Elements of Job Postings That Work

I have heard so often from recruiters about how ineffective job postings can be. Usually, the comments range from, “I received so many resumes that I will never be able to review all of them,” or, “All I got were candidates that weren’t qualified for the position,” to, “I hardly received any response at all.” These are not uncommon problems for many recruiters. But by following a few of the basic guidelines I’ve listed below, you should be able to vastly improve the results you receive from your job postings:

  1. Analyze the job description. All too often, job postings are just copies of job descriptions. If you take the time to read your company’s job descriptions, you’ll probably be surprised at how poorly they’re written from the standpoint of giving a clear picture of the position. If you are just posting job descriptions word for word, and they do not clearly define the role of the position and the skills required, you’re setting yourself up for poor results. I recommend that you not post the description off a job requisition for this very reason. Use the information on the requisition as a basis for information, but not as the complete posting.
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  3. Focus on the doings. This is a critical element of an effective job posting. Postings need to focus on what a person will actually be doing in the position. Mention information that will grab a candidate’s attention and entice them to apply for the position. If the position is going to be working on a leading initiative for the company, then it’s important to include this in the posting. Yes, the requirements and responsibilities of the position are important, but by focusing on what a person will be doing on a day-to-day basis you’ll help potential candidates determine if they are qualified and if it is a position worth pursuing for them.
  4. The pitch drives clicks. Have you ever gone to a job board and typed in a broad job title like “Marketing Manager”? If you have, then you know that you’ll come up with literally hundreds, if not thousands, of positions. Most job seekers are not sophisticated enough to know how to effectively narrow down their results when searching for a position on a job board. Since this is the case, you need to make your position sounds more interesting than all the rest. Start with the title that is seen when the list of open positions is viewed by a job seeker. Then take that title and add a twist to it. In other words, don’t just use a generic title like “Marketing Manger.” Spice it up with something like, “World-class Company Seeking Marketing Guru.” Stand out from the pack and your postings will get more clickthroughs than the competition.
  5. Add some spice, but keep it simple. Job seekers get tired of reading the same job postings over and over again. Add some spice to your posting by detailing what the new hire will be doing in this role. Include some interesting facts about your company that makes your opportunity different than all the other postings. But be concise and to the point. No one wants to have to read a novel just to find out about a position they may or may not be qualified for.
  6. Details prevent unqualified resumes. Now that you’ve focused on the doings, the pitch, and added some spice, you want to narrow down the number of unqualified people that apply for the position. This is where listing out the minimum qualifications is very important. Don’t be vague, be direct. The opening sentence for the skills and requirements section of the position should read something like this: “In order to be considered for this position you must meet the following minimum qualifications.” It tells the job seeker that you are serious about the qualifications. This may be a turn off to some, but these are usually the job seekers who aren’t qualified for the position in the first place.
  7. Regulate where you post. There are many job posting services that claim to post on hundreds of free sites as well as pay sites. Well, free is great, but free things almost always come with some sort of price, even if it isn’t monetary. The price in this instance will probably be a lot of unqualified resumes. If you use a multiple job posting service, it’s important that you know where your job opportunities are being placed in order to help avoid more unqualified resumes in the future.

If you start following these guidelines, you should be well on your way to maximizing the number of interested, qualified candidates who respond and minimizing the unqualified responses. This will free up your time and resources to focus even more attention on the candidates that do meet the qualifications for your positions.

Scott Hagen (shagen@recruiters-aid.com) is a graduate of San Diego State University, with over 8 years of high tech corporate recruiting experience with industry leaders such as Qualcomm, Cymer, and Pyxis. Scott is also a co-designer of the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System). Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results-or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest free recruiting resource sites (http://www.recruiters-aid.com/kit.html) online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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