Your organization's first impression for job seekers isn't the gatekeeper or the receptionist who announces when a candidate arrives for her interview. It's the way you write your job postings that attract applicants to your company. Well-constructed job postings can bring you a pool of qualified applicants and cast a positive image on how your company values current and future employees.
Not Just a Job Description
Some recruiters simply copy and paste portions of the job description into an advertisement intended to attract qualified and interested applicants. Although you could use the job description as a foundation for your posting, you need more than that to sell applicants on why they should spend time applying for the position. In his December 2012 Huffington Post blog post, Steve Roberson, CEO of Vienna, Va.-based StartUpHire, says more than 40 percent of his candidates aren't inspired to apply if the job posting doesn't grab them. Give information about the company and the benefits of working for your organization. Also, describe for applicants the types of candidates you're looking for and how to apply for the job.
Tell Applicants What You Offer
Besides your compensation and benefits package, write a job posting that includes what you have to offer the successful candidate. The Career Center at Tufts University calls this your "employer brand." It's what sets you apart from other companies that are looking for the same qualified candidates. If your workplace culture is fast-paced, say so. This way, applicants who are looking for a job that requires them to stretch their intellectual capabilities and grow will glean from your posting that you challenge your employees -- in a good way. Companies that provide advancement opportunities, such as promotion-from-within and leadership development or training, also should include that in the job posting. You'll likely attract motivated candidates who are seeking long-term career choices.
Explain What You Expect
Different from the job description, your expectations say more about what the supervisor and manager require. For example, you could write, "XYZ Architecture rewards early to mid-career employees with exciting assignments and mentoring opportunities with senior architects working on high-profile projects. We're looking for the most talented architects in the business, but we also are looking for professionals who want work-life balance, too. Despite our long client list and dozens of projects happening all at once, we encourage our employees to get away from work, too. We have a generous time-off policy and paid sabbaticals after five years with the company."
Give applicants information about why the job is vacant, such as whether it's because of expansion or sudden growth. Refrain exposing your company's woes -- such as, high turnover -- if that's the reason why you have jobs available. Explain the best way to apply, whether it's through your online application system or via email to the hiring manager, and tell how long you'll be accepting applications. For example, you could write, "Send your cover letter, resume and salary requirements directly to the sales department senior manager, Mary Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants who do not submit salary requirements will not receive consideration. Submit your application materials as a single attachment to your email in Word format."
Legalities and Formalities
Make it clear that your organization embraces fair employment practices. At the bottom of their job postings, many companies list "EOE/AA Employer." EOE stands for equal opportunity employer and AA means that the organization practices affirmative action. If there's a target group you're looking for, plainly state, "Veterans encouraged to apply," or something to that effect. Avoid obviously preferential or discriminatory statements, such as, "We prefer young candidates for these positions," or "This is the perfect career opportunity for single candidates who can travel up to 100 percent of the time."