The Importance of Job Postings (and their content)

Posted by | July 29, 2010 | How to ..., Recruiting

Most recruiters use job postings as a means to an end. They use them as extra hands when they have a full desk, to develop pipelines or for brand representation/perpetuation. Whether you’re posting jobs for any or all of these reasons, it is important to recognize the impact (or lack thereof) that job postings can create.

When I worked in agency recruiting, I frequently used documentation from clients to post jobs. It was easy to copy and paste what they had already put together and get it “out there”. I failed to realize that in doing that, I wasn’t creating much desire for job seekers to reply to my post. I started looking at my job postings more closely and noticed that if I rewrote the posting in my own words, I got much better responses. I would include information about my client that I knew would entice the applicant, without revealing who the client was. After all, I knew from my relationship with my client what they were really looking for – not just skills but candidate personality. I wrote the job postings to attract that type of personality. Sure, re-writing the job posting took more time but it paid off. I got more responses. I got better responses. I got hires. Even if you’re in HR and you’re posting on behalf of a hiring manager, you can still add verbiage to the specs you’re given to attract the right candidate.

Photo courtesy of MotivatedPhotos.com

The emergence of job search engines has directly impacted the importance of good verbiage in job postings.  Most recruiters don’t know that cross-posting the exact same job to multiple job boards doesn’t increase the chances of finding a candidate match, nor does it increase the number of postings that show up on the search engines. Indeed and SimplyHired filter out duplicate listings and only list the posting that they indexed first.  Accordingly, if you copy and paste the client requisition word for word – and 5 other companies have done the same – there is a big chance that your posting might not even get seen on the job search engines. Write your job specifically for your audience. Are you hiring for a Telephone Answering Service? Then say so.

 

This means knowing what part of a client requisition is important and what part isn’t. It means including relevant key words that your candidate audience is searching for. It means including information about the environment, the benefits, the hiring process and so on.  Many candidates are apprehensive to respond to vague job postings. They fear it’s just another “black hole”, a potential scam job, or in some cases, that it might be their current (or former) employer.

Confidential postings really turn job seekers off. If you want to remain confidential about the search, then hire a headhunter – don’t post the job on the internet. Don’t expect a job posting to be a silver platter, either. If you have a hard to fill position, a job posting is just another vehicle to perpetuate the message that you’re looking for that person. It still doesn’t mean that person is looking for your job. In other words, you’re still going to have to work on it. In some cases though, using appropriate key words to attract passive candidates can work. For instance, your job posting could turn up in a Google search when they are searching for other things pertaining to their industry or career. Pick your key words carefully! Don’t just dump them all into a meaningless paragraph at the bottom of your job posting.

The information you include in your job postings speaks volumes about your company, your recruiting practices and your professionalism. The bottom line is – job postings are advertisements for your company; represent yourself well.

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4 Responses to “The Importance of Job Postings (and their content)”

  1. Comment made by Leanne Chase - @LeanneCLC on Jul 30th 2010 at 8:49 am:

    Amen! As I manage a community for those who want more flexibility at work that includes a job board this has frustrated me to no end. Companies want to be known for being flexible and be cognizant of the struggle/juggle of work/life balance. But at the same time their job postings scream that they are not. No where in the posting does it talk about the companies willingness to be flexible except maybe, in some boiler plate info like “our company is committed to providing a healthy work/life balance.” And often not even that.

    The candidates that come to my community want to see a company is committed to flexibility before they apply. Boilerplate language and hoping to discuss flexibility during the interview just won't cut it. It needs to be clear they are committed and the job may allow for life to happen during the work week.

  2. Comment made by Leanne Chase - @LeanneCLC on Jul 30th 2010 at 1:49 pm:

    Amen! As I manage a community for those who want more flexibility at work that includes a job board this has frustrated me to no end. Companies want to be known for being flexible and be cognizant of the struggle/juggle of work/life balance. But at the same time their job postings scream that they are not. No where in the posting does it talk about the companies willingness to be flexible except maybe, in some boiler plate info like “our company is committed to providing a healthy work/life balance.” And often not even that.

    The candidates that come to my community want to see a company is committed to flexibility before they apply. Boilerplate language and hoping to discuss flexibility during the interview just won't cut it. It needs to be clear they are committed and the job may allow for life to happen during the work week.

  3. Comment made by James on Aug 12th 2011 at 12:12 am:

    ‘Most recruiters don’t know that cross-posting the exact same job to
    multiple job boards doesn’t increase the chances of finding a candidate
    match’

    And since the google Panda update was implemented to weed out ‘duplicate’ content from search engine results, job postings that are copied and pasted to multiple websites are less likely to be found through Google Searches.

    Job board that rely on resyndicated listings may have to look at their model very carefully and recruiters should continue to monitor the quality and volume of candidates from paid job listings sites to ensure they are still getting value.

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