3 Tips For Getting The Job Ad Responses You Want

If your job ads are going unanswered, consider these tips from an association staffing professional.

Last week’s blog post featured insight from an association staffing expert on some of the hardest-to-fill jobs in the industry.

By analyzing internal data on job ad response rates in the Washington, DC, market, Bob Corlett, executive search consultant at Staffing Advisors, and his team have identified trends that correlate to levels of difficulty in filling positions.

“We’ve been gathering all this data for a decade and looking at the trends and which [positions] got harder and easier in terms of whether people actually responded to advertising,” Corlett said.

For example, education managers are currently the “hot” positions that associations are having the hardest time filling. Changing expectations in terms of skill set means that those education managers with specialized experience in areas such as e-learning and online forums have become much more marketable.

Corlett had much more insight to share on the relative difficulty of hiring for different positions in the association industry, but he also had some general advice on creating job ads that attract quality candidates.

First, when you’re looking to hire the right fit, it’s important to flesh out exactly what the role is as well as its specific responsibilities.

“The game is won or lost by how much you’ve thought about the job,” Corlett said. “So [hiring managers] should spend a lot of time thinking about how concrete and tangible and clear the job is.”

A laundry list of requirements doesn’t tell applicants what you think is important in the position. A better approach is to name five or so qualities or responsibilities that are critical to the job, along with a couple of accomplishments that you, as the hiring manager, are looking for the person in the role to achieve.

“You’re still going to get 100 resumes,” Corlett said. “But the whole game is how many do you want to talk to, and you’ll double the number of people you want to talk to if candidates can tell if you’ve thought about the job.”

Another tip Corlett shared is to address the business impact that a particular role will have. He said candidates want to know that hiring managers have thought about how specific roles will have an effect on an organization.

Many candidates are also looking for a challenge

“You don’t climb Mt. Everest because there’s an escalator,” Corlett said. “You climb it because it’s a challenge. People want a certain challenge, and the more clear you can be about what it is, the more people are drawn to the job.”

One last thing to consider when creating and posting job ads is the level of response.

“The reality is if you’re not seeing an ad response in the first two weeks—let’s say if you want to interview six people—if you don’t have three that you want to interview in two weeks, you’re probably not going to get it,” Corlett said. “You get about 80 percent of your response rate in the first two weeks, maybe two and half weeks.”

If this is the case for you, the job you posted may be one of those “hot” positions that are currently difficult to fill and may then require a different tactic, such as employing a search consultant, or you may need to rethink the job ad.

Do you have tips for creating a well-crafted job ad? Please share in the comments.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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