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So you’ve kicked off your hiring campaign — now what? Well, you need to craft your job postings to appeal to your target candidates, but there’s a big difference between job ads that will simply get seen online, and ads that will actually convert to real applications.
The best job listings keep in mind that when potential applicants look into your open position, they’re most likely going in blind with little knowledge of your company, its culture, and what’s required of your employees. In fact, research from the Candidate Experience Awards shows that 48% of all online applicants don’t have prior knowledge of your company — so it’s up to you to reel them in.
That means you don’t want to go too generic when creating a job advertisement, as we know you want to reach as many interested parties as possible, but a listing is useless if it isn’t attracting the right kinds of candidates for your work. Your listing still needs to stand out from thousands of posts online and be engaging to read, but there are ways to make it unique to your company and your industry.
If you market yourself online well, you can find just as qualified candidates as if you were recruiting in person. Here’s what you need to know. Not sure where to start? Here are our best tips and tricks on how to write a stand-out job posting, as well as some sites that’ll help make the listing process even easier.
1. Join Job Posting Sites with Job Listing Assistance
To find the most qualified candidates, make it easier on yourself and create a listing through job posting sites. Not only are most job board sites free for job seekers (which incentivizes them apply), many job search sites offer premium services on the business end that you can use to filter for the necessary qualifications and have a resume database at your fingertips to find the right candidate.
There are hundreds of sites to choose from, but you’ll have to consider whether you want a site that lets customize job listings, so you don’t have to start from scratch. One particularly helpful site is ZipRecruiter, which offers customizable templates for job descriptions, different positions, and screener questions that simplify the processes of posting listings, so you can get them up quickly and hire in no time. You can also take down a job posting and swap it for a new one when the position is filled, so there’s no more waiting a certain number of days to keep a posting live.
There’s two plans available, a Standard and Premium job listing plan. While they don’t list their official pricing online, the Standard plan is for more budget-friendly hiring, and will give you distribution to 100+ job sites, unlimited candidate applications, and one reusable job slot. Before you start looking over your qualified candidates, you can always try this #1 rated hiring site free with ZipRecruiter’s free trial plan.
2. Use Keywords to Your Advantage
Optimizing your job postings with keywords and phrases is important not only so that your listing will show up on the relevant online searches, but so your posting will be seen by as many relevant candidates as possible. While you may think that going broad in your job title and description will yield higher views, it pays to be specific in key areas of the listing so that only job seekers with the most relevant experience in their field will apply.
One way to do this is to go general in the job title, such as “Sales Manager” instead of “Retail Sales Expert,” but get specific in the actual description itself in terms of job-related duties, necessary skill sets, and tools. Check to see if your job posting site has customizable templates to help with this.
3. Structure Your Ad to Make it Stand Out
While you should make your listing appealing, you don’t have to structure it like an advertisement — encouraging people to apply can be as simply as featuring the right information with the right format. First, you should structure your ad with headings (no bullet points, they look too unprofessional), so that readers know what to look for and won’t skim your listing.
Like we previously mentioned, don’t assume your applicant knows anything about your company or the work itself. Be sure to explain your company’s mission, and why they should want to work there. Keep it candidate-centric and share the “why” about why you’re hiring for the position, but also what your “ideal” candidate should look like. Include a section about basic educational, experiential, or other requirements, and, if possible, describe the salary range and benefits. This will make both make your ad much more enticing to applicants, but keep expectations aligned on both the employer and candidate side.
4. Adapt Your Listing for Social Media
Social media is actually where a good chunk of job seekers hear about job openings nowadays, so you’ll want to craft a listing that reads just as well on a job board site as it will on social media. Make sure to post current job openings on your social media feeds, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and link out to your company’s page for applications.
Having a tougher-than-average-to-fill position? In the post-pandemic market, it’s bound to happen eventually. You can narrow your search for the most relevant candidates by posting the job to specific professional groups for your field, or using targeted hashtags in the listing post itself such as #journalismjobs or #nycjobs.
There are also tools, like ZipRecruiter‘s “TrafficBoost,” that give your job posting a little extra boost, including increased placement and visibility across their linked job boards. TrafficBoost helps secure more eyeballs too without purely relying on your SEO skills, since the tool will promote the position until it receives the number of views you’re aiming for (100-300 views per post), or for up to 30 days.
5. Define the Application Process Within the Listing
Candidates should ideally be well-informed about what happens next after they apply. Give people an idea of how many steps are involved in the application process (is there a skills test? A phone interview, and then an in-person interview?), so that the applicant can manage their expectations. It also makes it much more likely for qualified potential employees to reach out when they know you’re hiring right away, for example, or that they have time to prepare for how long the process will take.
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