Recently the U.S. government announced that we’re at a 40 year low in unemployment filings. At the same time, there are more unfilled jobs than ever in the U.S.Â If you’re looking to hire people, you know what this means. The labor market is incredibly tight, and finding employees with the right skills is tough.
What can you do to beat this market? As a long time recruiter who now helps people fill jobs at Betterteam, the company I co-founded, I constantly recommend that people take a second look at their job postings.Â
A little disappointed with that advice? Give me a moment, and do one thing for me. Jump on your favorite job board, search for a position you’re hiring for and read through the titles for each post.
This is for the very competitive position of a software engineer:Â
See how many of them have exactly the same title?Â And the additional descriptions offer very little to entice the potential applicant to click. Imagine for a moment that you’re a candidate and you know it’s a tight job market. Employers are fighting for you. What about any of the jobs you see would get you excited? Probably nothing, right?
Writing a good job postingÂ is an easy win for your hiring process. Just taking a little extra time to think about it from the applicant’s perspective will give you an edge over most other companies. Here are 10 tips to help you stand out, bring in more candidates, and beat a tough hiring market.
1. Know the difference between a job ad and a job description. A job description is a document meant for internal use that describes the job, and the type of person who should occupy it. A job ad should sell the job to potential candidates as if they were customers.
Think of it as the difference between the instruction manual for a new car, and the advertisement that makes you want to buy it. Not many cars would be sold if the manufacturer just published the instruction manual.
2. Really know your audience. What frustrates the people you’re trying to hire? What about your company will they love? Answer these questions by talking to your current employees, and checking employer-reviews on sites like Glassdoor, or by visiting forums for people with that job. Write a job postingÂ that speaks directly to their frustrations and shows them what they’ll love about your company.Â
Here’s a quick, step-by-step guide to learning more about your potential applicants via forums.
- Go to Google.Â
- Do a search like this: inurl:forum [position you’re hiring for] cons. See example in the image below.
You’ll look for the “cons,” things people don’t like about this particular job. In marketing, these would be called “pain points.” If you can relieve these pain points, you’ve got a good chance of making a sale, or in this case, finding an applicant. So, with the dentist forums, I noticed one of the big cons is the amount of student loan debt dentists carry.
If your practice had some way of helping with student loans, you’d want to mention it in the job postingÂ title.Â
3. Study your job boards. Besides knowing which board is best for the particular job you’re posting, you’ll also want to browse as if you’re a job seeker, and see what stands out. Take notes about what makes you curious and gets you to click.Â
4. Don’t leave out salary and benefits. Lots of people are reluctant to put this information in a job posting, but it’s essential. It is make-or-break for a lot of candidates, and it’s better to filter out people who wouldn’t have taken the job because of compensation issues before you get a few interviews into the process.
5. Sell the location. The world is a big place, and there’s a good chance the best person for your job lives outside your city or region. Moving is a big deal. Be sure to sell them on the reasons they’ll love living in this location in the job posting.
6. Sell the team. If someone takes the job, they’re signing up to spend a lot of time with their new coworkers. Give an idea of who they’ll be working with or what the work culture is like.
7. Tell them about the gear. Does your company use any gear that the applicant will be excited to use? Something they’ll brag about to their friends in the industry? Put it in the job posting.
8. Tell them about the office. Is there something cool about your office? Is it new and state-of-the-art? Or maybe historic? Located in a great neighborhood? Let them know!
9. Get creative. Is there something that people in your industry really geek out about? Maybe a television show or a particular website? See if you can work in a relevant cultural reference into the job posting. If done right, it’ll get shared by people who read it and amplify your job post.
10. Make the title stand out. Don’t let your job postingÂ be like the others I used for my example. Make sure your title contains at least one or two specific things that will interest your candidates and get them to apply.
Ok, hopefully, you’re 10 steps closer to having a much better job posting that brings in lots more candidates. If you don’t feel like you have time for all 10 of these tips, just keep tip #1 in mind the next time you write a job posting.
Write a posting that’s focused on what the applicant wants, rather than what your company wants, will make a huge difference.
Photo credit:Â one photo/Shutterstock