Writing Job Ads that convert quality candidates.

The process of announcing job openings has been in existence for nearly 100 years. What started as posting job openings on an internal break room wall rapidly changed to creating job notices that were listed in various advertising formats, from newspapers, to digital forums, to today’s multi-platform digital environment.  Through this evolution, most Employers have refused to change the way in which they “announce” their job openings and struggle to attract quality job applicants for their open job positions.

Sadly, many employers are still using their internal job descriptions to distribute their job listings on job boards and national search sites.  While this practice allows us as Employers to “check the box” of getting jobs posted, it simply is not conducive to the competitive hiring landscape of today.  Employers must recognize that while there is not a shortage of good workers, there is a fierce competition for them.  These “good workers” are highly coveted by nearly every employer in town and will need to be nurtured, convinced, persuaded, and informed on why they would want to work for you. 

This competition or battle for local talent is real and should be motivation for your company to overhaul the way in which you communicate your job openings.  Your internal job descriptions are great for hanging on your breakroom wall; however, they will fall short in delivering quality applications in the digital ecosystem of today. 

Chances are that your job descriptions were written for defining basic requirements that are needed for the job. Most of the time, they are internally focused, as opposed to being informative to a company outsider.  A good amount of job descriptions contain “internal jargon” or perhaps acronyms that mean nothing to a potential jobseeker.  How many times have we seen, ” This position is within the PKA Division and will report directly to AVM.”  These internal acronyms are a huge turn off to potential jobseekers as they convey a feeling of exclusion.  Ask yourself, is it fun to be at a party with a group of people constantly telling inside jokes and telling you, “You had to be there”.

Job Announcement versus Job Advertisement. 

First and foremost, please understand that as a recruiter, you are selling…. not announcing.  The purpose of an advertisement is twofold: to inform and to persuade.  In order to write an effective job advertisement, you need to define the audience that you are trying to reach. Who is your ideal employee? What skills does this person truly NEED to have? What are the drivers that would get this person to leave their job and work for you?  Your job advertisement is a promise to its readers, so make sure that you are including the information that your audience wants to hear AND that you are confident that you can live up to.

Stop counting the people you reach and start reaching the people that count

Whether your company is using HIRECLICK or any other Applicant Tracking Software, your jobs will be distributed to dozens, if not hundreds of online destinations.  This mass distribution makes it easy for you as an employer to instantly gain visibility of your jobs. However, your ability to generate qualified applicants truly depends more on the message of your job ad, not simply being listed on a hundred job search sites.  When posting jobs in HIRECLICK, on average, our clients’ job listings are seen over 15,000 times in a 90-day period!  Getting sufficient eyeballs on your jobs is not the challenge. The determinant of success in driving quality applications is about the content of your job listings. Is it informative? Is it persuasive? Does it “sell” the opportunity to your target audience? 

Optimization for National Job Search Sites

National Job Search sites can help to provide maximum visibility of your job listings. However, to achieve success with them, you must first understand the difference between a Job Board and an Information index site such as Indeed. Simply put, Job Boards categorize job listings based upon an employer’s choice. Index sites categorize job listings based upon the content of your job ads.  In other words, they will decide what category your job belongs to…. regardless if that matches your preference.  Worse yet, if your job ad is not clearly written for index sites, you may not really show up in any category at all.  Through HIRECLICK’s partnerships with the major Job Search index sites, we have gleaned 3 Best Practice tips for writing job ads to maximize results.

1) Keep your job titles common.  Choosing the right job title is critical.  Choose “common” job titles that you think your target audience will search for. Leave any “internal” descriptors out of the Job title as they will have a negative effect on how they are indexed. For instance, is you are looking for a Property Manager for your Commercial Properties Division, you may use a title such as “Site Manager – Commercial Properties”. While this job title makes perfect sense to you, it does not convey to a Job Search Index site the category of the job. In this case, use the job title, “Property Manager” and use the job description to clarify the division or type of focus.

2) Keep your job titles clean. Let your Job Titles speak for themselves. Additional descriptors will “water down” the job’s true focus. So, if you are looking for a part time Retail Associate and are offering a $500 signing bonus, you may feel the need to list your job title as, “Part Time Retail Associate – $500 signing bonus”. Our advice is to keep it simple. Remember… What will your job seekers be searching for? In this case, your job title should simply be, “Retail Associate”. Again, use the job description to provide necessary detail to the job’s specifics.

3) Use the K.I.S.S. philosophy for your Job Descriptions. Properly written job descriptions should seek to provide clarity of both the position and your company… and nothing else.  Clear, concise language that describes the job and work environment, followed by the qualifications that are needed for the job. Last, a short paragraph describing you as an employer… your mission and how this role fits into your bigger picture. When writing the ad, be mindful of including specific keywords that you feel jobseekers are searching for. Remember, you are indicating to the Job index sites what categories this should be included within.

4) Read it in the eyes of a jobseeker. Ask yourself, does this job sound interesting? Does this company sound passionate about what they do? Does this job ad differentiate this opportunity and give reason to why the best local candidate would want to leave their current position and company to take this job. Include the items that make this opportunity unique and focus on “what’s in it for the future jobseeker”. Remember, there is no shortage of talent… but there is a competition for it.

Job Distribution is moving from an art towards a science. Hiring systems such as HIRECLICK can save you valuable time by casting your job listings out to multiple Job Boards and Job Search Index sites. Just know that the content of your job listings is the most critical component to attracting the applicants that you are seeking.

HIRECLICK is a full featured Applicant Tracking System that any business can afford. Starting as low as $99 / month, HIRECLICK will allow you to compete with the large companies and to help you to build a quality candidate database.  Get started by Taking a 5 Minute Product Tour or Request a Price Quote today.

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