When the right job seekers click on your job postings to learn more about your open positions, you’re one step closer to converting them into applicants. But, as online recruiter Recruiting.com points out (How to Write Effective Job Postings: Job Description and Skills), if your job postings don’t provide the right information or motivate them to apply, they’ll move on to the next potential employer. It’s essential that your job postings give your target candidates the information they want and need in a clear and compelling way.
Recruiting consultant Katrina Kibben, CEO of Three Ears Media, says employers can’t control much when it comes to hiring, but they can control how they ask. Job posts are the primary method to ask candidates. Job posts set expectations and are the reason candidates apply. Kibben advises employers to keep posts simple by breaking up content and writing short, easy-to-read sentences. She also recommends that you think of a person, not a job, when writing a job post to connect more directly with your target audience.
Some additional key points to remember when writing your job posts include:
Summarize the Role
Your job post should provide a clear and concise snapshot of what your open position will entail so that job seekers can easily understand the role and key responsibilities. You should highlight only the most significant information so that the post is succinct and easy to digest. Although content is important in a job posting, job seekers will become overwhelmed and disinterested if you stuff too much information into one paragraph.
List Job Responsibilities
Highlight the five most essential job duties. An effective job posting will have enough information to convey the essential functions of the job while avoiding a laundry list of nonessential tasks. It’s important to remember that a job post is a shorter summary of the job rather than a detailed a job description.
Provide Qualifications and Skill Requirements
List the required skills for the job – the education, experience and skills necessary to perform the job. Make sure your requirements section lists only the minimum needed for the job rather than a full wish list. If the job really requires an AA degree, don’t ask for a BA. Also, be realistic in your expectations of the number of years of experience needed to properly do the work. You can also add a preferred skills section in your job post if you emphasize that your preferred list refers to attributes that are not mandatory but may be desirable in the ideal candidate. Preferred skills might include additional education or experience, a background in a specific industry or familiarity with a specific software program.
Share Organizational Values and Culture
In addition to education and experience, cultural fit is an important consideration when selecting the appropriate candidates for your open positions. If you would like to offer candidates a little insight into your company culture, you can include your company’s mission, vision, values and a few key attributes of your workplace. You can also highlight how the role you are trying to fill can help your company achieve its mission and goals.
Personalize the Job Post
Address the job seeker directly rather than saying “the incumbent” or “the right candidate” to make the job post feel more personal and encourage your potential candidates to envision themselves performing the job. For example, “In this key role you will be leading a dynamic team on an important company initiative” is more direct and personal than “…the ideal candidate will be leading…”
Include Salary Information
While you may prefer to withhold salary information in job ads for a variety of reasons, it may be worth considering whether lack of salary transparency in your recruiting process is attracting the best candidates for your job openings. Many of today’s job seekers tend to consider compensation as a top priority when deciding whether to pursue job opportunities. Salary transparency in job postings allows candidates to make more informed decisions at the onset of the application process, delivering more appropriate candidates to a hiring manager and potentially saving time in your company’s recruiting process. (see accompanying article Salary Transparency in Job Ads Makes Recruiting More Efficient)
Writing a job post that clearly communicates your expectations to job seekers will increase the chances that the right candidates will become more engaged and interested in your open position, and ultimately help you find the employee you’re looking for.