just make sure the industries are relevant to the position.
Got any do’s and don’t’s of your own to share?