Want Better Candidates? Start with Better Recruiting Ads (part 2)

Ever heard the phrase: “Garbage In, Garbage Out?”

Well, it’s as true for recruiting ads as it is for computer programming. The higher the quality of information you put into your job postings, the higher the quality of candidates your efforts will ultimately yield.

And the difference between a “garbage” job posting and a stand-out one? It can be measured in dozens – or even hundreds – of high quality candidates.

In part 1 of this series, we shared ways to get better quality input from your clients. But once you invest the time and effort into getting more robust information about a position…

How do you transform “raw data” into a compelling job posting?

Here are 5 tips to try:

Write more engaging job titles.

The job title is your biggest attention-grabber. Yes, you need to include the functional title (because job seekers still search based on them), but embellish it with something that will make the opportunity stand out, like:

  • starting pay
  • bonus or raise opportunities
  • geography/location
  • ability to telecommute
  • flexible hours
  • temp to hire potential

Test different versions of the same job title; even a small tweak can attract a very different type of candidate.

Sell the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).

Lead with the reasons why the job is great. Why your ideal candidate should be interested. And how the employer distinguishes itself as a best place to work. In today’s job market, top candidates seek things like challenging work, exceptional benefits, stability, a great corporate culture, a performance review after 6 months, work/life flexibility, wellness programs and opportunities for training and advancement. Effective job postings key into job seekers’ “hot buttons” – and sell the opportunity, first.

Include a skills-based job description.

Improve your posting by moving beyond a ho-hum list of responsibilities. Clearly state the fundamental skills needed to accomplish daily tasks, so potential candidates can assess their abilities against the job’s requirements. As an added benefit, a skills-based description provides a great starting point for relevant interview questions.

…and a performance profile.

You’ve worked hard to get high-quality input from your client about what makes the opportunity exceptional. Use this information to create a performance profile for the job, which describes the major challenges that must be met to succeed. Describing an assignment or direct job this way helps you create an opportunity gap (i.e., a significant difference between the individual’s current job and the new one) that will get even passive candidates thinking. If you can convince a prospect that they’d be passing on a major opportunity, you have a much better chance of getting them to apply.

Close with a clear call to action.

Should people apply online or in person? Can they call or email a recruiter? Do they need to submit work samples? Every posting you write should clearly explain what you want the candidate to do.

Finally, if people decide not to apply to the specific posting they’re viewing, encourage them to submit their resume in consideration for all the other jobs you have available.

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