How many of you place a larger amount of value on first impressions? Do you often make big decisions based on that first impression? Well, for most people, a poorly written job posting/ad is a first impression, says Alissa Henriksen, Chief Recruiting Officer and Talent Search Strategist at Grey Collaborative, a Minnesota-based company specializing in strategic search and recruitment for global manufacturing and sales organizations.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not everything, but it’s important because this is the first opportunity a potential candidate has to hear about your organization and the position details,” says Henriksen. “You want to intrigue them, capture their interest and keep them from quickly passing over your job posting.”
Recruiters, HR professionals, managers and small business owners expect candidates to become more creative in getting their name in front of hiring managers, says Henriksen. But to help them do that, employers need to be more accountable by creating well-written and thought out job descriptions. A poorly written job posting without specifics can attract the wrong type of job seeker. That can waste valuable time, cost money and delay the search. It can also prevent that active or passive job seeker from applying to your company – and worse yet – applying and getting hired by your competitor. It can bring in job seekers who don’t have the right technical skills, education requirements or leadership experience.
“It’s the littlest things that can bring in the right crowd,” says Henriksen. “So, start out on the right foot with a captivating and exciting job posting.”
This also continues to promote your employment brand, adds Henriksen – another key element in the battle to recruit top talent.
Employers are getting it though – and seeing the value and tie-in to employment brand, company culture and including that aspect in job postings. In fact, over the course of the last couple of years, Henriksen has read some pretty cool job postings, she says.
“These are job postings that I promote and work with when I am representing an organization,” says Henriksen. “I’ve seen job postings almost written as a commercial, or they’ve created a cool entry to the company overview that makes you feel like you are sitting in a manufacturing facility, or they’ve even called out personal characteristics they are not looking for in an individual. The more creative you are, the more people you are going to pull in and ultimately that increases the number of applicants.
So what are some of the do’s and don’ts to a great job posting? What are the specifics that can make or break a good job ad from a bad job ad? Henriksen lists 10 below:
10 keys to a well-written job posting
- DO – engage candidates with a well-written, creative intro to your organization (the more creative the better).
- DO – provide enough details as to the day-to-day duties and requirements.
- DO – think about the job title and how that title aligns with your compensation and what the market is paying for that type of role/title “This is where you can really draw in the wrong talent,” says Henriksen.
- DO – talk about company culture and what makes your company the very best place to work.
- DO – consider creating a video that captures your organizations culture and discusses the open position – this is easy and fun and becoming more and more popular (this might not work with the job posting itself, but you can use it via social media).
- DO – utilize social media as a tool to post your open jobs.
- DON’T – include detailed compensation information (include; base + commission or base + outstanding benefits).
- DON’T – give the task of writing your job descriptions to someone who does not have the time or that does not understand the value of employment branding.
- DON’T – ever think a well-written job description isn’t important.
Remember though, a well-written job description with specifics is still one part of the equation.
“If you really want to make an impact in the employment branding category, a creatively written job description is not the only thing you should be doing,” says Henriksen. It’s one piece to the entire puzzle. However, the completed puzzle is what’s going to help you stand out from the crowd. It’s not worth the money or time to create a poorly written job posting in today’s market because that alone will only attract the people you don’t want and leave you frustrated and with an open position you need to fill.”
“Have fun, be bold, and force yourself to think outside the box,” adds Henriksen.