Job Posting Q&A — The top three things answered in our new ebook
Over only the past couple years talent acquisition has, and continues to completely transform. There are shiny new recruiting tools, delightful ATSs, beautiful career sites, useful professional networks, robots that recruit for you and automated processes to help get the right candidates into the right jobs at the right time. The only thing that hasn’t transformed? Job postings.
Part of growing a start-up is understanding your customers. Naturally, we’ve spent a year and a half talking to hundreds of different companies of different sizes in different industries with completely different brands. All of these companies have shiny new recruiting tools, a delightful ATS, a beautiful career site, and a process that helps them acquire top talent — but one thing that they all have in common is this sentence: “I wish we could write better job postings”. And the reason is simple: Every piece of talent acquisition has been updated, improved and optimized except for one... the job posting.
So, we decided to collect and analyze our data, conversations, and research and compile them into One Job, a comprehensive guide to better job postings.
In developing the guide, there are a few common questions/topics I’ve seen discussed on several talent acquisition forums. I might not have THE answers (I’m not Sway)— but I’ve definitely got some insight that might help you in your optimization process.
Q: Do job postings really matter?
A: 150000% YES. Job postings are often the first (and sometimes the last) chance you have to attract the right-fit candidates you’re looking for. Your job postings and descriptions are a direct reflection of your company, the culture, the benefits and the opportunities you provide. You could have the best opportunity in the world, but if you don’t put care into what goes into your job postings, your job seekers aren’t going to care about what you have to offer.
The reality is, the decision to choose one company over another, or even apply to one company over another, comes down to how much the candidate understands and relates to what you offer in your job postings.
Q: What’s the difference between a job posting and job description?
A: Job descriptions and job postings are completely different documents, written by completely different people, for completely different audiences, with completely different purposes.
A job description is an internal legal document where as a job postings is a career advertisement that is written to attract right-fit candidates.
Imagine if you walked into an Apple Store and instead of products you had to read the Terms of Service to decide if you wanted the new iPhone X. That’s what you’re doing when you use a job description as a job posting. You’re trying to sell your awesome opportunities with the Terms of Service. In that light, job postings need to be treated exactly like any consumer-facing advertisement especially in today’s talent market. The best thing to do is involve the teams that handle branding/design/copywriting as best you can in the process of crafting candidate-facing copy.
Q: What content should be in our job postings?
A: It really depends. I saw this really interesting infographic, where 450 job seekers were shown an example of a job description and asked them to highlight parts they found helpful, appealing, or would make them more likely to apply.
The most helpful things? The title, the location, salary, benefits/perks, major responsibility, what success looks like, and number of years of experience. What does this mean? It means that you’ve now got a standard to help you start to optimize your job postings.
Another key piece of optimizing job postings is providing context. Context is unbelievably important in the talent acquisition process. It’s what helps unqualified job seekers opt-out of the process so you’ve got a funnel filled with right-fit candidates. Context provides the meaningful information needed to help candidates choose your company over your competitors.
If your job postings provide bare minimums, your candidates will provide bare minimums. Your job postings should be an accurate, honest description of the position, and should speak directly to the awesome person you are trying to hire. Adding arbitrary skills and requirements like “self starter”, “excellent communication skills” or “data ninja” are meaningless without any context.
What specific skills/skillsets do you need from the candidate and how will they be using them? What does a day-to-day look like? What tools will they be using? What results do you expect them to achieve? What other teams will they be working with? What will they hate, and what will they love about the position? What experience can they expect to gain? The idea is to write to the person you want to hire. Don’t use superfluous language and instead write with context in a way that appeals to your target candidate that convinces, and inspires them to apply.
If you found some of these questions and answers useful, or if you’re looking for a way to help you write better job postings download our comprehensive guide One Job for free right now!