In 2019, 83% of HR pros admitted they had challenges finding viable job candidates in the talent marketplace. Here's the harsh truth: not all talent is good talent. The cream-of-the-crop, top-rated talent is hard to find, insanely difficult to lure into an interview, and notoriously challenging to hire. But, believe it or not, finding top talent isn't luck. It all starts with the right job posting for employers. As Harold Demsetz — Professor of Economics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) — once said when asked if he was happy where he was working, "make me unhappy."
Studies show that the vast majority of candidates are open to moving jobs. But that can be a problem. You want top talent applying for your positions, not just any talent. Two percent of job applicants end up receiving offers. Why is that? It's because most companies try the "catch them all" job posting strategy.
The more applicants, the better chance you have at finding a great one, right? Unfortunately, that's not true. You want job postings that attract top-level talent and make that talent question if they should really be working where they're currently located.
This seems simple enough, right? Obviously, your job posting will include an overview of the position. But there's a difference between providing a summary and providing a comprehensive overview that draws candidates to your posting. There are five primary buckets you want to include in your job posting overview (a.k.a. TIER Q).
Tasks: What types of tasks are involved in the job role? What is their day-to-day? What methods will they be using to accomplish tasks? What are the fringe tasks that may be required from time to time?
Interactions: Who will they be interacting with, and how does their role touch other roles and intersect with critical stakeholders?
Expectations: What are your overall expectations of their duties, responsibilities, and capabilities?
Requirements: What requirements do you have for the candidate applying to this position?
Qualifications: Are there any specific qualifications the candidate needs (e.g., degree, certifications, experience, etc.)?
You want to answer all of these questions as precisely (yet succinctly) as possible.
2. Use Clear, Concise Language
People are drawn to concise language. Job postings should be short, sweet, and to the point. Short job postings get significantly more hits than longer postings. In general, you want to use present tense, bullet points, and clear language. Skip the buzzwords. At the same time, pay attention to the language you're using. Gender-biased language discourages candidates, and leaning too heavily on industry jargon can cause friction.
Keep it simple.
3. Include Salary and Benefit Information
"When people are looking at job descriptions, they are looking for the details that drive their motivations when changing jobs." — Monica Lewis, Head of Product for LinkedIn Jobs
Let's cut to the chase: the No. 1 motivator for 67% of job seekers is salary. Don't hide salary information behind fancy language. According to LinkedIn testing, a straightforward tone gets the best job posting results. There's a good reason for that. People want to find out exactly what they need to know when scouting out a job.
LinkedIn Job data shows that 70% of top talent wants to hear about salary in the very first line of a job posting. Benefits, culture, and workplace happiness are all crucial components of the complex and nuanced job satisfaction and turnover algorithm. But, salary matters. Granted, salary isn't the number one reason that employees leave their job — that honor belongs to benefits. However, salary is the first number they're looking for, and if they can't find salary information, many will simply jump to the next posting.
4. Use Adjectives Wisely
You don't want your job posting to attract everyone. That puts enormous pressure on your interview team, saps resources, and can result in you hiring a not-so-fit candidate. You should think of job postings as a way to narrow down your search. One easy way to accomplish this is with the right adjectives. At their core, adjectives are descriptors. And that's exactly how you should use them in a job posting.
The way you describe the work environment, the type of work, and the tone of your culture will dictate the types of people that apply for the job. For instance, if you're looking for an accountant, you may use adjectives like:
Don't simply stuff fancy buzzwords into your job posting. Purposefully select the right adjectives that match the type of employee you want to hire.
5. Define Essential Duties
Did you know that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that job descriptions clearly and concisely define "essential" job functions? In other words, what essential duties does a person who might have a disability need to be able to perform? These are crucial. Not only does specifying essential job functions keep your company compliant (fines reach up to $150,000 per violation), but it helps disabled individuals understand whether or not the job is a fit for them.
Everything Starts With the Job Posting
From defining essential duties and providing the correct details to using the right adjectives and language, creating best-in-class job postings isn't always easy. But they're essential to capturing world-class talent. Your Professional Employer Organization (PEO) partner can help you create the ideal job postings for your unique positions. Not only do PEOs help you attract the right talent to surge your growth, but businesses that work with PEOs see 10 to 14 percent lower turnover. In other words, PEOs help businesses grow.