As the U.S. economy pushes further away from the recession and into more lucrative territory, candidates are finding it easier to identify the job they’re looking for. In some markets, they have the luxury of picking and choosing among several organizations to find the perfect match. While that’s an ideal scenario for job seekers, it makes employers’ jobs a bit more complicated. Organizations now have to go the extra mile to land the best talent in the field. This means before employers even bring anyone in for an interview, they have to attract talent to their open positions.
The first step in this whole process is crafting a job posting that stands out among the others—one that not only gets candidates’ attention, but keeps it. Surprisingly, many employers don’t understand the basic practices of effective job posting. By following a few basic rules, you can create an effective job listing that lands the best talent available.
“Organizations have to go the extra mile to land the best talent in the field.”
1. Think like a marketer
The most successful job postings are the ones that sell a company to the candidate, according to Inc. Talented job seekers are like savvy shoppers—they compare and contrast, look for the best deals, and measure which investment will benefit them the most. As such, you need to package your job offer in a digestible, attractive, tempting, and interesting way. That means constructing an advertisement, not a simple job description:
“The two things have a lot in common, but they’re not one and the same,” Michael Overell of RecruitLoop told Inc. “A job description is usually an internal document created to clarify what the role will do and to outline reporting lines. A job ad’s primary purpose is getting the right person to click ‘apply.’”
2. Think like a job seeker
What do candidates want to see in a job posting? The answer may vary greatly, but there are common aspects the top talent tends to value. In addition, it depends on the market for which you’re recruiting—different groups of workers value different things. It’s on you to identify what the talent in your field values.
For example, a poll from Hacker News asked developers, “What would it take for another company to poach you?” The respondents prioritized interesting work the most, with better pay just behind. Lifestyle and flexibility were further behind. However, a more creative industry may place much higher value on work-life balance, as these folks often have personal projects they try to make time for.
A number of strategies can make your job posting stand out.
3. Think like an engineer
Not only should your job posting be attractive and speak to the right audience, it should also function perfectly. If there is a link to an application page, make it clearly defined and ensure it sends the applicant straight there. Inc. also recommended setting up an automated response system to let the candidate know his or her application was received and someone will be reaching out shortly. Never let someone feel like he or she has been ignored.
With the right wording and instruction, you can filter out candidates who don’t read the posting all the way through or who may be unqualified. Then, with an applicant tracking application, you can determine which types of candidates your listing has the best effect on. That will allow you to tweak it to attract a broader demographic.
It’s true—as an employer, you have to wear several different hats. But by adjusting your mindset in these ways, you can optimize your job listing. It can help to have others on your team who may have more experience in these fields also take a look at the posting before you publish it—the more eyes you have on it, the better it is likely to be.
For more great tips on how to make your job posting stand out, check out this blog post, “The Significance of Good Job Descriptions, Applications, and Job Postings in the Recruitment Process.”