Recruitment Advertising: Have You Looked at Your Job Postings? How Bad Are They?
Let’s walk through this…you’ve received new jobs from your clients and now it’s time to find candidates. Where do you start? The first thing to remember about your job postings/recruitment advertisement is that you only get one chance to make a first impression. The second thing to remember is that in the current job environment, there are more jobs than there are people, so you need to attract their attention and get them excited about your job, fast.
With this being said, would you personally look at a job description that was a page and a half long, had no selling statements, didn’t have anything to get you excited about the job, and simply said “XYZ staffing firm is looking for a *fill in the blank* candidate for our great client in New York”? I’m sure the answer is “no”, and neither will your candidates.
How should your job postings look and sound?
The first thing to remember when looking at your job postings is that they should be as brief as possible. They should include selling statements because these candidates have options. The posting should also be well formatted and, yes I’m actually saying this, use the same font. If you look at your current job postings on your website, you will likely see a wide array of styles as well as some that say you’re looking for a project manager with a description that only says you’re looking for a project manager. If you look at your job postings and question, “would anyone look at this?”, you will likely determine that they won’t. So, what should it say? Remember, it’s always important to say who’s looking and where the job is located, but why should someone want to take that job? Are they looking to expand their career in project management? Are they looking to work on bigger and better projects? Are they looking to work in new technologies? If these three sentences are put at the top of your job posting, your job will stand out and you are speaking to the candidate in their language instead of yours.
Your job description/recruitment advertising should go into a little about the job, who it reports to, and include information about the market. For example, you would put “a growing financial services company looking to enhance their customer experience”. This goes a long way and shows candidates that you want to put your job postings in terms they appreciate.
When looking at the job description, remove the unnecessary. There are very few times you need to include “must be proficient in Microsoft Word” in your job description, yet 90% of job postings have it. Look at the bullets and see if they are just drilling in upon each other or if they are speaking to different elements. Ask yourself, are these elements important to the role? Remember, when clients submit the job to you, they have included everything that they could possibly ever want, and you likely know that there are several areas that don’t need to be dug into. I’m not suggesting that job postings be short, but I’m suggesting that they should be as short as possible. Most of the time, the responsibilities included can be reduced as they are either traditional to the role or redundant.
Now for the first test. Open up five of your job postings from your website and/or job boards, and ask yourself, “would you respond to this?”
The challenges with cleaning a posting
When looking at a new job req, most recruiters and sales staff think about how quickly they can get it posted and not how well they can get it posted. There are simple challenges when cleaning a posting that most people don’t think about. The first is creating headline questions that stand out. These headline questions should focus on the role and what it brings to someone’s career. The second challenge is that most staffing firms don’t want candidates to be able to find the original position out on the internet easily. This is solved by rewording the intro paragraph. Keep in mind that search engines use an algorithm that tries to match the first 50-60 characters, therefore changing the order and use of words is important. The third challenge is looking at responsibilities and the general job description and evaluating whether or not the bullets listed are necessary or if they can be consolidated. The simple fact is, they contain unnecessary information 100% of the time.
We recently saw a project manager position where the first bullet was “must be PMP certified”. The second bullet was, “must have attended PMI certification”. For those that don’t know, PMI is the group that does PMP certification. Reducing the unneeded bullets and consolidating where possible leads to a better candidate experience, but let’s not forget one of the most important parts of any marketing effort. If you don’t consider recruitment advertising a marketing effort, please adapt your thinking. The number one key is a strong call-to-action. “Apply today” certainly works, but it’s not overly energetic. Craft strong closings and calls-to-action to get candidates to respond to your recruitment advertising.
Inspect what you expect
I believe the statement “Inspect what you expect” comes from Dale Carnegie, and it is one of the most powerful sales management lessons I have ever learned. If you have an expectation that the job postings are being done properly, and they are up to your liking, then it’s upon you to create a way to inspect that. Have your recruiters show you or pull up your postings periodically from your website. There are a number of different ways to inspect what your team is doing, but they need to know it’s important to you, and the only way they are going to know that is if your calling out when it’s not. Good luck with your job postings and if you need any recruitment advertising assistance, please feel free to reach out to us. Happy hunting.
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.