Job Postings – Stick a Fork in It

Improve Job Postings

It never ceases to amaze me that companies are still using the same old job posting format to advertise their jobs on job boards, their career sites and social channels. We’ve been looking at these same job postings for too many decades. Enough already!

If you’re not already struggling for good talent – you will be. The recruiting landscape is very competitive and it will only get worse. With our aging population, change in demographics, skills gap and flexibility in the workforce, providing a positive and memorable candidate experience is more important than ever if you want to attract good talent. So, why the same old job posting? Don’t you want to stand out?

For the fun of it, I ran a google search for Java developers. I clicked on Indeed and looked at the first 10 job postings of the 2538 jobs advertised in just Ontario alone. Every single job had an overview of the company, overall responsibilities and a laundry list of qualifications. Now, I must give one employer credit, and this was a big Canadian brand I might add. This employer included a list of benefits they called ‘what’s in it for you’. The list went something like this – continuous training, competitive compensation, opportunities to advance into higher roles, company paid benefits. Oh – and a discount off their products. I don’t know about you but I’m thinking these benefits are a given with any company, no?

As competition for talent increases, candidates are becoming way more selective about the companies and jobs they apply for. The better the experience a job seeker has with your corporate, consumer and employer brand, the better hires you’ll make. Job Seekers need more than a company overview, job description and a list of benefits when considering you as a future employer.  To compete for talent, especially if you are trying to hire a Java developer, you must give a compelling reason to apply. This doesn’t just include content on your career site, your company profiles, your social posts or your cool recruitment campaigns. You invest so much time and money into advertising your jobs, why wouldn’t you create an emotional connection starting with your job postings?

I often wonder if we’ve got so caught up in looking for that next innovative recruitment marketing idea, building our social media strategy and creating cool content that we’ve forgotten all about the poor job postings. You do realize that for most job seekers, the first introduction to your company is your job postings. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of this opportunity and create a wow factor.

Do me a favour. Heck – do yourself a favour. Read your job postings and ask yourself these questions.

  1. Are we using the same format as everyone else? Shift it up. Instead of starting with a company overview, why not start with a fun and engaging statement or a thought provoking question that’s going to get the job seekers attention and make them want to learn more about you.
  2. Is our company overview simply talking about who we are and what we do? Try and avoid the standard company brief. Sure, candidates want to know what you do but what they really want to know is who you are as an employer, inside and out.
  3. Have you included your employer value proposition? Listing benefits is good but listing benefits that are expected of every company – not so much. Define your EVP which is very different than your comp and benefits. Include what makes you different or unique. Include the why you versus why your talent competitors.
  4. Does the day to day responsibilities sound boring or interesting? Often jobs are way more interesting or purposeful but it rarely comes out in the job description. Talk to your employees and ask them what they love about their day to day job and weave this into your job details.
  5. Are we personalizing the content to align with the persona of our target audience? If you haven’t defined the persona of your primary roles, you need to ASAP. If you are sourcing for IT talent for example, why isolate those great employee testimonials to your career site. Break up the monotony of the job copy and include a quote from one of your IT employees that speaks to why working in your IT team is so great.
  6. Is the job visually appealing? Job descriptions do not have to be limited to copy. Incorporate some imagery such as photos or icons. Produce a job ad video and include a link if the publisher does not allow for embedding video content.
  7. Is our overall job ad too long or, just right? Lengthy job descriptions will be read by active employed or unemployed job seekers but for passive candidates you may be losing their attention. Go through the entire job ad and take out what is not critical. Check with one of your colleagues who is doing the job today and ask them to review the posting. They’ll be able to tell you what can stay and what can go quickly.

These are just a few tips that could really make a difference when building a stronger employer brand and attracting your desired talent. Just make sure it’s authentic and compelling. Take some time and evolve your job postings. You’ll reap the benefit of sourcing better-quality talent and improving the return on your media investments.

If you need help improving your job descriptions and postings for SEO and more quality conversions, contact ADVANCE for a free no obligation consultation and quote. We’re here to help you ADVANCE Your Brand.

Written by Colette O’Neill, Talent Strategist and Founder

ADVANCE Human Capital Solutions is an Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing Advisory and Consulting Company. We help companies grow their business by providing expert advice and solutions on how to better attract, engage and retain the best possible talent.