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5 Tips for Crafting More Effective Job Postings

Nolan Gray Staffing

If you’re trying to hire top-tier talent (and who isn’t?), you need to put your best foot forward. The first impression prospective candidates often have in our world of online recruiting is your job posting. And if it’s dull, drab or generic, that’s likely the kind of candidates you’ll attract.

You know the sayings – there’s so many that cover this situation – “You reap what you sow…” or “You only get out what you put in…” or “Garbage In, Garbage Out…” We won’t pontificate any further on the notion – you get it. But what we will do is give you some practical tips rather than platitudes to help you craft more effective job postings and hire better.

Bold job posting that says nothing

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#1 Make It Search Friendly

Think of a job posting just as you would a web page. When potential hires are searching for job postings, they will use consistent search terms. The more relevant your job title and description, the likelier it is to show up high on the results page and that’s the best way to get attention (without paying for a premium spot). Also fill out all of the attributes such as industry, job type, full/part time, etc. to rank higher.

Go onto the site where you plan to list the job and do a search as if you were a candidate. If it’s a human resources position, you may want to use both “Human Resources” in the title and job description as well as the abbreviation HR. Find common keywords and use these as well as synonyms to get the best visibility and search results.

Too long job description

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#2 Balance Brevity and Details

You don’t want the War and Peace of job descriptions, but you also don’t want a one liner. Stick to what’s relevant starting with a one or two line overview of the position, then some more details including what makes this position preferable to other similar job openings, add minimum and preferred qualifications (education, certifications, years of experience, etc) and close with a call to action about why your position is the first one they should apply to.

On qualification, definitely list the ones that are non-negotiable (certification, degree or second language) to dissuade the under-qualified but also don’t get so heavy-handed on “preferred” attributes that you don’t turn off what may be great candidates. Inc suggests 400-800 words is the optimal length for a job description.

Unusual job description

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#3 Find the Line Between Interesting and Weird

You may want to make yourself stand out, but being weird is not the way. Don’t put 20 exclamation marks or dollar signs around the position title, don’t use catchphrases, clichés or smarmy sales talk. But you do want to stand out in a positive way.

Tired language like “A qualified candidate will demonstrate…” will make most people yawn. Instead, consider more compelling phrases like “fearless critical thinker” or “passionate believer in…” If you want a drone, advertise like a drone and you’ll get what you put in.

Visual job description

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#4 Consider Going Visual

Increasingly, we’re a workforce of non-readers. We’re skimmers, perusers and browsers, who eschew endless reams of text. So consider a visual job description like the e*Trade example above. Images can be compelling and the information is easy to digest. You may think that you’re spoon feeding the information and you don’t want a candidate that’s not willing to wade through your text.

But think again – no one wants to wade through text – not your customers, not your other employees – so why not hire differently to start making a sea change in your staffing that reflects what’s going on in the world? And once you master visual job descriptions, you may want to consider trying a video!

Compelling job ad

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#5 Remember… It’s an Ad!

Advertisements are intended to sell something. In this case, you are trying to sell your company and this position. A better ad can help you recruit better people. Think about effective advertising in general. They need to be aesthetically pleasing (see visual note above), compelling and interesting.

You need to have major selling points clearly presented (why it’s a good job, what the job’s main aspects are and what the main requirements are) and a strong and easy to understand call to action. Your CTA can be something like “Click here to join the team!” that takes the applicant to the application portal or page.

Interesting job ad

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Final Thoughts…

Here’s one more thing to consider – streamline the application process and make sure it’s 100% online. If your ad is compelling and you get great applicants to click to apply and they find out that you want them to spend an hour completing online forms or have a huge checklist of next steps, you may lose many by making the process too much of a hassle. Simplify the process as much as possible to get the best results!

And when you’re ready to evolve your workforce sourcing, Jobscience has the tools to make your recruiting social, collaborative and easy – and entirely in the cloud. See what we have to offer and how we can help you work smarter!