7 Tips for Crafting Job Postings That Hook the Best Candidates
Hiring a new employee is a big investment. According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, in their publication, Retaining Talent: A guide to analyzing and managing employee turnover,it costs roughly six to nine months of an employee’s salary to find, hire and sufficiently train their replacement.
This is just one of the reasons why it’s so important to find the right person for the job – and then keep them on board.
However, finding the right person can become much more complicated than originally anticipated. One way to streamline the hunt is to craft job advertisements and posts that attract the most qualified and desirable candidates.
Here are our 7 tips on Creating Job Advertisements
Before you write the next boilerplate, sounds-like-every-other-job-advertising-post-you’ve-ever-written, take a moment to run through these seven tips. You might find that a change in tone, or more selective word choices, will narrow the applicant pool to a more reasonable number – and more qualified professionals.
Think like an SEO marketer. As a small business owner, you’re probably well-versed in the way of search engine optimization. That’s great; now use that skillset when creating the title of your job posting. The large majority of the posts are read online, and that means your best candidates will be searching for the post using words that are most relevant to the position. Optimizing your post’s title, subheadings and keywords will help the right people find you.
Include compensation. Writing a job posting without anything about hourly/salary compensation is like posting a craigslist ad without a picture. The most interested takers are going to pass you right up – especially if your competitors are more forthcoming. Applicants don’t want to waste time applying for jobs that pay much less than they’re making now – so withholding the financial information may cause you to miss out.
Include the non-negotiables. Are there certifications, degrees, prior experience, or any other non-negotiable must-haves for the position? Include them in the job post. Use bold or capitals so prospective applicants who otherwise would have tried to slip in under the radar are more likely to not apply. This will save valuable HR time that’s otherwise wasted on resume reviews or first-round interviews with unqualified candidates.
List the notable benefits. Your company may be used to the fact that the business park you’re in offers affordable daycare to your employees, or that parking is free in your building, or that employees get subsidized membership to a local gym – even if compensation isn’t the best. All of these benefits are noteworthy. However, these specialty perks may pique the interest of candidates who might otherwise have passed on the lower wages.
Consider using infographics. The reality is that our digital culture is rapidly transitioning us into a population of skimmers. Putting together a clever info-graphic with a basic job title/description, Must-Haves, Don’t Haves and basic salary and/or benefits information could be beneficial. This visual tool will help your ad stand out among the black-and-white text pack and might be more attractive to those who are creative or appreciate the less-traditional approach..
Request a cover letter. Cover letters are excellent HR screening tools. It can provide more information about a candidates communication skills, education, or just the simple ability to follow basic instructions. For example, if you’ve received 100 applications for a single application you asked for a cover letter and resume, they gave you a resume only – they’re out. It’s an easy weeding technique. They can also be a good way to get a better idea of the candidates’ personalities. If you don’t like the idea of wading through another page of writing, sneak a surprise application instruction into the middle of the ad so you can easily isolate those who paid attention to detail from those who didn’t.
Forward it and proof it. Before you send the job advertisement out into the world, forward it to at least three to five in-house “proofers” (aka, your trusted employees). In addition to traditional proofreading (the last thing you want is an embarrassing spelling error) – they may have insight into instructions or additions that yield an even better, more targeted job advertisement for the position and/or your company culture.
The better your job ads are specifically targeted and relevant, the more efficient your hiring process will be. That’s time, energy and money worth saving.