How to improve job posting outcomes (with best practices)

December 20, 2023

How to improve job posting outcomes

When you write a posting for an open job, you want to ensure that it has the best chance of reaching the candidates you want. This means catering your job posting to specific qualifications and using different avenues for reaching applicants that give you more options for new hires. When writing a job posting, it's important to consider the candidates you want to attract and which aspects of the job you can advertise to make it appealing. Let's review some of the ways to create an effective job posting that attracts top talent for your next opening.

Best practices for effective job postings

When creating a job posting for an open role, there are a few best practices and guidelines to follow to ensure success. For example, it's important to only advertise for one person per job, as asking for multiple candidates in one listing can create confusion about whether the job is still accepting applications and how many openings remain. 

Another best practice is to identify the location of the job right away, as some candidates may only be looking for remote work or a job in a specific area. In addition, make sure to include the exact job title the person will have if hired, as transparency can help build trust, and specificity can attract candidates with the right expertise.

How to improve your job posting outcomes

Let's look at some tips for producing great job postings.

Use keywords

An essential element of a great job posting is the presence of keywords that identify the level of expertise and skills required for an open role. Including specific keywords in your job postings can give candidates a clear idea of the position you're hiring for, which allows them to identify roles they qualify for quickly. Using keywords can also increase your job postings' reach, as they'll be more likely to show up in online searches when a candidate types in specific keywords. 

For example, if you're hiring for an administrative assistant role, you might include keywords such as "data processing" or "digital communication." This can help you attract candidates with strong administrative skills.

Establish brand identity

Another important part of a strong job listing is brand identity. When you clearly establish your organization's brand, you give candidates an idea of your company culture and values. This can help attract candidates who share similar values and increase your applicant pool by reaching more people. For example, if your company places a strong emphasis on community service, discuss this in your job posting to encourage applicants with a background or interest in community service.

Consider your formatting

Formatting is key when creating a job posting, as a listing that's disorganized, full of fluff, or difficult to read may discourage candidates from applying. Ensure that you use clear formatting and separate sections to highlight the main details of the job, such as qualifications, job duties, and skills. This keeps all the information organized so candidates can skim your posting and quickly identify their points of interest.

You can also include a separate section that highlights your company's benefits, as this tells candidates about the ways you take care of your employees. It's also beneficial to include a call to action in your job postings, typically near the end, so candidates feel motivated to take action and apply for the role.

Collaborate with top performers

When you're writing a job posting for a role that already exists in your company, it can be helpful to speak with top performers who have previously held the role. This can give you ideas about which job duties to highlight and which skills are most useful. For example, someone who excelled on the sales team can give insight into which skills and job duties were most important in the role, even if they've since moved on to a different position.

By speaking with someone who's succeeded in the role before, you get inside information about the day-to-day benefits and struggles of the position, so you know which aspects to cover in the job description. This will help you appeal to top candidates looking for specific types of experience in their search, as they'll know exactly what they're getting into with the role you're offering.

"Including specific keywords in your job postings can give candidates a clear idea of the position you're hiring for, which allows them to identify roles they qualify for quickly."

Common mistakes when posting jobs

One of the most common mistakes recruiters make when posting jobs is not following up with candidates after they apply. While it's not a part of the job posting process itself, it's helpful to follow up with candidates who apply to the roles you advertise to ensure that they know you're considering them. This can be as easy as sending an email letting candidates know that you've received their resume and providing a timeframe for when they'll hear back about a decision.

Another common mistake in job postings is including using buzzwords that don't provide value. While using fun adjectives can make a posting colorful, it doesn't give candidates a clear idea of what you're looking for, resulting in an unqualified applicant pool. Biased language is another mistake people make when writing job postings, as using words or phrases that show bias can discourage great candidates from applying. Therefore, instead of including desired personal qualities in a job listing, focus on the tools you use at work, the industry you want candidates to have experience in, and the tasks they'll perform in the position.

Avoiding frustration during the job search

Since job listings are an essential part of the job search, writing effective job postings can help prevent frustration for both talent and recruiters alike. Many candidates experience frustration when applying for jobs they seem qualified for based on the description, only to be told that they don't meet the company's requirements. In the same way, recruiters can get frustrated when the applications they receive for a role don't match the desired skills and experience. By being transparent about what you're looking for in a new hire, you can prevent unqualified candidates from applying and becoming discouraged.

Candidates are also commonly frustrated by job postings that don't accurately reflect the expectations of the advertised job. For example, if a candidate applies to a listing that asks for 30 hours of work per week and then finds out during the interview stage that the position requires 40 hours per week, they may be aggrieved by the miscommunication. To avoid this, it's important to be transparent about what every job you list requires. This will also help you attract candidates who genuinely want to take part in the job duties you're advertising.

These are just a few methods you can use to improve your job posting outcomes. To ensure that you produce the best job posts possible, always use specificity and organized formatting when drafting your listings. When you put extra care into describing a job you're hiring for, you're more likely to get the best candidates possible.

More tips for attracting top talent through job postings

For inspiration when writing your next job listing, explore 7 things to include in your job postings.

Looking to expand your reach? Here are 6 strategies to boost your applicant pool.

If you're concerned about labor shortages, learn how to find and recruit talent when there are more available vacancies than candidates.

Discover why work-life balance is crucial to attracting top talent.

If you're interested in hiring young college graduates, see tips for attracting and hiring recent graduates.

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