I get an email about once a week from an old friend, event attendee, LinkedIn connection, or student from my online course. They usually begin with a nice round of pleasantries. Then, they ask.
“I was just wondering if…”
“You mentioned you wouldn’t mind…”
“It would help a ton…”
They’re all sending me job postings to see if I will “just take a look.” They want to know if their job posting is any good. I get why they aren’t sure. I’ve traveled the world asking people if they have been taught how to write a job posting, and the overwhelming answer is, “Nope.”
The catch about figuring out if a job posting is any good is this: I don’t know if it’s good by reading or looking at it.
Measuring Success: What Metrics Measure Great Job Postings?
If I haven’t spoken to the hiring manager, I don’t know if your post is accurate. Accuracy is the No. 1 criteria of good and often where bias starts to creep into the job postings. However, accuracy isn’t precisely a measurable output. Instead, we need to look across multiple dimensions to understand the success of job postings.
The catch? Success isn’t universal, and every company should set its baseline for success. Start any recruiting project, including overhauling your job postings, with your goal already in mind. Ask yourself questions like these to distill your goals before you begin to write.
- What should all these applicants have in common?
- What volume would be ideal?
- What does success look like for this application process?
Some teams also look to metrics like application volume, quality of pipeline, and traffic as big wins.
My Job Post Isn’t Working. Now What?
Now, even without talking to the hiring manager or knowing your goals, I can tell you a few things that will drive the wrong results from job postings. For one thing, did you start by creating a job posting by copying and pasting what someone else wrote? Start over.
If your postings aren’t performing now, look to these areas of opportunity to create more effective ones:
- Job Title. If you’re not getting traffic, this is always the first thing to check. Your ideal candidate may not be using this job title to search for a role like yours. Ask current employees what they would search to find the job, then use Google Trends to understand which phrase gets the most search volume.
- Requirements. Is this a wish list or a list of experiences that would qualify a person for the job? Ensure this list is true, accurate, and has fewer than seven bullets to attract a broader, more diverse pool of candidates.
- Gender Bias. No women applying to your job? It may have something to do with the language you’re using. Use a free tool like Kat Matfield’s Gender Decoder to determine if you have some underlying bias in your post.
So if you’re wondering if your job post is good, don’t wonder. Simply take the advice above and make content stand out for all the right reasons and attract the right people.
Want more practical, concrete advice from Katrina by joining an interactive webinar, “How to Write Job Postings That People Will Actually Respond To,” on Thurs., July 29.