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The 7 must-haves for your job post

Talent Attraction

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You only have a brief window to capture the attention of candidates

Seasoned recruiters are well aware that a job post is not simply a summary of the job description. Candidates today are swamped with a proliferation of online talent marketplaces, and your job post needs to stand out from the crowd to make them stop and take notice.

LinkedIn recently analysed around 4.5 million job posts across the UK and USA to identify the common themes of the most successful job adverts. The researchers found 7 key differentiators that made a job post a magnet for applicants. Here are the simple tips you need to maximise the effectiveness of your job post.

1. Keep things short and sweet

Less is definitely more in the realm of job adverts. Job posts of 150 words or fewer receive 17.8% more applicants than job posts with 450 to 600 words. Bearing in mind that more than half of job views are on mobile devices, it makes sense to strip your job post back to the key essentials. It’s also good practice in cutting out the waffle – if a candidate is interested, they can find out more about your company and the role on your website.

2. Sell the role, not your company

Heatmap data shows that candidates home in on job-specific information, skipping over the company description. It’s not that they aren’t interested in your business or your culture, but rather the first thing they need to know is whether the specific job is suitable for them. So, make sure your role-specific propositions are front and centre. If their interest is piqued, they’ll move on to your website to find out more about who you are and what you stand for.

3. Don’t be vague

Candidates scan job posts for a few key pieces of information – so be sure to include them. The top 4 aspects of a job post are:

  • Compensation
  • Qualifications required
  • Key activities of the role
  • Performance goals

It may be tempting to leave things open-ended in the hope of maximising your potential talent pool, but in reality you’re switching off candidates who don’t want to waste time applying without reassurance that the job is in line with their abilities and expectations.

4. A straightforward tone of voice works best

LinkedIn’s research showed that candidates react most positively to job posts that are written in clear, unadorned language. Overly casual, matey or jokey descriptions are the least popular by far. Corporate, jargon-heavy posts fare better but are still less popular than straightforward language which reflects the right balance of personality and professionalism. Keep it simple to make the best impression on your audience.

5. Post on a Monday to maximise engagement

The first day of the work week is prime jobhunting time, with activity tailing off steadily over each successive day thereafter. Whether people are heading into their week filled with dread at their current job, or are simply full of energy after the weekend, your best chance of gaining both job views and applications is by posting on a Monday.

6. Define what success looks like

Candidates are big fans of specific, measurable job goals. It gives them an instant picture of the aims of the role, enabling them to stack up their own experience and performance to understand whether the job is right for them. You don’t have to go into too much detail but including some concrete expectations will attract the right candidates. It also serves to deter casual applicants for whom the role isn’t suitable.

7. Use gender-neutral language for inclusivity

Gendered language can be more surreptitious than you might think. Certain adjectives have been shown to have a strong gender-stereotype association – for example, words such as dominant, decisive, analytical and competitive are perceived as inherently masculine, whereas words such as supportive, understanding, cooperative and interpersonal are perceived as feminine.

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that recruitment adverts for male-dominated and female-dominated roles tend to feature these subtle linguistic indicators, which in turn have a significant effect in attracting applicants of one sex while discouraging the other. Keep a keen eye on your job advert wording to make sure you’re not subconsciously giving off gendered signals.

In conclusion

Your job post has to cut through the noise and pitch the role quickly and concisely. Keep it short, choose your words wisely and be sure to include all of the key information. Provide a link through to your careers site for more in-depth information and if you’ve piqued a candidate’s interest, they’ll be sure to click through to find out more, taking them one step closer to applying.

Need help in building a talent attraction strategy? We’ve helped our clients to find and attract the right people, optimising the candidate journey to deliver more and better applications. Visit our talent attraction page to find out more.