Creating a succinct, relevant, and effective job posting can be challenging. Job searches often become repetitive and commoditized for job seekers. As a business owner or HR specialist, it’s tempting to simply copy and paste what the hiring manager provided or cobble together details from other online postings. While that might be the path of least resistance, it is by no means the path to successful hiring.
A successful job posting must not only be organized enough for applicants to find what they’re searching for, but also unique enough to grab their attention. That’s how you attract the best candidates, and attracting the best from the beginning will even help far down the road with employee retention.
So, how do you write a smart and effective job posting? We’ve saved you some hassle by collecting a few easy-to-implement best practices.
1. Know your audience
Cut through the clutter. Many job descriptions start to sound the same if you read enough of them. Keep in mind that your ideal candidate has probably read several other posts before finding yours. Don’t use this as an excuse to break out your creative writing chops, but it is important to stand apart from the crowd. You will still want to follow a basic structure, but shy away from heavily used descriptions and phrases. Use this as an opportunity to highlight what makes this job or your company unique.
Also, keep in mind that many candidates will be reading this on a phone. Simple descriptions and lists work better on mobile formats.
If your position is highly specialized, does your post include enough precise and relevant information? Technical specialists are usually proficient in very specific software, procedures or coding languages. Be sure to include these critical differentiators. Effective communication as you address this task is crucial.
2. Include a company overview
Use this section to briefly describe your organization and what you do. Be careful not to get too verbose here, as most people will skim through this at first. Include links to your website to help flesh out the bigger picture. Try to keep this section to a paragraph or less. Include the number of employees or size of the organization. An interested and qualified candidate should be able to pull other relevant information from a quick web search on their own.
3. Create a position summary
Provide an overview of the job in a brief paragraph. Try to answer some of the following questions: Who will the position report to? Is this a brand new position? What business goals are relevant? Bottom line: keep it short and to the point.
4. Describe the ideal candidate
This is where most job descriptions fall flat. It’s as if recruiters copy and paste the same description over and over again. Better, use this section to really dig into the day-to-day realities of the position. Below are good and bad examples of candidate summaries:
We’re looking for someone who enjoys what they do, is passionate about our industry, and is excited to come to work for us at Acme Engineering. We love serving our clients and want someone who shares this same enthusiasm for a job well done.
The ideal candidate is a highly motivated, detail-oriented and professional team player focused on successful results and relationship building. <yawn>
Has there ever been a job that didn’t require attention to detail or expect successful results? These descriptions are tired and vacuous. Tell someone a little about what to expect from the everyday environment at your business. Avoid phrases that are overused or don’t add anything substantial to the post.
5. List the responsibilities and qualifications
Use bullet points here to clearly lay out what’s expected in the role. Use two separate lists in this case: one bulleted list to list out specific, day-to-day responsibilities, and a second itemized list of qualifications such as college degrees or relevant work experience.
6. Give them what they’re looking for
In these days of low, single-digit unemployment, the job market is becoming highly competitive; so, include a salary range in the post. Most pay ranges for a specific job title in your city are easily found online. Job seekers have come to expect this and don’t want to find out after multiple interviews that the position won’t pay the bills. If there are additional benefits such as health coverage, expense accounts, paid travel, or a dog-friendly environment, include those as well. Great benefits can offset lower wages in the minds of your candidates. Your hiring processes should also align with the available salary budgets and benefits packages.
Onboarding your ideal candidate is only a few easy steps away.
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