Recruiter Advice Crowdsourced: The Future of Job Postings

By David Smooke

In a time when recruiters have to act like marketers, a job posting has become much more than simply a black-and-white breakdown of duties and responsibilities.

Sure, a job posting is still centered on how your company represents its job opportunities to the world. But these days, just like a marketing landing page, job postings must also convert relevant visitors into customers. To really spell it out, much like the way a brilliant advertisement transforms viewers into purchasers and projects a company’s overall brand, an engaging job posting will increase the ratio of visitors to job applicants and will more favorably represent work life at your organization.

Now, let’s see how a few mighty recruiters make their job postings more engaging:

Thach (Tak) Nguyen (@takster718) Recruiting Leader at Airbnb (3,000+ employees)

“Unfortunately, 80% of what is written in job descriptions is totally subjective and adds little additional clarity to prospective candidates. The most engaging job descriptions use simple terms, don’t try to sound overly smart, and are authentic and genuine in what success in the job looks like.”

Gabrielle Jolly Senior Digital Media Recruiter at Robert Half International (The Creative Group) 1,000+ employees

“I work mostly with Creative Professionals, and I find that the short, to-the-point job postings get more attention/clicks than the ones that make you feel like you are reading a DMV document. Adding a picture may help as well. Everyone loves pictures.”

Tony Restell (@tonyrestell) Director at Social-Hire (14 employees)

“Writing an engaging job post fundamentally means connecting with the candidate and helping them to understand why your opening is an outstanding opportunity for them. Focus less on what you’re demanding of candidates and more on helping them envision your job opening as the dream career move that it is!”

Jörgen Sundberg (@jorgensundberg) CEO at LinkHumans (30 employees)

“Employers have to keep it human and relatable. Yes, talk about the job specifics but also let us know about the people, culture and what it’s actually like to work at the company. Use images, video and even audio whenever possible.”

Joseph S Yeh (@josephsyeh) Senior Technical Recruiter at Yahoo (10,000+ employees)

“Job postings for software engineering roles should highlight the cutting-edge tools and frameworks that make the role interesting (ie. Node.js Frontend Engineer, Scala Backend Engineer, iOS Core Data Mobile Engineer, etc). Job descriptions should also highlight a specific story or an anecdote about the team/company culture that would hook a candidate’s interest.”

Will Staney (@willstaney) CEO at ProactiveTalent (Consults for Tech Unicorns)

“The biggest mistake I see in job postings is when they focus too much on what skills the company is looking for in a potential employee. Remember, you are describing a job, a challenge, and a culture–not a person. Focus on authenticity and giving a true day-in-the-life look at the company, the role, and the culture.”

Angela Bortolussi (@abortolusssi) Recruiting Manager at Recruiting Social (35 employees)

“So many job postings focus on what the candidate needs to bring to the company in terms of their skill set; however, to be interesting and engaging, companies should really flip the focus on what the candidate will gain and what the company can provide the candidate in terms of a new career/job venture.”

Steven Levy (@levyrecruits), Top Sourcer

“Two sections I wish companies would adopt: One, “What This Job Is Called Outside XYZ”; and Two, “Career Progression” where the company publishes stats on the roles where people who came into the company in this role have moved to.” These alone would help make up for the compensation document being referred to as the Job Description…”

Johnny Campbell (@SocialTalent) CEO at SocialTalent (62 employees)

“Make it candidate-centric, more ‘you, your, yours’ and less ‘we, us, our.’ Academic research has shown that you will drive six times more quality applicants with that advice alone. Also, focus on purpose and not responsibilities. Speak to candidates’ higher motivation.“

There you have it, some simple advice that you can use to make a job posting more engaging. And if you want it broken down and packaged up in three easy takeaways:

  1. Include an authentic description of your company
  2. Include more rich media (images, videos, etc.)
  3. Include more candidate-centric copy

For more expert advice on writing winning job postings, download MightyRecruiter’s free eBook today. You’ll learn the 7 essential elements of every well-written job posting, how to optimize your job posting title, and why a carefully crafted job posting is critical to making superstar hires.

This post is brought to you by MightyRecruiter. I’ve been writing for them for awhile, they offer great job posting and resume database search technologies.