Making Your Job Postings Count

In the battle for talent, your prospective hires are sifting through dozens of generic job postings that all sound the same. But there’s no getting past it—the job descriptions that highlight information vital to today’s job seekers, are the ones that attract the top talent. Today’s candidates are eager to learn if a prospective company has values that align with their own and if they have the skill set to fill a particular role.

So, slapping up a bland job posting is worth about as much as hanging a “Help Wanted” sign – it merely indicates that you are hiring, but job seekers won’t get much else from it. As a recruitment professional, however, you have the power to craft a truly compelling job posting that can make your company’s open positions stand out from the competition.

Top recruiters realize that they won’t attract great talent today by sticking to old worn-out descriptions and templates. Instead, like a dating profile, a recruiter must create each job posting with a specific audience in mind, highlight the company’s best attributes and provide accurate yet compelling details about what the job will offer the ideal candidate.

Here are the tactics every effective job posting should employ:

Beef up your employer brand. Today’s top talent won’t want to work for your company if they know nothing about what it stand for: Corporate culture, brand values, and its stance on things like social responsibility. That’s why, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report, 59 percent of those surveyed said they invested more in their employer brand than the previous year. Linking to a short employer brand video from your job postings is one easy way to showcase your company culture–check out Zillow’s first-day-on-the-job video or Twitter’s recruitment video for fun examples.

Videos not only give potential employees an insider’s view of your company— they are the coin of the realm in a world dominated by visual communications. Video allows the viewer (and potential applicant) to see what the office looks like, get insight into the dress code, and get a sense of who the employees are and how they interact. Beyond videos, you can also create content for your company’s website and LinkedIn page that focuses on the firm’s “big picture” goals and mission, such as how your employees take part in corporate social responsibility and community outreach.

Highlight what’s in it for them. Talking about your firm’s success and contributions isn’t enough—you want to shift the focus onto what’s awesome about working for your company. For example, fantastic on-site perks, tuition reimbursement, and a path to advancement are some of the benefits that attract younger applicants. Likewise, the option for remote or flexible work schedules, bonus and incentive programs, and business travel expense accounts might be attractive to both seasoned and younger workers. Whether it’s paid time off to do volunteer work or free gym memberships, don’t wait for the interview round to let job seekers know what you offer.

Use keywords in your title. As tempting as it might be to post that you’re looking for an “HR ninja,” quirky titles have become a cliché at this point. These titles can also be difficult to find when searching for a particular position. Instead, use straightforward titles that are optimized for search to help ensure your job turns up in results. If quirky titles are an integral part of your company culture, you can always change the title once you’ve filled the role, or provide descriptive information about the position that includes a more mainstream title.

Make the listing fun to read. Ready to get creative? Now’s your chance. Demonstrate that your business is made up of humans by communicating with a conversational and warm tone versus impersonal, corporate-speak. Approach your job posting as if it were an advertisement in which you’re making a sales pitch, rather than just listing job requirements. You want it to capture attention, and make the reader, or viewer, to want to learn more. Toward that end, try to steer clear of clichés like your company being a “fast-paced” or “dynamic working environment,” or that you’re seeking “highly motivated self-starters.” Be genuine.

Always keep your target audience in mind. Google does an excellent job of promoting its employer brand to various candidate pools by creating microsites for different company segments, from sales to engineers. Within those portals, you’ll find profiles of employees and the contributions they are making to the company on the same page as the job openings.

Write with mobile in mind. Remember that a good portion of job search activity is happening on mobile devices–in fact, half of job seekers have searched for a new job while lying in bed, according to Jobvite’s 2016 Job Seeker Nation Report. That’s why you don’t want your postings to be too long-winded, or have large blocks of text. Be concise, and break things up using subheads and bullet points.

Try something new. In addition to creating more attractive job postings, you might also consider other recruiting tactics that focus more on cultural fit than a set of hard skills. For instance, Facebook and McKinsey are experimenting with a new approach in which they hire employees who align with the company’s mission and then find the appropriate role for them.

For now, putting more effort into your job postings can provide a valuable return on your time investment. When done right, you can more effectively reach top-notch candidates who are well matched to the company and fill your roles faster.

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