What you’re relying on the most to pull in quality job candidates might in fact be doing the opposite of what you want it to do. It’s your job posting. To find out if you’re totally misusing your job postings, ask yourself if you’re doing this -
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re missing out on the real purpose of your job postings.
Your Job Posting’s Job
The purpose of your job posting (it’s job) is to attract people to your jobs and convert their interest into an action. For the action to happen, you need an emotional reaction like –
That sounds like me!
I want to work there!
This is what I’ve been looking for!
I would change jobs for this!
Your internal job description isn’t likely to get that response. In fact, advertising your full job description might be getting you more of the wrong candidates because it’s so dry and detailed that no one is reading it.
Why You Do What You’ve Always Done
If you’ve always used your internal job descriptions for your postings, it’s time to ask yourself why.
It could be that this is what you’ve always done. It could be that you don’t have a good writer at your disposal. It could be that you don’t know what you should write. It could also be that someone at some time thought that using the full job description would weed out unqualified candidates when it’s probably doing the opposite.
How to Reframe Your Job Postings
Your job postings are marketing messages. That means that the first thing you need to do is to flip your perspective from having them be all about what you want, to more about what the job seeker is looking for and what’s going to motivate them to change their status quo.
Here are some ideas to help you create more compelling job descriptions.
Change Your Tone
Job descriptions are usually written in a very formal tone. Write your job postings in a conversational style, like you were telling someone all about the job.
Paint a Picture
You’ll help job candidates imagine themselves working at your company if you’re more descriptive about exactly what the job is like and where they’ll be working.
Be sensitive to the vocabulary that your target job candidate uses. Stumbling over words doesn’t make people feel capable. Erasing jargon also makes the text more skimable.
Avoid Worthless Words
What does “excellent communication skills” really mean? How about “dependable” or “self-motivated?” Think about how you can describe attributes with examples of activities that will come up in the job duties.
Communicate “What’s in it for me?”
While wages, salary and benefits definitely play an important part in a person’s choice to accept a job offer, the more you communicate your employer value proposition, the more opportunity you have to speak to candidates’ motivation for changing jobs.
Answer Top Questions
Help candidates select and de-select themselves by answering top questions in your job posting. These could be about the opportunity to work remotely, the possibility of a flexible schedule, or expectations for working overtime, or anything else that’s you’ve discovered is a deal-breaker for candidates.
Make Your Posting Searchable
Find out what words people are really using to search for jobs like yours then optimize each job posting page for those words and your location.
Provide a Good Website Experience
No pdfs. No tables that aren’t mobile optimized. In fact, everything should be mobile optimized and up to date. (When’s the last time you updated your website?) If you don’t know what kind of website experience you’re offering right now, just go to your website and pretend that you’re a job seeker and see what it’s like to move around your website. Try out your online application process and see if it’s easy or frustrating.
Call People to Action
The content on your job posting is supposed to lead to one thing if what you’re describing resonates with the job seeker and that’s an application. So make sure that the “Apply” step is easy to see and it works.
Offer a Secondary Call to Action
Provide a secondary action for people who are interested but not ready to apply or who have a question. Sometimes a job move is all about timing so give people a way to keep in touch.
Stop Wasting Your Job Postings
Your job posting is just one piece of the candidate journey but for many companies it’s the ONLY thing they’re relying on to meet their recruiting goals. Fortunately, the words you need to turn your job postings into the marketing tools that they’re supposed to be are out there. You just need someone to put them together.
Contact me to explore how I can help you find the right words, and also help you uncover and share the stories that will set you apart from the other companies competing for the same labor.