As some of you may know this is the first in a series of posts about different ways you can improve the application process for your company and better compete for candidates. I wrote a brief introduction describing how tedious this process can be if you would like to go back and read it. But honestly, I don’t really have to tell anyone what a pain it is to apply to a job because we ALL know.
This entry is going to focus on the job post, the first real moment a candidate comes across the position and likely your company. A lot of companies simply paste every requirement and job duty and call it day, but there is so much more to writing a job post than that. If you have a great post you will attract better candidates, and have better follow through from candidates looking at a job and actually applying.
How to make your job post better:
The first thing you want to do in your job post (besides making sure you have all relevant information of course) is make it readable. The minute my eyes come across a giant block of text, like many of the job posts I found, my eyes glaze over and I have to actively force myself to not only read the text but pay attention to what I am reading.
I am not alone in this act, as there are many articles written for the blogging community, such as this article from Lifeform Labs, that explains why people just cannot deal with such a large amount of consolidated text on their screen. I mean have you ever tried to read one of those ‘Terms and Conditions’ sections from software like iTunes?
It’s just too dense, and that is NOT what you want your job post to read like. You want an easy flow where readers can quickly find out the details they need to know to move them on to the next step of the application process (or stop them if they are not qualified).
The second thing within your job post that needs to be prominent is your COMPANY CULTURE. If I am a top candidate, your description needs to tell me why I should pick your company over every other company I am looking at.
Like I mentioned before, the job post is your first chance to ingratiate yourself with candidates and convince them yours is the place they need to be. Responsibilities and expectations are not doing anything for you in that regard, which is why you need to show why your company is a great place to work, and if you have any perks like flexibility to work from home, mention that here!
Provide Job Details
Once you have the culture of your company nailed, then you can move onto the nuts and bolts of the job description and tell the candidates what they will actually be doing in the position. I cannot tell you how many times I got through the bland description of how a company generated revenue, just to get to a two sentence or three bullet point section for the functions of the job.
Never assume a candidate knows everything about the duties of a position!
Not only will you exclude candidates who are qualified but can’t determine if they are because you didn’t write everything out, but it also makes you and your company look like you don’t care enough about the position to even write a few bullet points about it. If you are hiring, you need candidates and should respect them enough to spend a fraction of the amount of time on this that they will spend reading through your website, post, and then, hopefully, applying to the position.
Reasonable Number of Requirements
While you should give enough information about the duties of the job, where some people tend to go overboard is the number of requirements they list. Now, of course, it is important and appropriate to have a handful of skills and experiences you want your future employee to possess in order to be competent.
But, this section should not exceed the rest of the entire job post! You would be surprised how many times I came across this, or, just as bad in my opinion, the requirements being longer than the explanation of what is done by the position.
We get it, you want the best. But no one wants to spend an hour reading through a list of requirements, just to get to the last one and not have it! I know, I know, not having one, or even a few of the requirements doesn’t automatically cut you out of running in many cases.
But evidence shows that some candidates, especially women, will skip an application if they think they don’t qualify. So the more you list, the more you could be inviting GREAT candidates to move on by thinking there is no way they could ever get the job.
Next time I will be moving on to the next step in the application process, when a candidate visits your career page and finally starts filling out an application- HURRAH! I will give you some tips to make this experience better for your candidates, so they can more easily and happily get to you.