Is It Time to Rethink How You Advertise Jobs?

Granted, it’s a job seeker’s market. But if you’re not attracting applicants, you may want to stop blaming the economy and take a look at your job postings.

At RecruitCon Road Trip East in Boston, Chris Russell, managing director of RecTech Media, a provider of digital recruiting advisory services, led a session on company websites, while Elena Valentine, CEO of Skill Scout, a company that helps employers tell the stories candidates care about with employee-generated recruitment videos, led a session on job postings.
Both speakers provided insight into where employers should focus when advertising open positions.

Job Titles

It starts with job titles.
You may not pay much attention to job titles, but Russell pointed out that they are the first thing a potential candidate sees in your job posting. With this in mind, he recommends keeping job titles simple. Russell even suggests that you “dumb it down a bit.”
A job title doesn’t only serve as a lead-in for your ad. It is what your would-be candidates use to search for open positions. Therefore, job titles must resonate with job seekers. “Super cool job titles – nobody is searching for these,” said Valentine.

Position Details

Perhaps most important, your job postings should address the position from the job seeker’s perspective.
Among other things, this includes work environment.
To this end, a day-in-the-life video as part of a job posting may be helpful. A video can show the work environment, and highlight typical tasks.
If you don’t include a video, Valentine recommends that you list the position’s main tasks, as bullet items, in the job posting.

Finding a Fit

Your job posting should aim to do more than share information about the company and the position. Ideally, it should help a prospective candidate assess fit.
Valentine provided two examples of how companies approach this.
Farmer’s Fridge, a startup that creates salads for vending machines, includes a “What You Are” section in a job posting, along with a “What You Are Not” section.
In one of its job postings, media organization NPR includes a section called, “What Success Looks Like.”

Making a Connection

A job ad should also connect with would-be candidates, on a deeper level. “Do your job descriptions tap into aspirations?” Valentine asked the RecruitCon audience.
Similarly, she recommends letting job seekers know what impact they can make by working at your company.
And about your company … Make sure your job postings – and your other recruitment initiatives – do it justice. “You are the chief storytellers of your business,” Valentine told the audience.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.