Talent Acquisition

5 Reasons Your Job Postings are Broken … and How to Fix Them

By

Tiffany McGowen

| Mar 8, 2017

5 Reasons Your Job Postings are Broken … and How to Fix them

Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill mission-critical positions, due to lack of available applicants and candidates not having the necessary experience or skills. A 2016 survey by Manpower revealed that United States talent shortages are getting worse. But, is the labor market completely to blame? Or, could part of the problem be that your job postings are broken? If your job postings aren’t attracting top-talent candidates, it could be for the following reasons.

1. Not Listing Expectations

“Would you rather hire someone with all of the skills, or someone who can deliver the results?” to quote Lou Adler, HR and recruiting consultant and Adler Group CEO. If your current job postings disregard the role’s goals, potential for growth and how they fit within your culture, then your current postings are probably broken.

Are You Struggling to Find Good Talent?

This new breed of descriptions presents your job openings as a career opportunity instead of an intimidating “must have” checklist. By doing so, your job posting may organically inspire interested talent to think of their own comparable accomplishments and to remain interested as they read through the learning opportunities. A performance-based job posting has stronger chance of attracting diverse candidates as well as military veterans and mothers returning to the workforce and who may not fit the traditional mold.

Remedy: Define the real work involved, not skills or experiences, but the challenges and deliverables expected. Describe the objectives, instead of the person. List the top six annual goals of each role.

For example:
• “Achieve $60,000 in sales every quarter,” instead of “three years of sales experience”
• “Analyze performance trends to improve closing rates,” replaces “detail oriented”
• “Must manage several projects while working in an open-office, deadline-driven department,” rather than “able to multitask”

2. Vague Job Descriptions

In a study by AgCareers.com, respondents cited job responsibilities as the most important information to include in job postings. In addition, respondents were most discouraged by job descriptions that were too brief or not descriptive enough.

Prospects like to have a solid idea of responsibilities from the outset because it helps them determine whether they may be a good fit. Therefore, employers should provide position details in the listing – but keep it concise enough so applicants don’t become overwhelmed or lose interest.

Remedy: Be clear about the job functions, compensation, required skills and education level. If you’re flexible on certain requirements, convey this in your language – for example, “Master’s degree or equivalent work experience.”

3. Overlooking Passive Job Seekers

There’s a good chance your ideal candidate is already employed. But passive candidates typically only engage in conversations if a job change represents an exciting career move. Even if a passive seeker is satisfied with their current position, keep in mind that a recent poll found that 45 percent of employees claimed they are open to learning about new opportunities, According to Morgan Hunter Corporate Search.

Remedy: In addition to utilizing a recruiting firm, consider casting a wide net via your social media channels or forwarding the listing to your industry contacts who may be able to recommend a worthy candidate.

4. Not Reaching Mobile-Savvy Candidates

Nearly fifty percent of job seekers use their mobile phones to look for work at least once a day, according to Mediabistro. Further, one in four job seekers will not apply to job listings if the description or application process isn’t mobile friendly.

Remedy: To attract mobile applicants,

  • Keep job titles short, such as 50 characters or less. Long titles take up too much screen space on a mobile device.
  • Include key search terms in your job description to increase the chances of prospects finding the listing through search engines.
  • Minimize scrolling time. The general consensus is that mobile applicants shouldn’t have to scroll down the page more than four times to reach the end of the job description.
  • Ensure the design is clean, easy-to-navigate and looks good on all mobile units.
  • Give candidates the ability to apply to – and share – the listing from their mobile device.

 

5. Not Ending with a Call to Action

According to Entrepreneur magazine, a survey in which the call to action (CTA) was placed near strong supporting information yielded a 304 percent conversion rate increase – indicating that calls to action should be placed in the area that best supports the decision-making process.

Remedy: To increase your job posting response rate, insert a CTA that gives applicants clear directions at the end of the description. For example:

  • Place your “Apply” button “above the fold” so candidates don’t have to scroll down the webpage to find it.
  • Encourage prompt response by stating the closing date for receiving applications.

 

Job postings are the first real form of communication that prospective employees have with your business. It’s imperative to make them count.

About the Author

Tiffany McGowen

Tiffany McGowen, Paycom’s national director of recruiting, is responsible for the oversight of staffing corporate headquarters and growing the nationwide sales force. She has more than 10 years of recruiting experience, ranging from executive-level talent to interns, with a specialty in sales professionals. Passionate about motivation, McGowen is constantly on a coast-to-coast hunt for the best and brightest talent in every market.

See more posts by Tiffany McGowen