July 20, 2018

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How to Craft Online Job Postings to Attract the Right Candidates

A common complaint from hiring managers these days is "too many resumes to review" and "too many unqualified candidates" responding to their online postings. Whether you're posting a job on your corporate Web site, a local niche site, or a national job board, a well constructed job ad will bring in the right candidates while discouraging unqualified applicants.

There is a common thread running through all bad online job ads - they are uninspiring and don't sell the company or the perks of the job. Here are some do's and don'ts to crafting job postings that will work for you:

Don't use boring or non-descriptive job titles

Don't expect candidates to get excited about plain old "Administrative Support III" or "Account Manager." Use the ample space most job boards give you to add a perk to your job title, such as "Motivated Account Managers - Join an Orange County Leader," or "Administrative Assistant - Flexible Schedule, Great Benefits."

Don't use your company's official job description as your online job ad

A long, boring description of job duties and requirements is not going to entice motivated applicants seeking exciting growth opportunities. Instead of a long list of requirements, mention only those that are non-negotiable and state that applicants must meet these requirements in order to be considered.

Do sell your company!

Unless you're on par with Microsoft, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't mention the perks of working for your company in your job posting. Give job seekers a one sentence description of who you are and what you do. Tell them why they should want to work for your company, whether it's exceptional benefits, flexible schedules, fun work environment, growth opportunity, or an emphasis on employee appreciation. If you don't have any selling points, make it your mission to implement programs to attract the strongest candidates.

Do give applicants options on how to apply to your posting

Be sure to give candidates both online and offline options to send their resume or application. It's possible to miss a great candidate who has a slow Internet connection if you require them to upload a resume online. Give job seekers the option of emailing or faxing their resume.

Do incorporate keywords into your job posting

Most job boards allow both job category and keyword searches. Ensure your job is seen by incorporating keywords relating to the job in your posting. For instance, an account manager position could also be called "account executive, sales executive, sales associate, or sales professional." By adding these keywords to the end of your posting or incorporating them into your job ad, you will have a greater chance of being seen by the right candidates.

Do give applicants a direction to follow

A quick way of weeding out unqualified candidates is to give a task to be completed along with their application. You can do this by specifying that applicants give a one paragraph explanation of how their experience qualifies them for the position. This should lessen the number of uninterested or unqualified candidates who respond.

Do try niche job sites specific to your location and/or industry

Not only are niche job sites typically less expensive than national job boards, but they focus on a select pool of candidates. There are numerous niche job boards, which typically specialize in a specific geographic region or industry (for example, focuses on legal jobs in California). This hones down the group of candidates who respond to your job ad, so you receive fewer resumes and a more focused, qualified response.

OCjobSite, another niche board created by Davidson Staffing, offers cost effective job postings (just $75 each) and focuses on professional Orange County job seekers. And, if you just can't find the time to craft your own job ads, OCjobSite offers job writing assistance and a la carte options for companies seeking staffing expertise on a budget!

You'll find that a little extra effort upfront will pay off with a more qualified response to your job postings. Put yourself in the candidate's shoes and consider what would appeal to you in a job. Be clear about what qualifications are absolutely necessary. Weed out the unqualified by challenging applicants to think before they send you their resume. Happy job posting!

-Sue Davidson

Founder and Chief Executive Officer and OCjobSite

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