The job post is the candidate’s first peek of not only the job role but also the company you are hiring for. You owe it to your client to make compelling job posts that will reel in a number of applicants and attract the cream of the crop. Attention to detail, choice of words, and control over length are aspects you should consider so that a potential candidate would want to read through your job post and hit the apply button.
Trust that you don’t need the best writing skills to come up with noteworthy job descriptions. Writing job posts can actually be a simple task for you or your recruiters, with proper knowledge of its dos and don’ts. Here are three general tips on how to write compelling job posts, with a slew of suggestions on how to achieve them.
1. Be mindful of what you put in.
You really can’t control whether a candidate has questions about the job posts or not. However, you can still assure your client that your job posts introduce the vacancy and the company well. Just as with any writing assignment, the job description mustn’t dilly-dally on details.
While you probably know the basic information to put in your job ads, turning them into effective job posts means going a step ahead when it comes to content. Consider the following information or tweaks next time you aim for a spick and span job description:
Opt to be more specific about the job role.
This will help you in the long run if the nature of the vacancy can already be described just by the job title alone. A website developer would entice a wide range of professionals, but a “back-end website developer” will already trim the crowd. If you feel your client gave you general names of positions to hire, ask them if they have a more specific title.
You wouldn’t want to find out halfway through the hiring process that a candidate isn’t the one you’re looking for; the person shouldn’t have applied in the first place. A specific job role contributes to setting the right expectations for the candidate, the company, and you as the recruiter.
Describe the hiring process.
Potential hires would appreciate it a lot if they knew what they would go through right from the get-go. It alleviates anxiety, sets a reasonable time frame, and gives them an idea of where they are in the hiring process.
Don’t be vague with salary details.
To start off: yes, it’s better to have salary details posted upfront because it’s a major deal-breaker if the applicant will accept the job. While some companies would rather reveal this at the end, it’s part of experience management to assure the candidate doesn’t end the process with feelings of disappointment.
If the company isn’t comfortable giving an exact figure, opt for a range well within what’s current in the industry. Words like “salary based on experience” would only make sense if you provide a good range. Salary range also gives a leeway for negotiation with the applicant. Effective job posts are well off without words like “competitive salary” or “generous compensation.” Be specific, or at least give a good estimate.
2. Effective job posts have good readability.
Now that you’ve improved what’s inside your job posts, let’s talk about readability: how the post is formatted, what order to put info in, and so on. Treat your job posts as something anyone would read every day, like newspaper articles or lifestyle blog posts. As much as the specific details inside would count, how your job posts appear in a general sense is still a factor if it’s worth reading. Wordiness will turn future applicants off.
When they see a job post that has too much to say, they’ll move on to ones that are easier to read. Remember that time is their enemy in looking for the right job, so it’s better to spend time reading many short job posts than a few long ones. To format your ads into effective job posts, remember the following:
Go within a 300-700 word count.
This is an optimal length so that your job post is neither too long nor too short. If you can include everything in a bit over 300 words, the job post will appear very short, thus more enticing to read. However, job ads also need to be as complete as possible without looking like it’s almost an article. Keep the 300-700-word count in mind when trimming content to ensure only the essential is mentioned.
Requirements and job tasks should only be within five to ten bullets.
It’s a no-brainer to put the applicant’s needed qualifications and future responsibilities in bullet form for easier reading. But like with word count, a threshold on what’s too many is imperative. List down requirements from non-negotiables to ones that are “an advantage.” List down tasks starting with immediate responsibilities. You may opt-out to mention obvious responsibilities, like reporting to the supervisor or upholding company values. They don’t really add to the specific job role.
Introduce the company briefly.
No need to talk about the company’s history, who founded it, and other factoids — these will only appear as fluff for someone seeking to be hired right away. It’s not that they are uninteresting pieces of knowledge; only it’s not what a candidate is looking for. A short introduction of the company will do: what do they do, what are their mission and vision, why they are looking for someone to fill out the job vacancy. The company’s website or social media handles will suffice if the applicant wants to know more about them.
Decide on the job ad’s tone.
Come to terms with your client on what the tone of the job description should be. A more casual tone gives the impression that the company is fun to work at and emphasizes a comfortable work environment and an enriching professional community. On the other hand, a formal approach sends a message that the company means business, and only serious-minded applicants should be the ones sending their resumes.
Yes, a middle ground is possible, though the tone might be something you need to run by your client first. Ask them how they would like their company to come off in the job description, and let it be your arrow on what direction you will take in writing the ad.
3. Let others check your job ad before publishing.
Proofreading and editing are non-negotiables when publishing written work. It’s imperative to have input about your ads before putting them up on social media or jobhunting websites. Seek various ways to ensure that you’ve written the most effective job posts that meet client expectations and are at par with other ads out there:
- Run the ads by peers or your team, and ask them to comment on them as if they are the intended audience.
- If you have colleagues or connections to companies who have employed the ideal applicant you’ve described, ask if the ad will attract the best candidates, especially for industry-specific jobs.
- You may also look at existing ads on job boards and social media to see trends on what information is included and how they are presented.
Publishing the job post isn’t the end. When asking for feedback from the candidate, make sure you include questions about how effective your job ads are. This way, those candidates who have seen the job posts you wrote will provide direct feedback.
Start the candidate’s journey on a positive note.
While they haven’t formally submitted an application, a candidate’s journey into the hiring process can be started by a well-written job post. It’s highly possible that even if the ad is already published, your recruitment agency might need to edit it to attract more or better potential hires based on candidate feedback. To know what tweaks must be made in the hiring process, like how job ads are presented, you will need to maximize real-time feedback.
Great Recruiters offers a reputation management platform where recruitment firms like yours can harness candidate feedback to build a positive recruitment brand. The real-time gathering of candidate feedback lets you track what applicants are saying about the hiring process or if what they saw in the job posts is indeed what they experienced, from the initial interview to the final offer. Receiving feedback right away means making changes at the soonest, may it be about the job ads or the hiring process in general.
Do these opportunities for immediate, actionable feedback appeal to you?