5 Reasons Your Job Posts Aren’t Working

Dec 3, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 3.28.04 PMAlthough the title of this article promises five reasons why your job posts aren’t working, there is really one big reason: The best candidates always come through referrals. As a matter of fact, that’s where we get roughly 80 percent of our candidates.

That being said, sometimes you’ve tapped out your networks and you need to advertise your job opening across the Internet. When push has thus come to shove, here are the five top job post mistakes to avoid.

  • The job title is too “inside.”  When creating a job post, you have to make sure the title is functional and adequately describes the position. For instance, if the job is “account executive,” but your company has more of an upbeat brand with a relaxed culture, you may internally refer to this position as a client advocate. While “client advocate” may seem to be self-explanatory to you, it could mean a lot of different things to people outside your organization. If “account executive” accurately describes the role, then for the sake of attracting the right applicants, it makes sense to call it that.
  • It’s not scannable. As one Aquent internal recruiter points out, “Most job seekers are scanning. They are on the hunt for the right job and will look at a job post and scan the details before deciding to apply, or to ignore it. By organizing key responsibilities with bullet points, the readability of the post will increase and catch the attention of the right people.” In addition to bulleted lists, separate sections with descriptive headers that allow potential applicants to scan the important facts as quickly and easily as possible.
  • The actual location of the job is unclear. Too many posts fail to specify exactly where the applicant will be working (even if it is off-site) and therefore miss out on qualified applicants who use that detail when determining whether to apply or not. Today, millennials form a large portion of the talent pool and many of them are looking for flexibility in location (including the option to work from home and/or travel). If the position offers that kind of flexibility, or at least regular opportunities to be out of the office, be sure to mention it in the post.
  • The post doesn’t adequately represent your brand. As with anything the company publishes, a job post contributes to the overall representation of your brand. Do not forget this when crafting the post and make sure the language and style paint an accurate picture not only of the job itself, but also what it will be like to work for your company and, more importantly, what your company stands for.
  • No call to action. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times companies neglect to make it crystal clear how to actually apply for the job. You don’t want to frustrate qualified candidates by hiding the “apply” link or making the process overly cumbersome. At the same time, if there are elements of the application that are essential — code or work samples, for example –be sure to spell that out and specify exactly how you would like to receive such material.

If you want to attract the best candidates, your best bet is to invest in the cultivation of a robust talent referral network.

In the meantime, if you have to rely on job posts to attract the people you’re looking for, follow our advice and write them in a way that is easy to read, easy to understand, and clearly lays out the details — responsibilities, location, how to apply  that will matter most to job seekers.