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How to write job postings that stand out & drive engagement

Jul 20, 2020

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Organizations seeking to engage a traditional employee or contingent worker must first develop an internal job description detailing the requirements of the job. Talent acquisition teams will use this internal document as a guide to create the best job posting to attract top talent.

The recruitment landscape was already in a state of constant change - and then the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe.

The virus has changed the how we live and work overnight, and as the world continues to navigate these times of uncertainty, general hiring practices are forced to be re-imagined in order to effectively engage the best candidates for the job or project.

Job postings must reflect the new world of work

Virtual job fairs, 100 per cent remote recruiting, video job interviews, job sites and gaining deeper insights into the candidate experience and the needs of job seekers are quickly becoming the new hiring practices for talent acquisition teams when they need to fill a job.

Video technology applications, like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Slack allow the ability to conduct remote job interviews via video conferencing, yet re-visiting your talent acquisition strategy is critical to ensuring the best candidates are engaging with your company.

However, before any of these hiring practices can be performed, organizations must first create a detailed job description that will help to create the best job posting (or job ads as they are similarly called) to attract the best possible candidates for the job.

And 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.

What makes the best 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 in filling the job. 

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

When creating the best job ads, consider if you are:

• 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 you're 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 to attracting talent to your job ads -- as expected, and your company must make a good first impression. Make sure to pique their interest by highlighting the “personality of your company.”

In the opening paragraph of your job ad, list the benefits of working for your company, and highlight the corporate culture. In job ads, it’s important to gain interest right from the start or risk losing that resource to another job.  

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 in job ads, you’ll also want to describe day-to-day responsibilities, start date, the length of the job and indicate how their work will impact the company.

Fifty-eight 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 job board reports that job ads 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 in your job ads. Video job postings that include current employees can also provide better insights into the job and what it’s like to work for your company.

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! Video job ads will also appear more engaging on job sites.

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" job, clicking on the job posting and discovering he or she will actually need 3+ years of experience for that job.

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.” The best job ads are are transparent as well as attractive.

Be mobile responsive

Smartphones and mobile devices have already disrupted the job market and 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 job ads. Job postings that scale to smartphones and mobile devices make it easier for your company to engage with this rising demographic of talent.

What's it like to work there? Emphasize employer brand

As the job market starts to eventually return to a new sense of normalcy, candidates will want to know how companies treated their workforce during the COVID-19 outbreak. Organizations must balance the decisions made today to address immediate concerns during the pandemic with the long-term impact on their employment brand that will span the next several years.

When it comes to creating the best job ads, how will talent acquisition teams highlight what it's like to work for the organization while the candidate will (most likely) be working from home? Make sure that your organization highlights your corporate culture and what it will be like working for the company for the candidate who gets a job offer.

What is the best job posting site for employers?

A job site and job boards are great platforms to finding top candidates with an attractive job post. Yet, while job boards can deliver great candidates, there are some important differences between the different job boards employers should make note of. A job post featured on sites like Indeed.com, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Google for Jobs or Careerbuilder can garner top candidates.

Communicate with your staffing agency

Staffing firms have a role to play in meeting clients’ changing skills requirements and creating the best job ads from detailed job descriptions . Often, the criteria for a job may vary due to a number of changing factors related or unrelated to the job, 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 that job. 

At the very least, open communication with a staffing partner will ensure both the hiring manager and recruiter understand the job requirements and the give and takes on the must have and nice to have requirements for the job. 

A trusted partner should be 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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