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How to Attract Top Talent With Your Job Posting

Help Wanted Job AdYou may be a recruiter, but when it comes to job postings you need to think like an advertiser.

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At its core, a job posting is an advertisement. Simply announcing your job opening is not enough to sell it — at least not to the most selective shoppers.

A successful advertisement is one that motivates your target audience (potential employees) to act (apply to your job).

But how do you motivate your audience to act? Let’s take a moment and step back into college psych.

What Determines Employee Satisfaction?

Frederick Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory tells us that employee satisfaction is determined by two types of factors: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic (hygiene) factors include adequate wages, working conditions, job security, and company perks and policies. According to Herzberg, extrinsic factors prevent employee dissatisfaction, but do not create employee satisfaction.

This is where intrinsic (motivator) factors come into play. Centering around self-actualization, intrinsic factors foster employee satisfaction. They include opportunities for recognition, advancement, autonomy, and meaningful work.

How Does the Motivator-Hygiene Theory Apply to Your Job Postings?

Most job postings mention extrinsic factors (it’s easy to talk about salary, benefits, hours, etc), but fail to highlight intrinsic ones. Why is this a problem? Because extrinsic factors merely prevent employee dissatisfaction, and being “not unsatisfied” isn’t enough for top talent.

To excite the best candidates, emphasize opportunities for self-actualization within the job posting. Write about:

  1. Opportunities for growth
  2. Opportunities for self-direction
  3. How the work will positively impact others
  4. How employees are recognized

By the end of your posting, job seekers should believe that joining your company will result in workplace satisfaction. And there you have it — motivation to apply to the job.

What other techniques do you have for attracting top talent?

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Written by

Rachel Dotson is a former digital marketing manager and former blog contributor at ZipRecruiter. She is based in Venice, California.

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