Where you post job openings matters. In a tight labor market, you need every advantage you can get against your competition — and if candidates don’t see your job openings, that puts you at a significant disadvantage.
So don’t just post jobs on your career site and leave it at that. Be strategic about where — and what — you post. You need to optimize your job postings so that they appear in the highest number of searches, attract the best candidates, and reach diverse candidates where they are.
In addition to posting open jobs on your company career site, here’s where else you can advertise jobs to attract high-quality, diverse applicants.
Experiment With Different Job Boards
Post on a couple of different job boards to see where you get the best response from qualified, diverse candidates. “You can’t change what you can’t measure,” says Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the Women in Trucking Association. “Test different options, and use the one with the best results.”
If you’re posting your job openings somewhere where they aren’t getting any visibility, you’re just wasting your time and resources. Score each job board based on the number of qualified applicants you receive, the diversity of their backgrounds, and the speed with which you can fill the role. Use this information to identify which job boards will result in the highest return on your investment.
Borrow a tactic from marketing, and create candidate personas. These will help you make educated guesses as to where ideal talent is most likely to see your job postings. “Determine what skills the person needs, and then coordinate those skills with a hobby, a training situation or even similar roles in other industries, and then place those ads accordingly,” Voie says. “For example, a technical person probably wouldn’t see an ad in a ‘help wanted’ section of a website or publication; they would be more likely to find it on social media aimed at IT folks.”
Test your hypothesis by posting on different job boards and social channels until you identify the best response.
Go Where the Candidates Are
There are hundreds of job boards dedicated to different diverse groups but, although they’re targeted, they aren’t as well-known as bigger sites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. If you have limited resources to dedicate to job boards, you have the best chance of attracting talent from all backgrounds on these high-traffic sites.
“There is no job board that is stronger than Indeed.com,” says Katie Molloy, president and co-founder at Leo & Loy LLC. “It’s not just a job board; it’s a job aggregator, so it pulls from other job postings on a company website.” Leverage Indeed and other larger job boards to get your postings in front of a wider candidate pool.
Once jobs are posted on a larger job board like Indeed, you can share the link on diversity-specific groups on LinkedIn and other social channels to reach candidates where they are.
And don’t forget that you have qualified talent among your existing workforce. Make sure that internal talent, especially those from underrepresented groups, have an opportunity to apply to your job postings. If your company sponsors employee resource groups for BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ employees, for example, share postings among those groups to improve internal mobility for diverse talent.
Optimize Job Postings for Diversity
The key to attracting diverse talent on a generic job board is to make sure diverse candidates see your job postings. Optimize the language and requirements of your job posting to appear in more searches. For example, don’t confuse “must-haves” with “nice-to-haves,” Molloy says. If performing the job doesn’t hinge on lifting 25 pounds, don’t put it in the requirements. Including criteria like this can prevent your posting from appearing in a job search for candidates with disabilities, even if they’re otherwise qualified for the role.
Conduct a job audit to identify the role’s core outcomes. Observe high-performing candidates in the role to identify the skills and abilities needed to produce these outcomes. Use that data to determine what requirements to include in the job posting.
Be careful with the data you input. Specific educational requirements, for example, could be exclusionary or teach the algorithm to show your job posting to candidates who have similar qualifications and educational backgrounds as people already in the role — even if those qualifications aren’t necessary for performing the job.
Certain words and phrases might affect the type of candidates applying to your job postings, too. “Words like ‘aggressive,’ ‘assertive,’ decisive’ — studies show that these are masculine-sounding words that they should avoid if they want to appeal to women,” Molloy says.