Article contributed by Pam Thornton
When was the last time you really reviewed your job postings or advertisements? Every industry, every employer is struggling to find the talent they need. If you’re like many of us, when you have an opening or continual openings, you are going into your files, pulling the job description and posting that on LinkedIn or Indeed or other job posting sites.
We were working with a member organization recently who was having real challenges even getting responses to their job ad. They couldn’t understand why they weren’t receiving at least a smattering of interest. They are a good, solid employer. They have a good reputation in the communities in which they operate, and yet they were having zero luck in soliciting applicants. Sound familiar? My guess is you are either in this situation or you are getting bombarded with applications and resumes that don’t meet any of the job qualifications.
So what should you do? With the job market in our region, and nationally, you need to be sure you are putting your best foot forward. In the situation I described above, the job description the company was using was more than 5-years old. It did not represent the current job functions or the skills, background and experience required for the position. The terminology, responsibilities and competencies were very outdated and were not resonating with applicants. Even the job title was not reflective of the position. Now is the time to update job titles and job descriptions. The effort will result in better-qualified candidates!
The next piece was the wording in the job posting; all this member organization did was post the job description. The description was several pages long . . . much longer than any candidate was going to read or absorb! Your posting needs to be concise – short and to the point. LinkedIn recommends fewer than 150 words! Remember, many candidates may be reviewing your ad on their smartphone not a computer. (A CareerBuilder study indicates that more than 70% of their traffic comes from mobile devices.)
Remember the marketing expression WIFM (What’s In It For Me)? This is a critical part of the job posting these days. The competition is fierce so you need to explain what’s in it for your candidates? Why do they want to come to work for your business? Pull in your marketing team. They are great at copywriting. In the posting, include your website so they can get to know more about the company. Ensure the links that you are using whether they are pointing to your overall website, the location to submit an application or resume, or a general page showing the benefits of working for you, are correct and are working! Having a bad link will turn a candidate off immediately.
Study the wording in your post. Is it inclusive? Would it tempt you to learn more about the job? Postings these days takes time, several reviews and several perspectives to be effective. Don’t sit in your office, create the post and put it up on a site. Have your marketing team review it. Have a relatively new employee review it. Call your best friend to have them critique it. Unless you are a truly great writer, you’ll need to have several drafts before you hit on the wording that will be effective.
Finally, ensure you are posting your job in the best places. Where have your most recent hires found you? Is LinkedIn or Indeed the best place? Would it be more effective on a trade or professional site? Can you send it to friends? Alumni/retirees of the organization? These days radio, TV, banner ads on internet sites, signs outside your location, are all great resources for employees. And, don’t forget about the One-Stop Career Centers. They have a wealth of candidates and have improved their screening and referral processes.
You need to find qualified candidates for your open positions. It would be great to have a pool of eligible candidates to choose from. Our message to the member organization mentioned above was, don’t rush this process. You need to invest time and talent if you are going to win in this job market. Best of luck!
- Step 1 | Ensure the job description/qualifications you are using is current and up-to-date
- Step 2 | Summarize the key responsibilities for the position – don’t post the entire job description
- Step 3 | Keep your posting short – 150 words or less – challenging I know!
- Step 4 | Ensure you’ve included the answer to what’s in it for me?
- Step 5 | Ensure the links you are including are actually working
- Step 6 | Write, rewrite and rewrite the job posting. The wording does matter – take the time to ensure it is placing your business in the best light.
- Step 7 | Post it where it will do the most good.