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Writing job postings that work

Mar 17, 2020

Wendy Kennah
Wendy Kennah

The recruitment landscape is constantly changing. A demand for critical skills, the rise of young talent and a shift in hiring attitudes towards employment have forced organizations to update their talent acquisition strategies to reflect this environment in order to engage the right talent.

Yet, unless your organization is a household name, chances are that when a job seeker clicks on your job posting, it’s their first time engaging with your brand.

In today's current economic environment where talent has the upper hand in choosing how and where they want to work, employers need to work harder to stand out as the most attractive opportunity. Yet, with 20 million jobs listed on Indeed, your job posting must be a compelling one if it has a chance of attracting the skills you need.

Here are the elements involved in creating a high performance job posting.

Start with the real 'First Step' in talent acquisition: Job postings

In many organizations, it's common for job postings to be considered as elements set apart from the talent acquisition process, when they are, in fact, one of the first and most important factors in effective recruitment and set the tone for everyone involved. 

A careful consideration of job postings should include all stakeholders involved in the hire -- from hiring managers and compensation teams to procurement folks and external staffing partners. When beginning the recruitment process, an early collaboration on job postings will ensure hiring managers and recruiters understand the requirements and the level of flexibility within them.  

Are your job postings:
• Conveying the requirements of the role?
• Selling the company?
• Setting worker expectations?

Crafting compelling job postings is a critical step in marketing your company to a future hire, and you may need to re-think the way you’re interacting with job seekers. Once your ready to take your job external, here's how to create an effective job posting:

Lead with a candidate first approach

A great candidate experience is essential -- and expected, and your organization must make a good first impression. Pique their interest by highlighting the “personality of your company.” In the opening paragraph, list the benefits of working for your organization and highlight the corporate culture. It’s important to gain interest right from the start or risk losing that resource to another opportunity.  

For example :
• Do you offer flexible work hours?
• Are you working with cutting-edge technologies?
• Are there professional opportunities or meetups?

Pay attention to details

Along with listing the must haves and nice to have skills, industry experience and desired level of education, you’ll also want to describe day-to-day responsibilities, start date, the length of the project and indicate how their work will impact the organization.

58 per cent of job seekers had a negative application experience with job postings that lacked  details about the company and/or position!

Keep it concise

An effective job posting will find the balance between providing enough details about the role and company, while being kept to a minimum. Indeed reports that job postings kept between 700 and 2,000 characters receive up to 30 per cent more applications!

Consider including a video

Whether it’s user generated or externally sourced content, video will engage more than text, and can better articulate your corporate brand and work environment. Video job postings that include current employees can also provide better insights into the position and what it’s like to work for your organization.

Digi-Me finds that video job ads are 53x more likely to appear on the first page of Google searches and can improve a candidate’s understanding of a job by as much as 300 per cent!

Avoid contribution to experience inflation

A misleading job posting is a mistake that not only contributes to experience inflation, but also leads to creating a negative candidate experience. For example, a major frustration entry level job seekers encounter is searching for an "entry level" position, clicking on the job posting and discovering he or she will actually need 3+ years of experience. Research finds that out of 1,286 entry level labelled jobs, 94 per cent of them were discarded because they required years of previous experience. When creating job postings, it’s important to “say what you mean.”

Be mobile responsive

Smartphones and mobile devices have already disrupted the recruitment process. Today’s job market is primarily made up of younger talent, with millennials expected to account for 35 per cent of the global workforce by next year—and 78 per cent of them are currently using mobile devices to look for a job. Job postings that scale to smartphones and mobile devices make it easier for your organization to engage with this rising demographic of talent.

Communicate with your staffing agency

Staffing firms have a role to play in meeting clients’ changing skills requirements. Often, the criteria for a job may vary due to a number of changing factors, and the help from a great recruiter can aid hiring managers in re-thinking the way they craft a job posting to attract the right talent to the role. At the very least, open communication with a staffing partner will ensure both the hiring manager and recruiter understand the role requirements and the give and takes on the must have and nice to have requirements. 

As a trusted partner, Procom is committed to advising our clients on the best solutions available to meet their business goals and deliver innovative services that transform how they acquire and manage talent.

Are you considering updating your current talent acquisition strategy? Learn how adding a direct sourcing component will help you connect to qualified candidates faster with our free Guide: What is Direct Sourcing?


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