Drafting a compelling job posting is one of the first and most important parts of the recruitment process. A job posting is posted internally/externally and provided to candidates but it can also be considered the “first line of defense” for bringing in the right people and filtering out the wrong. Getting the right people into the recruitment process not only saves time but ultimately contributes to the success of your organization. Time and time again, I see organizations default to an internal job description as their posting. Even if a posting is time sensitive, an internal job description should never act in place of a job posting. By all means, use job descriptions as a starting point but there is much more that goes into creating a compelling job posting. So, hiring managers and HR professionals, put your marketing hats on and listen up! We are going to think about job postings as more than just a job description.
Here are 7 of my top tips for writing a job posting that doesn’t suck:
- Provide links to your organization’s website and social media etc. Many candidates will be evaluating multiple opportunities simultaneously so including further ways to connect and learn more about your organization is beneficial.
- Select a searchable title and content. If your organization has a role that is commonplace in the industry but it has a unique title, this can work to your advantage but could be difficult to search for. For example, if “Director of Awesomeness” is actually “Director of Client Services” it is important to adjust content to include words like “clients” or “customer service” and other key phrases or terms in the body of the posting so it is easily found by candidates. The majority of job seekers will apply via a company website or job site advertisement, so a strong employer presence online and content that will appear in keyword searches is critical to attracting talent.
- Keep it concise. Job postings should not be more than 1 page (unless Executive level) so whenever possible dig in and consolidate the information by including only the most important details that a job seeker will need to know at this stage.
- Use captivating language that reflects your organization’s culture. Top talent will pass by your posting if the language is boring, lacks energy, and doesn’t form a connection with the job seeker. Be creative! It is especially important to differentiate your position if the role is common in the industry your organization operates in.
- Give clear explanation of role and key duties. Whether you are structuring your posting with qualifications and duties or more performance based, ensure candidates have a realistic job preview. Make acronyms, internal language or industry jargon clear (or remove them in some cases) especially if you are expecting candidates from outside of your industry to apply.
- Determine points of emphasis or calls to action. Is the job you are posting a new role, a leadership role, is your organization in a stage of growth or does it have a terrific culture? Think about what makes your role exciting, unique and attractive to candidates and format your posting to emphasize
- Make adjustments when needed. The best part about a job posting not being a job description is that it can and should be a living document. If the posting is not attracting the right candidates then re-evaluating the content and making some changes can make a significant impact on your search.
Jaysa is a Partner at Acuity HR where she leads the Recruitment division. Visit Acuity’s website (www.acuityhr.ca/forcandidates) for current opportunities and ideas on compelling content for job descriptions. Wondering how to phrase something better in one of your postings? Feel free to email Jaysa at firstname.lastname@example.org