How to Get the Most Out of Your Job Posting

Posting jobs effectively is essential to attracting the best talent
Posting jobs effectively is essential to attracting the best talent

As with most things in life, quality trumps quantity when it comes to job applicants. Attracting the best candidates for your business’s open positions is far more important than accruing hundreds of resumes of unqualified responders. Here’s how to get the right applicants at the right time, reduce your application process drop-offs, and maximize your recruiting budget.

Improve the Posting

Candidates use multiple channels to find their next jobs. Posting jobs to the right channels is critical to reaching them at the best time and in the best context. Your next hire could find your job posting via Google, search engines, company career sites, job boards, social media, or social networks – and then use these avenues as well as their social connections to vet jobs and companies. When posting jobs, it’s imperative that your job listing is optimized accordingly. A few tips:

  • Simplify the job title. Use what your candidates will search for—specifically common industry standard job titles and job location. Avoid using questions, abbreviations, acronyms, and anything cutesy or insider. Include your company’s logo if that’s an option.
  • Limit the job description to two or three sentences—no more than 100 words.
  • Use “you” so the applicant sees herself in the position.
  • List the must-have qualifying skills and certifications. Focus on the deal-breaker requirements and eliminate any that are inherent or inferred like “communication skills.”
  • Use bullet points. The posting should be easy to briefly scan, as many job seekers are looking at listings while at their current job.
  • Note if the job is entry-level, full-time, or part-time. Indicate those jobs hiring immediately.
  • Target the candidates you are seeking and speak their language. The tone of your organization (professional and serious or fun and casual?) should also be reflected in the job ad.
  • Provide sufficient company info to entice applicants to want to learn more and apply.
  • Add pictures, images, and video. “If you have a two- to three-minute ‘about us’ video, embed it into your posting,” Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter, says.
  • Include salary and compensation information. “Disclosing a range helps candidates self-select out because they can better judge whether they're over- or under-qualified,” Rothberg says. “And employers should be able to communicate with candidates why they should be paid toward the bottom or top of the desired range.”
  • Outline the application process and set expectations (including timeline) of what's going to happen once the application is submitted.
  • End the post with a clear call-to-action like “I'm interested” linked to the application portal.
  • Optimize the URL by including the company name, job title, and job location in the address.
  • Have an employee currently in the position you’re hiring for comment and incorporate her feedback.
  • Update the job posting to reflect changes as necessary.

Simplify the Process

Posting jobs effectively is a first step in reaching potential hires, but even if you’ve created the perfect job posting, your application process could turn off qualified candidates. Great talents are often already employed and do not have time to spare on extensive application processes, so make applying easy for them. Here’s how:

  • See things from the candidate’s perspective. Go through the application process as a job seeker would, taking note of how many questions you have to answer and how many clicks it takes to apply. The longer the process, the higher your drop-off percentage will be.
  • Avoid requesting personal or confidential information early on in the process. With privacy concerns, many applicants may opt out if asked for social security numbers without a legitimate explanation for why it’s being collected.
  • Make account and log-in creation a final step, after the resume has been submitted.
  • Eliminate any unnecessary steps and link directly to the requisition page.
  • Optimize for mobile, streamlining pages to load quickly.
  • Acknowledge receipt of the candidate’s application and indicate next steps in an email.

Be Competitive

Consider job seekers as “consumers of work.” As in the marketplace, simply posting jobs is not enough unless you can win over customers by providing a superior product—ensure your posting is an improvement over your competitors’ for similar jobs. Try these: 

  • Look at your competitors’ career sites and job postings. Compare job titles, in particular, to make sure yours is less likely to be found via search.
  • Investigate integrating an applicant tracking system into your process, particularly if you’re hiring at a higher volume. This will provide basic metrics like recruiting effectiveness that could help improve productivity.
  • Post job listings on your company’s career site.
  • Post listings on the best career sites.
  • Make sure your Website matches what’s being posted about jobs. The careers pages could be an applicant’s (and potential customer’s) first impression of your organization.
  • Post photos and stories about your company on your site.
  • Consider paid promotion of your job postings on jobs sites to drive additional visibility.

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