Creating job listings is something we do a lot. We’ve got a job opening to fill and one of the first things we need to do is collect enough information to put that listing together. And not just any job listing—an exceptional job listing. Not one that will get you tons of applicants (that’s just creating more work than you need or want). You want to write up a job ad that will get you the “right” kind of applicant.
In our quest to create an effective, yet uniform, template to use across job ads, we researched best practices from different sources and wanted to share what we decided to do based on what we found. As a result of our search to get the right applicants, we found an exceptional job listing should include the following 5 things:
1. Tell about your company, its mission and goals. Applicants want to know about your company, especially if you’re not a Google or Apple who everyone already knows about. Those of us who aren’t household names need to give applicants glimpses of what our company is all about. And it’s important you offer some information about what drives your company and its people and define your company culture. After all, the top indicator of an employee’s success in the first 18 months on the job is whether or not people “fit” the culture. Use branding to really show what your company is all about. Don’t worry about being too boastful; this is the best time to show off rewards and brag about how awesome your company is. Just make sure what you say is actually true!
2. Explain how the job role fits into your company’s greater vision. People want to know they’re making a difference with the jobs they choose to take. Especially millennials! A study done by Deloitte showed that millennials want to change the world and want to do it within their job roles—the jobs you’re offering! You have to give them a meaningful role within your company, which hopefully is also making a difference in the world. Help them see and buy in to how they’re affecting the bigger picture.
3. List what the employee will do in that job role. This is where people start to understand what working will really be like. Make a bulleted list of all the functions the employee will be responsible for (you should be able to define the essential functions of the job in 7 bullets or fewer). If it’s possible they’ll be doing other stuff (even menial things like buttering bagels or getting coffee), you might as well mention. After all, no one likes a bait-and-switch. In an onboarding study we did last year, we found that 26 percent of new hires left within the first six months of taking a new job because they were “given different work than expected.” The job listing creates the first expectation. Make sure you’re accurately reflecting what the job will be.
4. Include requirements (and bonus skills) you’re looking for in an applicant—and what you’ll love about them. Make your minimal requirements clear so people know if they should apply. Then be very clear about which added skills would be a bonus (and help recruiters fall in love with the applicant). If you list all of those skills as required, you may end up with no applicants or everyone will just assume all the skills are optional and you’ll get unqualified applicants. As part of those “extras,” you can include characteristics you’d love to see that are, well, part of an applicant’s personality and will show culture fit. Some studies have even shown that new hires who fit in well with the team are more successful. Giving applicants an idea of skills (trainable and non-trainable) will help applicants know what you want. And unqualified candidates will weed themselves out for you so you can spend more time with the right candidates.
5. What you’re offering the applicant—and why they’ll love you. This is where your company shines. Make sure to include whatever is cool about your company—like where you’re located, how amazing your current team is, and the benefits employees receive. As you well know, HR and leaders spend a lot of time trying to come up with benefits that really matter and help increase your employees’ quality of life. Make sure to include everything that makes working at your company an employee’s dream, including paid time off, insurance offerings (83 percent of applicants say healthcare affects their decision to accept a job offer—or even apply), health-care plans, and even include information about pay if you want to save yourself time by making sure the job is within the pay requirements of the applicant.
Of course, some companies include more than these points and others less (which is what we strive for at Bamboo). Just remember, the job listing is your first contact with a potential employee. This is your first chance to impress them. The best applicants are just as picky in choosing a company as you are in selecting a new employee. You can’t just throw something together and call the job listing done. Be thoughtful and thorough when creating your job listing, and you’ll get the high-quality applicants you need!