Many people think writing a job listing is easy. You put in the necessary skills and experiences. You list a few details about the position. Then you publish it to a job board and wait for the applications to pour in.
But there’s a lot of competition to stand out on a job board. In fact, Spark Hire’s latest research found that job boards are the number one source of candidates relied upon by companies. Nearly 57 percent of hiring professionals use them.
Being able to write attractive job advertisements that engage candidates is an art — one that isn’t easy to master. Here’s some advice from hiring experts:
1. Know the difference between a job description and a job advertisement.
“Contrary to what you might read online or in print, job adverts aren’t job descriptions. Job adverts should reflect ‘why’ someone should apply for your job. A job description only tells people what they already know about your job. To articulate why someone should apply for your job, you should focus on what benefits they’re likely to get with your company — and why your job opportunity is better than the job they’re doing now. This approach improves the quality of your ad and it also attracts people who may not necessarily be looking for another job.”
Mark Pearce, director of Strategic Recruitment Blog
2. Remove “required” from your vocabulary.
“Required. This can be very off-putting and most ‘requirements’ are actually a ‘desire’. A better word to use is ‘preferred’. If a potential top candidate sees five required skills and they only have two — but have other transferable skills — they may not apply at all. Be sure to comb through your job description. Highlight the absolute requirements (education, software, etc.) and outline other desires as preferred.”
Marisa Sniff, senior talent acquisition specialist at Combined Insurance
3. Remember, it’s the start of a relationship.
“When an employee joins a company, it’s a relationship. Both sides need to know who they are signing up with to ‘date’. Being transparent breeds trust, and trust creates a solid relationship. Make sure a job description tells this story of who you really are so that you get the employees your company really needs.
“Describe the core values of the company and the culture. Candidates should understand the ‘personality and competencies’ of the company as much as the company should understand the personality and competencies of the candidate.”
Jill Ball, director of programs and president-elect for the Western New York chapter of the National Human Resource Association
4. Don’t go overboard.
“Your job posts should be digestible. Similar to a resume, most candidates quickly glance over a job to decide if they should read further. If your title, introduction, and basic qualifications are boring, hard to understand, or unclear, top candidates will pass over your job. Make the important things pop and avoid a long list of qualifications that can become a turnoff to candidates.”
Matt Greenburg, head of recruiting at ZeroCater
Ready for the next step in the hiring process? Download our guide for crafting the best interview questions here!