Job Post Best Practices to Reach the Most Quality Applicants

By Alan Dodaro,
July 18, 2018

Job postings are meant to get top candidates excited for your open roles. But recent changes to organic job feeds may mean you’re not reaching as many applicants as you thought possible. Use these tactics to ensure you’re maximizing results from organic job board feeds.

Keep Job Titles Clean, Clear and Concise

Keep aspects of the job – hourly, remote or relocation, needed certifications – out of the job title.

Only promote one job title at a time – instead of posting a job for a “Registered Nurse/RN” just use “Registered Nurse.”

Remove fluffy keywords from the job title. Your applicants (and job boards) will understand the role without the need to load it with keywords or similar positions.

Limit job posts to one per location. Recent changes in several leading job boards prioritize open positions with a single location only. As a result, you should open a separate job for each location – listing multiple locations in a single job post may be marked as spam.

Ultimately, when it come to the job title field, your focus should be on keeping it short and sweet so an applicant looking through a list of job board results can quickly identify your open role click to learn more about the position.

Make the Most of Job Descriptions

Job descriptions should go well beyond a simple list of bullets about the position. In today’s economy of near full employment, top job seekers can be very selective when it comes to their next career move. Your job description needs to sell them on the role – and your organization – to convince them of the opportunity you offer to further their career.

Showcase your success. The job description should open by introducing your organization and why it’s an exciting time to join the team. You can briefly cover your history, news and the team to increase their interest in reading about the role.

Introduce the role. After you get job seekers excited about your broader team, explain a little bit about the role and what the ideal candidate looks like based on current members of your team experiencing success. Do seasoned members of the team offer mentorship? Do you have a spectacular training program? Focus on the great opportunities the individual will have in their role beyond the day-to-day in the introduction.

Bullet out the minimum qualifications. After you introduce the role, include a concise list of the minimum qualifications needed for you to consider a candidate. The basics here include education, related experience, required certifications, and schedule availability. Be sure to also mention additional skills and elements required to be successful for the position. Just remember that requiring a candidate to have previous experience in the exact role does not necessarily guarantee success, and could limit the reach of your talent pool.

Reduce Bias to Reach More Applicants

It’s already a challenge to find great candidates. Are you turning away talent without even knowing it? Review your job posts to ensure you’re not turning away underrepresented candidates.

Avoid using masculine-only verbs. For many sales or technical roles, traditional job posts have focused around describing the position with terms like “lone wolf,” “aggressive targets,” looking for “competitive self starters.” Terms like these might turn away women who may be looking for a more collaborative team environment. Instead, focus your roles on mentorship, collaborative selling strategies, or your training programs to open the role up to a broader set of candidates who may be just as successful.

Offer scheduling flexibility where possible. Many hiring managers are looking for dedicated employees who can jump on a shift or put in extra hours whenever needed. But for many mothers (and fathers), balancing work and home life might present a challenge. Instead of requiring a single role to cover all weekends, can you offer a team rotation to allow everyone more family time? Additionally, tweaking shift schedules for school pickups and after school activities might make your openings look more appealing for more young parents who want to succeed while providing enough time with their children.

Audit your job post bullets for the minimum requirements. Studies have shown that a majority of male applicants will apply for a position when they meet just 60% of the minimum requirements. Female job seekers only apply to jobs once they satisfy 90% of the requirements. This disconnect shows that you may be missing a substantial amount of the talent pool if your minimum job requirements aren’t an accurate representation of what’s required for the job. Keep this in mind for new posts to see if slightly less experience could open up the reach to a bigger audience of capable job seekers.

Posting Tips

Avoid refreshing posts too often. When you post your position, it’ll get picked up by job boards, but may move down the feed after a few days as other organizations post similar roles. While it might be tempting to repost your open job, doing so might flag you as spam in the system. We recommend holding off on reposting your job until it’s been active for 45 days to keep you in the clear.

See which posts drive more interest. Job boards are a great tool to reach applicants, but not all networks are created equal. You should always track (or ask) candidates how they found you to help inform where you concentrate your resources. More importantly, tracking where most hires – not applicants – come from can help you prioritize your recruitment spend to only the top channels.

What to Do Next

You might have a few open roles right now that fall into some of the scenarios we outlined in this post. Don’t panic if that’s the case.

Just ensure that new roles you open have clear, concise job titles, great job descriptions free of bias, and track activity across your job board feeds. Always write your job posts with applicants in mind – not to game the system of job boards. In today’s SEO-focused world, job posts that are compelling for applicants will also be good for job boards algorithms. With so many changes that have the potential take place, this is the best way to stay ahead of job board changes and reach the most applicants for your open positions. 

For more information on how to write strong job descriptions and attract quality applicants, read our resource, “The Hireology Employment Brand Playbook.”



About the Author

Alan is the content and product marketing manager, responsible for educating Hireology customers on new product features and platform best practices. He brings experience from previous startup and digital agency roles. Before beginning his career, Alan attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with a major in advertising and a minor in library information science.

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