How to Craft a Job Posting that Attracts Great Candidates: Top Tips from Three Local Experts

The workplace has changed so much in the last few years. Employers everywhere have struggled with the pandemic’s uncertainty, adapting their hiring practices in real-time. But hiring new talent still starts with your company culture and creating a compelling job listing on your website or a job board. And this time has created an opportunity to be thoughtful and intentional about attracting the best candidates for your organization.

During the recent Strategic Management Conference, Mac’s List partnered with the Portland Human Resources Management Association to share a pre-recorded webinar that discussed compelling job postings and employer culture. 

We were glad to be joined by local experts Tia B. Coachman, the Founder and Principal of Affirma Consultancy; Abby Engers, an HR Manager at Boly: Welch; and Jenny Foss, an internationally recognized job search strategist and career coach who is the voice behind Check out the recorded webinar here! And read on for a high-level recap of the webinar.

The Context: How COVID-19 Has Affected Job Listings

Meet Candidates Where They Are

We’ve had almost two years to reflect on what’s important to us and how we want our lives to look moving forward. Many people are contemplating whether or not to return to the workforce. Job seekers have become more discerning about finding opportunities that align with their values and allow them flexibility.

Passive sourcing isn’t enough anymore. By rethinking your hiring practices, you can meet candidates where they are. Give them a holistic view of a job and illustrate the employee value proposition. Why would a person be interested in this role, and what sort of benefit would they gain from joining your team?

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In today’s landscape, postings should indicate whether a role is remote indefinitely, a hybrid model, or requires in-office time. If the position requires being in the office regularly, this is an excellent opportunity to address safety concerns around COVID protocols. 

What’s the Sizzle?

Showcase Your Company Culture 

Now more than ever, the hiring process needs to be compelling, from the moment job seekers land on your website to the moment you seal the deal and hire them. This is your opportunity to appeal to their emotions, highlighting who you are and what you need in the person you hire.

Employees continue to seek out jobs that offer not just financial rewards, but a great workplace culture, a high degree of flexibility, and professional development or career growth opportunities. 

  • What does the day-to-day work environment look like?
  • What kind of benefits are you offering that are above and beyond what other employers offer?
  • Where are you in your equity journey, and where do you aspire to be in the future?

Remember that there is room for levity and humanness in these job ads while still conveying that you are a professional organization looking to hire a professional. You want to send a strong, authentic message to job seekers that your company is a great place for them to work. Help potential candidates imagine themselves in the role.

Prioritize Accessibility

Start with an Inviting Job Posting 

While it’s good to have a detailed job posting, the application process itself should be as easy and “frictionless” as possible. Don’t make candidates re-enter their resume and references into an online system or sign in to multiple ATS systems! This is an easy way to deter candidates.

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Software such as Textio can help you determine whether you’re using words coded as masculine or feminine, potentially affecting who responds to your posting. Meanwhile, shifting your language to “preferred,” “a plus,” “bonus,” or “nice to have” can help a larger pool of candidates imagine themselves in the role.

Think simple, engaging, and skimmable when you write your job posting, with bold headings and bullet points. Your website, jobs page, and other online documents should complement the job listing and give candidates a feel for your organization.

The images your organization uses on marketing materials also matter. If diversity isn’t reflected in your images, this sends a message to candidates. 

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Job Listing Essentials

You don’t have to go it alone as you update your job listings and hiring practices. Know that there is a treasure trove of HR resources available to you online. Don’t just dust off an old listing with the plan to post and pray! Get support as you make your updates, then create a template you can follow moving forward. 

Before you write a listing, start by asking, “Who’s the type of candidate that would be best for this role?” By creating a candidate profile of what’s required for the role and what you can train for, you’ll better understand how to approach the listing. 

After this, you can narrow down a title candidates will search for, such as HR Manager (versus Chief Happiness Officer), specify the location (whether the role is remote, hybrid, or in-office and where), and develop your listing like you would a marketing document.

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What to Include in Every Job Listing

Job Summary

  • Speak to a candidate so they can imagine themselves in the role and get excited to apply from the get-go. For example, “If numbers are your jam, this might be the role for you!”
  • List the core requirements and capabilities of the position for a candidate to perform successfully.
  • Be straightforward and clearly articulate your needs.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Best Practices

  • Be inclusive when it comes to years of experience and education required to widen the candidate pool. 
  • Encourage a diverse candidate pool by making gender-neutral word choices, including where you are in your equity journey, and focusing on value-add instead of fit. 
  • Does the image you project encourage job seekers to imagine themselves on your team?

Company Details

  • This is where your value proposition comes into the job listing. Play up your company culture, mission, and values. 
  • Share about your equity journey and where you aspire to be in the future.

Salary Transparency

  • People want to know what they will be paid and what the range for their position will be. 
  • This best practice will help increase your number of applicants and save you and the candidates time.

Total Rewards

  • Highlight the rewards and additional perks that will attract your ideal candidates.
  • Additional benefits (beyond salary) like remote work, flexibility, healthcare, career pathways, and training programs have become baseline expectations among Millennials and Gen Zers.

Want to learn more?  View the recorded webinar presentation on YouTube!