9½ Job Posting Tips That Will Attract the Right Candidates
With a severe labor shortage, and fewer people entering the field every day, companies all over the country are competing to hire and retain the best people. It’s no longer enough to post an ad on Craigslist.com and expect high-quality candidates. It’s time to turn over recruiting activities to the marketing team; they know what it takes to attract the right people.
Hiring was once a function of the HR department. However, in order to stay at the top of your industry, it’s necessary that the whole company pulls together to present itself.
From defining your company culture and really digging in to core values, to publicizing these so the world knows what you stand for, attracting the right people (customers and candidates) is now a marketing function.
Small Company Struggles
Small companies compete with larger ones for top talent. Without the resources of a larger company, it can be difficult to attract the very best people. Larger organizations have established histories of longevity and reputations of trust. They also have larger budgets and teams. Small business owners, however, have the edge over larger competitors because they know where to find local talent. They also have the best recruiters: their employees. However, no one can ignore the power of the internet.
Harness the Power of the Internet
Every company website should have a “Join Our Team” page, with an easy-to-use application process. This employment page should be attractive and engaging. You’ll want to include more than just the “apply now” button. This page can entice potential candidates by telling them about your company’s culture and using employee testimonials. Sharing more makes it easier for a candidate to decide if your company is the right fit for them. The “Join Our Team” page is an opportunity to “sell” the company as a great place to work.
Utilize other websites and their powerful recruiting tools. Indeed garners over one million job seekers every month. Many of the job boards allow a candidate to limit the job field by an industry category. They can also limit their search by job name, location, or other requirements.
Social media is another terrific place for job postings. Facebook and Twitter are sites for effectively attracting great future employees. The wider your social media presence reaches, the more likely you are to connect with someone who knows a passive job seeker who could be a great fit.
Nine and a Half Tips for Effective Job Postings
Someone who knows the company culture is the best person to write a job description. Before publishing, make sure someone knowledgeable about the job duties and team environment reviews it. If possible, have an employee in that role read the description and see if they agree with it.
- The job title is critical. During an internet job search, one click can generate hundreds, even thousands, of results. The first line of the ad is the “punch line” and should generate immediate interest. Write SEO (search engine optimization) friendly job titles that include a mix of keywords and benefits. If a position is limited geographically, an example might be “Construction Manager Phoenix – Full-Time – Great Benefits.” That way, the ad would be more likely to be a top search result, since it includes the word “Phoenix.”
- Postings that attract good people need to advertise company culture. The business, especially the workplace environment, should be explained in a way that makes job seekers want to work there. Ads should promote the company as a great place to work. Highlight what makes you unique. Why do you work there? Include a section about the organization: its history, core values, and vision for the future.
- When posting the jobs, advertise where the good people are looking. Job boards are not all created equal. Some will have better candidates than others. If you’re searching for a loyal and committed candidate with a complete application, post to boards where they can save their resume and online profile. Since they can use the basic information to apply to multiple jobs, candidates will invest more time in making sure their profile is accurate and complete. Some boards even alert candidates when a new job matches their requirements. More often than not, it’s better to find someone who has a job and is looking than someone who is unemployed and applying to every job they come across.
- Make it easy to apply. We recently came across a job post that required over 45 minutes of filling out forms and questionnaires before a candidate could finalize their application. The best people aren’t going to commit to this. If you’re looking for a passive job seeker, they already have a job and aren’t able to spend that kind of time on one application. If that’s the kind of red tape that must be cut through when applying, imagine how intense it must be to work there. Your application process and job postings say much more about who you are as an employer than you may realize.
- Capture their attention. You have three to five seconds to gain a candidate’s interest and keep them engaged in your job description. Your job posting shouldn’t just include the rules and requirements of the position. You have to sell them on why they should apply with you. This might even be a time to take some pointers from dating websites. If you want to hire a certain type of person, then you need to capture their attention with things that will attract them.
- Remember WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). In a job market where the majority of people already have jobs, the posting must attract high-quality people. Passive job seekers are already employed. Although they are considering an employment change, the energy and effort it takes to get through your interview process has to be outweighed by the great new employment opportunity you’re offering. The candidate is only interested in one thing – WIIFM. Explain how the culture of the company, the leadership team, and the incentives are going to benefit them. It’s not enough to talk about pay and medical coverage. Today’s employees want so much more from their prospective employer.
- People often leave managers, not jobs. Information about the management team can enhance a job posting. Be honest if management has lofty expectations or if nights and weekends are a regular occurrence. The last thing you want to do is hire someone you think will be a great fit, only to find they don’t actually align with the demands the position requires. You can also highlight the management structure by using testimonials from current employees or sharing the goals for the team.
- Put the boring stuff at the bottom. A job posting’s punch should be in the headline and the body. Drug screening requirements, EEO (equal opportunity employment), background checks, and so on are all important, but save them until the end. The information itself is valuable, perhaps required, but it’s lackluster.
- Include a CTA (Call to Action) in the closing. It’s surprising how many job postings don’t tell job seekers what to do next. The beauty of online job postings is a link can take applicants to the next step: “Apply online.” Limit applications to an online process to control the requirements and pre-screening questions they must answer.
Half Tip – Have Fun!
Job postings should be rewarding to write and enjoyable to read.
Writing a job posting is just another way to market your company. Instead of looking for clients, the search is for the perfect addition to your team.
Today, job seekers want more than a job; they want a career that enhances their lifestyle. A job posting should reinforce company values, celebrate its brand, and remind everyone that this is a great company.