Hiring can be hard, and complex. Luckily, internal recruiters and hiring managers now have the ability to post a job across multiple platforms almost instantly, in order to attract talent to the opportunity. However, most of the job postings I have seen lately seem to be generic, and they definitely do not paint the picture of the opportunity enough to attract the ideal talent.
So, how can you ensure your job posting is getting you the right talent? First things first, you need to understand exactly what you are looking for.
Before writing a job description, you need to understand the needs of the business and why this position is open. Your needs today can change by tomorrow, so don’t make the mistake of just writing a job posting without gathering intel from the key stakeholders for this position.
If you are an internal recruiter who is responsible for writing this job posting, make sure the Hiring Manager understands the value in working with you to write out all the key components of the role. Ask him What this person will be doing? and Why the position is open? Go way beyond a basic skill set. This will not only establish a strong relationship for you and the hiring manager, but it will allow you to better understand the full scope of the role. Think of how much stronger your messaging to potential candidates could be when you you understand the business implications of this hire. Not to mention, you will be able to ask more thoughtful questions, and easily identify the right candidates.
Sell the Job
Once you have gathered all of the requirements, write them down. But, put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes. What will they want to see? Then ask the Hiring Manager if the post is accurate. Is it missing anything? Are you conveying the opportunity appropriately?
Job descriptions have become less about the requirements for the job, and more about the way a candidate views the opportunity. You need to present the job in way that is all about them and have fun with it. Paint the picture of the job, sell the dream – you should be thinking about the ideal candidate and what is going to be attractive to them. You can get into the details on a phone screen so don’t feel like you have to publish everything in a single job description – in fact if it is too long they won’t read it. There is a fine line between selling the dream and publishing requirements – identify what the must-haves are for this role and definitely include them, but make sure to shift the focus to the exciting aspects of the job that will appeal to the ideal candidate.
Studies have shown that you have about 10 seconds to capture the attention of a job seeker with a job description. What would you want them to read in those 10 seconds that would get them to keep reading?
Job titles are where I see a lot of job postings miss opportunity. If the job title is vague, doesn’t match the job description, or is not conveying the appropriate experience level, you are already attracting the wrong talent.
In our world, we see folks post for a Salesforce Developer all of the time when in reality the job description reads as a Salesforce Administrator. This can mean two things, either the needs are not understood, or someone picked the wrong job title. Either way-you are missing talent.
Are you looking for a VP of Sales Operations? You’d be surprised how many times we see companies post a job and the title is simply “Sales Operations” without the VP title – don’t leave out the seniority in the title! Similarly, people thinks its fun to get creative with titles. However, that does not work when the candidate is searching by job title. Call the job what it is, you can get creative in the description.
Benefits & Perks
There will always be extra information that you want to share, but don’t go overboard. Almost every job posting I see starts with a background on the company. Most people I know are already doing some research on your company before reading a job posting, so you may not need that extra detail. Perks? Love them, but again, don’t go overboard. Just think about what makes your company unique that is worth being in the description to set you apart. I’ve seen a few companies have a separate benefits section on their website that you can link to directly from the job description. Candidates who are interested in the benefits or perks will click on them, trust me.
One thing I see companies leave out all too often is exciting and upcoming projects. What are some major initiatives this person will work on? I know we have to keep some things confidential, but if you can share some of the unique initiatives in the description, you’ll stand out.
Lastly, while job postings are a great way to market opportunities and your company, keep in mind they are not the only way to find talent. As most recruiter’s know, 80% of talent in the market is passively looking. So, all that time you spend writing job descriptions is still not reaching some of the best talent for the role. Make sure you are putting efforts towards outbound sourcing, and relay them to your killer post for more information on the role!