Want to Hire a Better Employee? Then Write a Better Job Posting

Do you want your employees to be skilled and enthusiastic or lazy and incompetent? The former can improve your business’s odds of success; the latter can contribute to your business’s failure. Finding skilled workers can be a challenge. Fortunately, you can attract hardworking employees to your business with your job posting.

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But before you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, take a few minutes to read through the job postings at a site like CareerBuilder. Pretend you are a job seeker and sort the job postings you read into two categories – the ones you would apply for, and the ones you would ignore. After awhile, you’ll notice that all of the job postings in the “ignore” category sound a bit like this:

“Company A is a brand new retail store set to open in two months time. We are seeking professional, friendly, and motivated retail sales associates. Our employees are responsible for greeting customers and answering their questions, displaying merchandise, ordering inventory, and working the cash register. Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in business, with ten years experience in the retail sector. Drop off your resume at Company A, 123 Main Street, Any Town, Any Country only during office hours – Mon-Thurs, 10am-4pm. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for interviews.”

Does the above posting make you want to send in your resume and hope for an interview? Odds are, it makes you want to keep searching the help wanted ads. This job posting makes several mistakes. First, it doesn’t sell the job to prospective employees job posting. Job seekers looking for stimulating work or opportunities to advance their careers wouldn’t respond to this job posting – the list of responsibilities wouldn’t inspire talented and skilled workers. Second, it lists qualifications that are unrealistic; most retail sales associates don’t have bachelor’s degrees in business. And third, it doesn’t make it easy for job seekers to apply for the job, since the resume drop-off hours are so tight. This is not the type of job posting that will encourage skilled and enthusiastic employees to send you their resumes.

Fortunately, writing an engaging job posting is easy – as long as you remember that you are trying to sell the job to prospective employees. Think of the job posting as your first introduction to job seekers; you want to catch their attention, you want to make a good first impression, and you want to convince them that your business is the best fit for their careers. To write a compelling job posting, ask yourself the following three questions:

– Why would a job seeker want to land an interview with your company? Do you offer flexible hours? As an expert in your field, are you willing to train entry-level employees to help them advance in your company? What sets your company apart from the others?

– What type of employee are you looking for? Are you searching for an enthusiastic people-person? Does your business require employees who are capable of working long hours solo? Who would be the best fit for your business model?

– How can job seekers apply for the position? Can they send their resumes as email attachments? Or is your business’s website set up to accept applications?

If Company A had written a job posting that answered these three questions, it would have looked like this:

“Company A is set to launch a brand-new retail experience in Any Town. We’re focused on giving our customers the best shopping experience – complete with the lowest prices, the fastest checkout lines, and the best customer service. We’re looking for friendly, energetic, and outgoing retail sales associates who are dedicated to their customers and their coworkers. Sales experience is a bonus – but what’s more important is a willingness to learn. We are a new company, and as we grow, we want our employees to grow with us; employees who show leadership and ingenuity on the job will be eligible for the Company A management training course.

If you’re the right person for the job, visit our website and fill out the online application. Alternatively, you can mail your resume to Company A, 123 Main Street, Any Town, Any Country.”

So why would a job seeker want to land an interview with this business? Employees will be working for a company that focuses on customer service and values teamwork – the workplace will have a friendly atmosphere. Employees will also have the opportunity to advance their careers by taking the management training courses. And what type of employee is Company A looking for? Qualified applicants should be quick-learning team players who feel comfortable talking to customers – friendly, energetic, and outgoing individuals. And how can job seekers apply for this position? Company A accepts resumes through their website or through the mail. By answering the three questions, Company A has written an effective posting that will attract the attention of job seekers.

A business is only as good as the people working for it. If you want your business to succeed, you’ll need to hire capable and enthusiastic employees. If you want to find capable and enthusiastic employees, you’ll need to write an engaging job posting. It might take time to polish your posting, but the result – a pile of resumes from qualified job seekers – is well worth the effort.

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