Hiring New Staff: Writing the Perfect Job Posting
June 25, 2014
When hiring new staff, half of the battle is getting the message out to the right people. These 4 tips will help you pinpoint the right kinds of information to include in your job posting to attract qualified applicants that are the right fit for your business.
1. Know what you’re looking for.
Create a T-Chart of the requirements versus the preferred experience and qualifications of job applicants. This will help you visualize what is needed as a perquisite for the applicant, versus what can be taught or acquired on the job. By dividing these two sets of information, you are defining and separating the primary responsibilities of the job (prerequisites) from the frills that would make the perfect candidate. Being able to clearly separate these items in your own mind will assist you, not only in writing the job posting, but throughout the hiring process.
2. Know who you're looking for.
Briefly describe the personal traits of the ideal applicant. Are you looking for someone highly organized who can accomplish a lot in one day? Or are you looking for a creative type who may take their time getting inspired and gathering their thoughts, but deliver an original idea in a big way?
Odds are, nobody is going to match the description you come up with perfectly. However, this short paragraph can really help an applicant tell if the position is the right fit for their personality. If the candidate you hire is going to feel under or overwhelmed by your typical workday, they won't stick around long enough for you to recover your hiring costs. Remember, in the long run, employee turnover is something you really want to avoid. It's costly and lowers the morale of other workers who get stuck picking up the slack. Even the most dedicated employee will have doubts about your business when they notice no one else seems to be sticking around.
3. Sell them on the company, not just the job.
Write a short paragraph summarizing the culture of your company and the benefits of working there. Add information about benefits or additional training offered. Mention awards or nominations the business has received to attract highly qualified candidates. Include impressive growth or satisfaction statistics to attract those applicants looking to build their reputation and their careers with a solid business. Someone who is interested in a career will want to improve your company to improve their personal resume. They are driven toward success. It is your job while writing the job description to show them how your company can help get them there.
4. Give applicants a deadline.
When an applicant comes across a job posting, it could be a few months old. Promptly take down expired job postings and include a time estimate for when the new position will start. Including a phrase like, “accepting applications through June” or “looking for immediate hires” will give the applicant an idea of how long they may have to wait on a decision. If you don't find the right candidate within that timeframe, it can always be extended by revising the post. This can prevent a lot of extra work for your staff when it comes to fielding phone calls and inquiries about the position before and after it gets filled.
Finalizing your draft and post the listing.
Now you have all the information you need to put together the job posting of your dreams. All that's left is assembling it. When writing, remember that you aren’t just listing a bunch of qualifications. You are trying to hook the right kind of talent and personality for your business. You want applicants to be excited about working with your company from the beginning. Your final draft should come across as an exclusive invite to join your company, rather than simple job description. Try writing a few different versions using varying lengths, verbiage and formats. Then, decide which approach is the best match for your business and run with it.
For maximum exposure, post your job listing to at least three different places online and in print—such as your website (which will attract individuals interested in your company), a local print medium (to attract local talent), and an online job database (to attract all kinds of qualified applicants). Most individuals looking for jobs will search online at some point.
If you run into trouble with character limits when posting, don’t immediately rule out that medium. Remember, you can always write a teaser and include a link to the full job posting on your website or another online source. (Ex: Want to work for a cutting edge business with room for growth and friendly coworkers? A coaching job at ______ might be for you! Go to ______ to read our full job listing!)
Don't be afraid to put the post out there. You can even promote the job opening on your social media pages or with paid advertisements online. When it comes down to it, the more exposure your job posting gets, the greater the odds of reaching the right candidate(s) for the position!