Expert Tips for Writing an Effective Job Posting
Oct 30, 2021
Oct 30, 2021
Your job posting is the first chance you get to connect with potential candidates. The first impression you make is important. To write a job listing effectively, you need to engage job seekers, be inclusive, stay organized, and find the right way to gain the attention of the right applicants. If you are searching for new candidates, here are some tips for writing an effective job posting that will help.
First thing’s first. When you are crafting the perfect job posting you need to be clear and accurate with the job description. This means using a simple job title and clearly stating the position’s responsibilities. You should also include an overview of the position that defines the expectations of the ideal candidate and any qualifications that are absolutely necessary.
Many businesses try to make the position sound more interesting by using a non-traditional job title like “Sales Specialist” instead of “Call Center Agent.” Unfortunately, this can attract the wrong candidates for the job because you aren’t being clear about the position you need to fill. Many candidates apply for a job based on the title alone. So, instead of trying to attract top talent with a flashy job title, attract them with your company culture and objectives. At the end of the day, the wrong job title in your description could cost you time and money. Working with professional staffing agencies can help you cut the cost of finding a new hire too by helping you construct the perfect job description.
On top of providing an accurate title, you want to provide a clear description as well. This should include information about the company culture, position responsibilities, qualifications, and other key details. However, be sure you are giving each candidate accurate information. For instance, don’t paint yourself as a flexible employer if you don’t allow for flex work schedules or remote options.
There is a lot of information that should be included in a job posting, but to land top talent you need to keep things as brief as possible. State things in a concise way that provides each applicant with the facts about your organization and the open position. Job seekers have the tendency to skim listings, so keeping things short ensures they understand your company’s needs.
That being said, you should use adjectives in your post wisely. Of course, you are trying to sell the job to potential applicants but you don’t want to use too many words. Staffing recruiters may include adjectives like “deadline-driven” and “fast-paced” in the description. The key is to use adjectives that give the applicant a feel for the requirements and responsibilities of the job.
You should give the job posting some sort of structure. Have a section for an overview, job duties, responsibilities, salary & benefits, as well as information about your company’s culture. Don’t skip from discussing salary to company culture without a distinct separation in the text. This makes it easier for applicants to find the information they are searching for and determine if they’d be a good fit or not.
Keep the post between four and five paragraphs and maintain focus in each. You should include an introduction, which describes your company, a summary of the job you’re looking to fill, and what makes the position attractive to candidates like them. Provide information about the pay range, benefits, and perks of working for you. All of this should be within the first two to three paragraphs so you get the candidates interested immediately.
After that, list out the position’s duties and responsibilities. Use bullet points and list about five to 10 duties the job entails. In another bullet point list section, list out your requirements for filling the position. List your must-haves before the preferred qualifications. Close your job listing with two to three sentences detailing the interview process moving forward and directions to apply. Don’t forget to include your contact information so applicants may follow up.
Give specific details regarding salary and benefits. This is a deciding factor for many candidates as to whether they will apply or not. Rather than waiting until the offer stage to discuss salary, be upfront about what you are offering in terms of compensation. You can provide a range for the salary in the job posting instead of a specific dollar amount and give a brief overview of other available benefits.
If there is potential for relocation or the job must be on-site, mention that as well. Location, travel, and relocation are all important factors for job seekers. If they are not willing to relocate, they may not consider certain opportunities. Clearly detail any relocation packages that would be offered or remote work options.
Don’t be long-winded with your job posting. Most candidates will not read more than 700 words and even that is pushing it. Listings should be within 300 and 700 words, within 500 being the sweet spot. You want to keep them engaged and be straightforward with qualifications and expectations. Professional staffing agencies have found that longer job postings tend to attract fewer candidates overall.
Consider what you have to offer as an employer and highlight that in your listing. Obviously, the salary and benefits are part of what you have to give but you need to dig for other ways to make the job a more compelling opportunity. Discuss aspects of the position that might attract top applicants such as perks, office comforts, specialized equipment or software they may get to use, catered lunches, etc. List out the reasons they should choose to work with your organization over your competitors.
Take the time to describe what it is like to work with your organization. Give the applicant an idea of what a day at work might be like. If your company prioritizes work-life balance and employee morale, say so in the job listing and describe how your culture supports those priorities.
As an employer, you should also work to sell the company’s vision to potential candidates. Link reviews, testimonials, videos, photos, and Glassdoor pages to your job posting. This will give them a chance to fully assess whether they will be a good fit for the company as a whole.
If there is a set of qualifications that are required to perform the job, highlight those separately from the “nice to have” skills. For each qualification you are asking for include the level of experience you are searching for, certifications needed, and level of proficiency required. Don’t forget to also include personality traits you’d like for the ideal candidate to have. For instance, you might list leadership, teamwork, and communication skills in a job posting for a management role.
Strive to be as inclusive as you can with the language you use. In fact, it is best to use an impersonal tone when writing an effective job posting. You want to focus on facts about the position, not opinions. If you seem bias towards a position in a job posting it will send potential candidates in the opposite direction.
You don’t want to limit the candidates you receive by using limiting language. Some words have a more feminine connotation than others, for example. Using feminine language may reduce the number of male applicants. Who knows, you may even miss out on the perfect candidate.
While we are talking about language, you should try to use as many verbs as you can when creating your listing. You should especially use verbs when describing the responsibilities the candidate would take on. For example, produce, facilitate, collaborate, and manage are all action words that you can use in an effective job posting.
In addition to keeping the posting brief, as mentioned above, you should also avoid abbreviations or industry jargon. If you use words candidates may not understand it will also limit the candidates you receive. A good employee can always learn on the job and get up to speed on the company lingo. Using words they may not understand will turn most candidates off of applying altogether though.
While you shouldn’t use any company-specific jargon, you should provide details about the organization itself. Assume each candidate knows absolutely nothing about your business. Tell them about the industry, your goals, and the overall mission of your company. You may also include locations, how many people you employ, annual sales, and any other pertinent information. Just remember, keep it as brief as possible!
Utilizing the help of a professional staffing firm can help you find the help you need more effectively. This is because recruiters at an agency are trained to find the perfect candidate for any open position. An agency will be sure your new hire has the skills, experience, and attitude necessary to thrive in your organization. To do this, our staffing firm starts by helping you craft an effective job posing.
The team at Hire Level is eager to assist you in forming the perfect job description, recruiting top candidates, and filling the open positions within your company. Learn more about our professional recruiting services and the multitude of ways we can help you.