1. Be Accurate First. Market Second.
Writing a great job posting is a far more complicated task than most people think. A strong job posting is first and foremost accurate. If your job posting is accurate, your future employee will know what’s expected of them before they’re even hired—laying the groundwork for success. Meanwhile, an inaccurate job posting can lead to a poor applicant pool, and misunderstandings.
Job postings can be both a recruiting tool and an advertisement for your company. Once you’re sure you have all the facts correct, discuss with your marketing team whether the job posting is on-brand. Most companies have brand guidelines that define their company’s voice and culture. There’s no need to go overboard, but adjusting a job posting to fit your company’s style will help increase the likelihood that your new employee is the right fit.
2. Make Sure the Job Posting You Write Has All the Parts
A job posting need not account for every task that an employee might ever do. On the other hand, it should absolutely list the basics, like:
- Job Title
- Type of Employment (Full-time, Part-Time, or Temporary)
- Expected Hours or Shifts
- Likelihood of Overtime or Weekend Work
- List of General Responsibilities
- Requirements and/or Preferences in:
- Technical Skills
3. Don’t Be Coy about Salary in your Job Posting
Many employers choose not to list a salary range when they write their job postings. This makes sense if the salary of the job you are offering has considerable variance. For example, if you’re not sure whether you want to hire someone junior-level with less experience and train them, or whether you’d like to hire someone more senior level who can hit the ground running—you might set a salary range to Depends on Experience (DOE) in order to capture both types of candidates.
Not setting a range for the sole purpose of trying to minimize salary, though, may not be the best strategy. Savvy, busy professionals may not have the patience to submit an application without knowing whether the salary meets their expectations; and less qualified candidates might take the lack of a salary range as an indication that they can get in the door by keeping their demands low.
If you have a budget and know what level of experience you’re looking for, setting a salary (or salary range) at the low end of your scale will help ensure a stronger—and more refined— applicant pool, while leaving room for negotiation if the applicant you want requests more.
4. Research Job Titles and Get Them Right
Job titles matter. A writer is different from a content manager. A director is different from a manager. A CEO is different from an owner. Because job boards like Indeed, or Glassdoor are so crowded with job postings, job seekers are quickly searching on the titles they think they fit, and ignoring other jobs that they might also qualify for. Consider who you’re trying to hire, and what job title they might be searching on. Consider less sophisticated titles for junior positions, and more sophisticated ones for senior ones.
5. Don’t Overdo It
While it’s important when writing a job posting to list the tasks and responsibilities that will take up the majority of an employees’ time, this can be done in a general way. The digital format allows for longer job postings, but consider keeping them short and sweet so a potential candidate doesn’t pass them over. Think of ways to shorten your posting. For example, instead of writing, “posts status updates to Facebook, creates tweets for Twitter, and produces articles for LinkedIn,” you might simply say, “manages social media channels.”
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Job Posting
One of the advantages of digital communication is that it’s easy to edit. If your needs change, or if you’re not pulling in enough (or the wrong kind of) applicants, don’t hesitate to edit or rewrite your posting. Because search tools are so sophisticated, a simple word change can alter the number and types of applicants that your job posting draws in.
7. Broadcast Your Job Description Everywhere
The task of writing a strong job posting doesn’t stop when you save it to your hard drive. Writing also means promoting. Savvy recruiters post the job on dozens of job boards, and then promote those postings across their company’s social media channels.
If you’re a busy recruiter, you know how time-consuming the writing and promotion of a job can be. That’s why HR professionals are turning more and more frequently to recruitment software to automate the promotion of their job openings across job boards and social media.
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