How to Attract Strong Job Applicants Part 1: Job Postings

It’s not easy to attract “top candidates” to join your company. Not because you’re not worthy, but because everyone is competing for the best candidates.

Remember, recruiting works both ways—you’re looking for great candidates; and great candidates are looking for great companies. That means you need to sell yourself to them, before they sell themselves to you.

Many times, the first impression a candidate will have of your company is the job posting. So, crafting a clear, concise job description is essential.

How Long is Too Long?

When it comes to the length of your job descriptions, size does matter. A survey by discovered some interesting facts about job descriptions. They found that when job descriptions were less than 170 words, the application completion rate was only 3%.  These positions were most likely viewed as entry-level or insignificant to the candidates.

When job descriptions rambled on for 2000 words, there was only a 6.7% application completion rate.  

However, when the job descriptions measured in at a concise, yet clear 500-700 words—BINGO.  Completion rate rose to 15%.

What’s in a Name?

The survey also found that job titles consisting of 50-characters, generated 30-40% more applications. Keep in mind, the title on a job description, doesn’t have to be the title printed on a business card. So instead of posting for a “Creative Director,” you may want to consider, “Creative Director, Art Direction and Copywriting Professional.”

Be Job Specific and include Essential Functions

Make sure your posting includes specific skill sets that include what the candidate will actually be doing in this position. Make a clear distinction between what is a preferred skill and what is a required skill.

Also list all of the key responsibilities, required certifications, licenses, level of technical proficiency and education needed.

Forget the Corporate Double-Speak

We’ve all heard it before. Those esoteric, corporate gobbledygook phrases that sounds substantial but are completely incomprehensible.  Saying that someone will be responsible to “optimize value-added functionalities” or “enable strategic networks” is counter-productive. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

If candidates are forced to decipher the actual responsibilities of the position, chances are they will pass on the opportunity. No one wants to work at a place that speaks in tongue.

Don’t be Anonymous

For some reason, many companies hide their identity when posting positions. Probably to avoid phone calls. However, many job-seekers distrust anonymous listings. Don’t hide your brand, even if you are a new company.

In fact, your posting should include a company overview with the company’s mission statement, goals, industry, headquarters, states and countries of operation, total number of employees, etc.

Promote Your Company

Tell your potential new-hire what’s great about your company. Let them know what your culture is like? Brag a bit. Mention your benefits—health, dental, 401K, etc.  

What else sets your business apart and makes your company more attractive to work at. Casual dress code? Flexible work hours? Bagel Fridays? Bring your dog to work? Ping Pong table? Let candidates know what to expect.  

Proofread before you Post

Typos are very common in job postings with “Manger” for “Manager” being a common mistake. Errors in your postings make your company look careless with no attention to detail.  So have at least two people proofread your post, before placing it online.

Follow these tips and it will make your job posting and your company more attractive to prospective employees.