How to Make Your Job Postings Stand Out in a Competitive Hiring Environment
The Great Resignation has made it harder to attract top talent, and some job postings go without any applicants, even as associations are eager for hires. Here, two experts explain how to supercharge your job posting to attract candidates in today’s market.
On an online forum recently, a recruiter lamented that he’d posted a job a month ago and had zero applicants. He turned to the collective wisdom of the community for tips—and they suggested everything from more specificity about his organization’s flexibility, to adding salary information to the job posting. But is that really what it takes to get candidates to apply? We turned to two experts who offered some advice on creating an effective job posting in today’s highly competitive market.
Promote Your Remote or Hybrid Work Policies
With association workers having spent portions of the pandemic working from home, many want more of that lifestyle, said Tracy Hollamon, CIR, PRC, vice president, recruitment solutions, at VIP Risk Solutions, Inc.
“The more rigid you are, the less interest you’re going to get from candidates, especially since the majority want full remote,” Hollamon said. “Stress either being remote or flexible hybrid, and if you’re not, you have to understand you’re going to have fewer applicants.”
Know When to Include Salary Info
While some people suggested the no-applicant recruiter add salary information to the job posting, Hollamon said that’s only a good idea in a few instances. “I would only put salary in the job posting if you are above market,” she said. “If you’re at market value, say ‘competitive wages’ and get into the excellent benefits that you have.”
Fashioning a great job posting requires including important information and excluding extraneous stuff. Dany Bourjolly Smith, SHRM-SCP, founder of DB Smith Consulting and recruitment services team leader at ASAE’s Association CareerHQ, noted that in a world of fast-paced social media, job seekers won’t read excessively long posts.
“I make a distinction between a job description and a job posting,” Smith said.
While job descriptions are helpful “for onboarding, accountability, and performance management,” Smith contends “they are not effective for a document to attract people to your workplace.”
Instead, Smith suggests making your job posting appealing by highlighting a project the candidate might work on in their first few months. Bullet points are also helpful to highlight the key information.
“You want to limit your bullets to what is truly relevant for the job,” Smith said. “You don’t need that bullet of ‘additional projects and tasks as defined.’ Save that real estate on that job posting.”
Consider Job Requirements Carefully
If a job posting lists too many requirements, some good candidates may not apply. Both Smith and Hollamon say to think carefully about which requirements you include.
“Does eight to 10 years of experience make someone a better manager than a person who has five or six?” Smith said. “Is it enough to say that the person has a ‘demonstrated track record of leadership experience in the association and nonprofit space’? I try to steer people away from making the requirements too tight if that’s not absolutely what they’re looking for or truly need.”
Hollamon suggested that hiring managers consider which skills are must-haves and which can be taught, and not include teachable skills on the posting.
“The hiring manager wants candidates to check all the boxes,” Hollamon said. “And these candidates are not out there right now. Sometimes you just need to say, ‘Are these some things we can train on?’ What’s harder: having an opening for months and months or bringing in a person and training them?”
Tweak as Needed
Although most job sites provide 30 days of placement for a job posting, Smith said most applicants submit early on.
“You get the most activity in that first week, and if you’re not, you should see where you are on day seven and be prepared to make a tweak by day 10,” Smith said.
Finally, Smith said to remember that we live in a world of social media. Use that to your advantage.
“Everybody is their own Kevin Bacon,” Smith said. “To the extent that your organization is comfortable, the job post should be on people’s LinkedIn. It should be shared. We often stop after posting to the job sites, but there are other key influencers, starting with your hiring managers and other people in those departments, who have the network of people you are potentially looking for.”