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How to Create Effective Job Postings (And Where to Post Them)

In today’s labor market securing top talent is becoming more and more challenging, because job seekers often have their pick of employment options, so in order to nab the best, employers must stand out long before the interview process starts.

Because your job posting might be a potential hire’s first impression of your business, getting it right is crucial. Here’s what new research reveals about how to do just that by crafting job postings that appeal to the right candidates.

What Goes Into a Great Job Posting

According to the 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report, when considering job-related recruitment marketing content, 63% of candidates found the job description to be a valuable piece of research, outranking salary range, benefit details and video overviews in importance.

To make sure that your job postings attract the right candidate, include these elements:

  • clear, concise descriptions of responsibilities
  • concrete examples of expectations
  • key elements of your company’s culture
  • emphasis on what the candidate will gain by working for your company

Also, when creating your job posting, consider incorporating the 30-/60-/90-day plan you have for the position. If you don’t have a plan, you might want to build that before writing the job posting.

Why is that important? Research published in the Global Workforce Trends Report from Allegis indicates that high-performing recruitment organizations are 3.3 times more likely to have job descriptions that align with the 30-/60-/90-day plan for a position. This best practice can help you zero in on the most important aspects of the position when creating a job posting.

What to Omit

When creating a job posting, eliminate any piece that is inaccurate, outdated or unrealistic for that particular position. Check with the supervisor of the open position to see if expectations have changed since the last time you hired for this position.

Troubleshooting Hard-to-Fill Positions

If a job opening has remained unfilled for an abnormally long amount of time, you may want to check if the posting realistically balances job responsibilities and compensation. How does this compare to the compensation and responsibilities of current employees in similar positions?

Or you may need to ensure that the job description sets expectations for a realistic amount of work. Is the amount of workload in the job description on par with similar positions in your company?

Multiple stakeholders often are involved in the recruitment process making it easy to put together a description that is incoherent or unrealistic, despite everyone’s best intentions. Your due diligence can help ensure your job postings are attracting qualified candidates, not scaring them away.

Publish Job Postings Where Your Candidates Are Already Searching

Once you’ve decided what to include and omit, make sure your job posting gets in front of the right candidates!

According to Allegis’ study, a disconnect exists between which channels employers utilize and which channels candidates prefer. Employers use career fairs and networking events, referral programs, and social media more than candidates do, and candidates use job alerts and employer rating sites more often than employers do.

During the job search, 87% of candidates will visit an employer’s website. In fact, 86% of the candidates Allegis surveyed expect for an employer to have all open jobs available on their website. That can be an effective, attainable way to reach candidates.

Where else do candidates look for jobs? Based on the Allegis survey, online search is the most common location (92%). A full 90% of candidates surveyed used recruitment firms, and according to the 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report, 75% percent of candidates conduct their job search over multiple channels before applying. This report also indicates that job boards, career sites and job/career specific LinkedIn pages remain important locations for job postings.

The bottom line for your organization is simple. Ensure your relevant, appealing job postings are online and in multiple locations. Make it a priority to keep your job postings accurate and up-to-date on your company website. But before you do any of that, take stock of the job posting itself and ensure it communicates what a candidate can expect (both from the job and your company) and why a candidate should consider the position at all. Start with the candidate in mind, help them envision themselves in that job, and make the posting easy for them to find by placing it where you know they’ll be looking.