You know what they say—first impressions are everything. Job postings typically constitute the first interaction between candidates and your organization, which means they are a make-or-break marketing tool. If your organization strives to garner a “Best to Work For” reputation, you understand the importance of recruiting top candidates who possess the skill sets and values to fit in and succeed at your workplace.
Read on to learn how to create job postings that will reach and appeal to top candidates, and uncover strategies to streamline applications and increase applicant rates. Also keep in mind that when the going gets tough, a reputable Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner typically implements these techniques to get qualified candidates and can help with attracting and recruiting top talent.
According to CareerBuilder, candidates peruse job advertisements for roughly one minute before ultimately deciding whether to apply. The Wall Street Journal reports that candidates spend an average of 49.7 seconds reading a questionable job description, and nearly 77 seconds considering a promising posting.
Therefore, it is imperative for employers to make a positive impression quickly. When it comes to fashioning visually appealing job descriptions, including the following simple elements can dramatically improve the quality of your job posts and increase your application rate.
Logos, Slogans, and Brand Representation
CareerBuilder found that 75% of candidates claim that the appearance of a job posting affects their choice to apply. CareerBuilder’s research also uncovered that including a business logo or slogan can increase the number of submitted applications by 8%.
“The best candidates don’t just apply for a job, they apply to join a company. In addition to logos and slogans, take branding a step further and incorporate your organization’s mission, vision, and values into the job post to really communicate their potential role within your organization,” says Staci Johnson, Vice President of Marketing for Roth Companies. “Also, awards logos can be eye-catching additions. All of these elements help to showcase your workplace culture and demonstrate the benefits and prestige of working for your organization.”
Whenever possible, the best job postings include videos or links to outside videos. Consider embedding a brief feature introducing your business and the positive workplace culture.
If you are unconvinced that videos can increase the strength and presence of your organization’s position advertisements, peruse these statistics by CareerBuilder:
- Postings that feature video icons typically receive 12% more views than postings that do not.
- CareerBuilder clients that embed a video into their postings experience a 34% higher application rate than video-free posts.
Relevant Job Titles, Industries, and Keywords
People really do judge books by their covers; applicants will pass on even viewing your business’ advertisements if they don’t see relevant terms in the titles of your job postings. And so will search engines.
It’s equally important to include keywords throughout the job description. Referring to related industries and skill sets can broaden the reach of your job posting and increase the chances that it will pop up when job seekers search related terms.
Bullets and Bold Type
“Do your hiring managers and your candidates a favor by featuring key position requirements—make-or-break items that candidates absolutely must have to be hired—in a bulleted list,” says Don Codner, Director of Operations for About Talent. “Try to limit the list to no more than seven bullet points, as anything longer than that tends to distract readers or lose their attention. This rule of thumb applies to position benefits and preferred candidate abilities as well. When featuring content that should be in paragraph format, bolding keywords can hugely influence readability.”
Many hiring managers may be averse to mentioning compensation in a job advertisement for fear of warding off top talent. However, if done tactfully, featuring this information can help attract talented professionals.
What Every Hiring Manager Should Know About Online Applications
About Talent has found that the best applications forms possess a handful of similar characteristics. Consider the following tips and guidelines when creating or revamping your online application portal.
- If possible, create application forms that take less than 10 minutes to complete.
- Denote required and optional form fields, and code the online document to prevent submission if applicants have not completed the required fields.
- Enable applicants to upload a resume in a variety of formats including Word documents and .JPEG files.
- Consider including a “make a video application” feature similar to About Talent’s VideoSelect™ video interviewing technology.
- Enable an Apply With LinkedIn function and link it to your existing Applicant Tracking System (ATS). You also have the option to receive application information via email if your organization does not currently utilize an ATS.
- Be sure the application functions well on many types of Internet browsers.
- Optimize the application forms for smartphone and tablet users.
Failing to touch base with applicants can have significant effects; 32% of candidates stated they would be less likely to purchase products from organizations that didn’t respond to their job applications, 78% of job candidates claimed that they would spread the word about a negative hiring experience with friends and family, and 17% of dissatisfied job applicants would share their experience on social media.
If you decide to move forward with a candidate, best practice states that you follow up promptly and explain the application, interview, and background check procedures in place at your organization (of course, be sure that these processes are in compliance with state and federal laws). This can help to manage an applicant’s expectations and ensure seamless communication throughout the candidate assessment process.
It All Starts with the Best Job Postings and Online Applications
It may not be easy to set aside some time to fashion the best job postings and online application forms, but becoming a top organization starts with prioritizing candidates and building motivated, engaged teams that can help you accomplish your business goals.
How do we know? A focus on hiring only the best coworkers who are passionate about making life better for the people we serve has resulted in Roth Companies, our parent company, earning recognition as one of the Achievers™ 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in the United States and the Best in Biz “Best Places to Work” Silver award.
Engaging coworkers and positioning them for success in the workplace is a long-term effort for any business. The key is to begin cultivating a positive relationship at the first touch point—job postings and online applications.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Social Talent, DesignInfographics, millennialbranding.com.