The truth about job postings Communitech September 24, 2012 Communitech We’re all familiar with job postings. At some point you probably spent hours sifting through them to find your next job, so you know the basics. That’s why it’s surprising that so many are dense, boring and bland. It’s as if everyone who writes a job posting forgets how our brains work when we’re looking for a job. Whether you’re an HR professional with a laundry list of positions to fill or a startup CEO trying to find your first employee, keeping a few fundamental truths in mind when you sit down to write your next job posting can improve your odds of finding the right candidate. Great jobs don’t need great postings If you’re a sexy startup or an industry leader, your job posting is going to get attention no matter how you write it. Candidates know they want to work for you, so you don’t have to work hard to sell them on it. It’s companies that don’t have a surplus of capital and brand recognition that benefit from investing a little extra energy into their job ads. Poor candidates aren’t picky Everything about your job posting should be built to appeal to your ideal candidate, because lousy candidates will apply regardless. It’s easy to look at an inbox full of resumes and assume your posting is effective, but you’re trying to fill a job, not collect resumes. If you’re not attracting qualified candidates, you’re wasting your time. The candidates you want won’t be scraping the bottom of the barrel and applying to every job in their field. They can afford to skip over your opportunity because it’s badly formatted, light on details or lacks energy. Nobody reads them Not at first, anyway. The first thing a candidate does is scan for bullet points and dollar signs. If they see something that piques their interest, they’ll backtrack through the posting to pull out the relevant details. If they don’t – because the posting is a wall of text or it’s a list as long as their arm – they’ll bounce. Keep your postings tight by highlighting interesting responsibilities rather than listing every mundade duty the position entails. You want to entice qualified candidates and it’s possible to bury what’s compelling about your opportunity beneath a mountain of minutiae. Everybody’s a ‘team player’ The same goes for ‘excellent communicator’, ‘hard worker’ and ‘self-starter’. These are meaningless requirements because everyone believes they’re all of the above. They’re definitely qualities that you’re looking for, but the ‘Experience’ section of your job posting should focus on hard skills and provable qualifications. It also pays to critically assess what’s really required for the position. Do they really need Salesforce experience or will any CRM do? There’s nothing wrong with having a long list of requirements, but being too specific can result in qualified candidates passing on your opportunity. A job posting is the first step in the hiring process. It’s responsible for filling your talent funnel and giving you the best chance at landing the ideal candidate. If you think like that candidate, highlight what appeals to them and keep your expectations reasonable, you’ll see better results from your search process.