are your job postings driving candidates away?

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If you’ve listed your job posting in all the right places but aren’t attracting qualified applicants, you might think the right people for the job are simply in short supply. Sure, it can be hard to find right-fit workers in today’s competitive talent landscape. But sometimes, it’s not them — it’s you.  

If you’re struggling to find the talent you need without waiting weeks — or even months — it could be that your job postings need a refresh to catch the attention of highly qualified, in-demand candidates. So let’s take a closer look at how to create a job posting that gets results.

are your job postings mobile friendly?

If your job postings aren’t optimized for mobile viewing, you’re going to have a hard time reaching today’s active job seekers. People of all ages and backgrounds use their smartphones to search for jobs, and a bad mobile experience can turn a potential candidate’s interest into disinterest within a few seconds. That means viable candidates are likely to become frustrated and not apply.

What’s more, your online presence sheds light on your organization’s ability to keep up with technology, and in a tight talent market, your company’s online image needs to reflect current standards. In fact, 62 percent of job seekers say a company’s reputation as a digital leader greatly influences their desire to join it.

recruit for what you actually need

Before heading to a job board, take the time to assess if the current job posting accurately reflects your needs. Even if the job title remains the same, the actual job responsibilities or the team’s needs may have shifted over time.

Think back on prior employees and any issues related to knowledge gaps or cultural fit. Then articulate what hard or soft skills will ensure a candidate’s best chance for success. And if you’re willing to train for some aspects of the role, note that in the posting.

be clear and precise

Think about what you would want to know if you were applying for the position. If the job posting is vague, repetitive or otherwise unclear, candidates probably won’t understand the requirements. That means you’re going to get a boatload of resumes from people casting a wide net, whether they’re qualified or not. On the other hand, highly capable candidates might see an imprecise or disorganized job posting as a red flag about the department or company — and they may decide to take their business elsewhere.

beware of buzzwords

It’s tempting to use trendy terminology to stand out among your competitors, and recruiting for a “rock star” or “ninja” may seem like the perfect way to attract the go-getter you need. But jargon and slang can polarize different audiences and will likely appeal to only a small sampling of qualified candidates.

Buzzwords can also imply gender or age bias and deter very capable individuals from applying, so if you’re tempted to be trendy, think again. Skip the buzzwords, and use inclusive language that clearly explains what professional or personal attributes the ideal candidate should have.

provide the right amount of detail

Because most online readers scan text rather than reading word for word, it’s important to provide the right amount of detail in an easy-to-read format. For example, be sure to describe the role’s day-to-day responsibilities, and clarify how the position functions within the organization. Clearly explain who the person will interact with on a daily basis (include job titles if possible) and specify the desired years of experience.

Some useful tips about writing and formatting your job description include putting the most important information first and using bullet points to make it easy for readers to scroll through topics.

why should a candidate work for you?

Taking a new job is a bit like starting a new life, so by describing life on the inside of the company, you’ll help candidates picture themselves as part of your team. Instead of relying solely on the corporate boilerplate to describe your organization, craft a few sentences about the perks, culture, camaraderie, traditions and opportunities available to those who join your company. These types of details reinforce your company’s brand and can help set you apart from competitors.

vet the job description

Ask someone who’s held or understands the role to read through the job posting. A pair of fresh eyes can help evaluate if responsibilities and expectations are realistic. A reviewer can also look for gaps and advise on recently added or “hidden” job responsibilities that should be included. A trusted staffing partner can also provide insight as to whether your job posting is on target and adheres to best practices.

A clear and well-thought-out job posting is your entrée to both active and passive job seekers. It helps candidates determine if they’re a good fit for your opening, and, if truly doing its job, will help the right candidates find their way to your inbox.

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