Writing a job posting is often a matter of the obvious.
Many recruiters think they are doing fairly well, giving themselves a detailed description of the duties of the position.
On the other side of the screen, job seekers are demotivated by two-page ads, which appear to have been written by a robot, and which describe an overqualified candidate persona. They come to lose confidence in the recruiting process. Several studies agree in highlighting that candidates are increasingly reluctant to respond to job offers.
Result: recruiters receive hundreds of “spam” CVs, poorly qualified but just as standardized as to their offers. Their quest for the best talent is not moving forward.
These are only qualified profiles. Yet some of them risk long-term unemployment – in part because of the rusted mechanisms of the labor market.
Recruiters face a double challenge. They must of course transform their personal working methods to adapt to confinement, teleworking, and the impact of the crisis on their business. And they also have to face a job market that, more than ever, needs better ways of managing talent.
The recruitee takes a stand alongside recruiters. After the first point on remote recruitment methods, it is time to apply good practices at the source of recruitment and to rethink the writing of job offers.
(Re) Define the company’s talent needs
Some of the vacancies that attract the fewest applicants are, of course, positions that are perceived as unenviable. But it would be unprofessional to consider that the nature of the position alone is responsible for their failure to attract good candidates. First, because any good recruiter knows that the only “foolish job” is one that brings nothing to the company. Secondly, because a good recruiter is distinguished precisely by his ability to make any position attractive.
3 steps to build an attractive job offer
The mission of the HR Department is to build an attractive position. For example, his arduousness can be compensated by an attractive salary and social benefits, as is the case for garbage collectors.
But most job-seeking positions aren’t so badly served by their inherently off-putting character, as by their poor design. Before any recruitment effort, HR experts must collaborate with business teams on the definition of the position to be filled.
- The objective is first to better understand business needs. These vary with the activity of the company, but also with the talents already present in the team, or the challenges it will have to face.
At this stage, the input of the business teams is decisive for the success of the recruitment. In the context of generalized teleworking, recruiters must organize remote collaborative recruitment. ATS such as Recruitee provide them with a platform from which to contact their collaborators and centralize their feedbacks.
- The next step is to translate these needs into positions that are consistent with the team structure. They must also be able to fit into the company’s talent development strategy. And of course, they must be attractive enough to attract qualified candidates.
- Once the position has been defined, HR experts just have to imagine the candidate persona who would be most able to fill it.
Be careful, however, to manage HR expectations well! Too many recruiters consider an “ideal” candidate profile that is just as hard to find as it is overqualified for the job offered. His good knowledge of the job market in his sector should help the recruiter to consider a realistic candidate persona.
When drafting the job posting, the recruiter should therefore adhere to the essential requirements for the position. He can always list several “valuable” skills in the job description. They can, for example, separate two comparable candidate profiles, downstream of the recruitment process.
Write a job posting that speaks to candidates
Even a dream job would be served by a “classic” recruitment ad. Copy/paste from the job description, HR lingo, caveats endless legal… Candidates often cite ad writing codes as their reasons for dissatisfaction.
The fluidification of the labor market will (also) require an overhaul of good practices for drafting job offers.
1. Save time for candidates
Applicants spend an average of 30 hours per week looking for a job. According to a study, candidates wait an average of 38 days before getting a response from the company (if it takes the trouble to send a).
Searching for a job is a time-consuming and unrewarding activity. One easy way to improve the candidate experience is to save candidates time.
Advertisements must facilitate access to essential information about the position to be filled: title, type of contract, place of work, number of years ‘experience essential… And the salary.
Unsurprisingly, candidates make compensation one of the main criteria for selecting offers they take the time to respond to. In their eyes, it is unjustifiable that recruiters refuse to approach the subject with transparency, from the start of the application. Recruiters who wish to retain “some leeway for negotiation” or who prefer to recruit “on the basis of motivation” are nonetheless in the interest of specifying a salary range on their job postings.
For similar reasons, many applicants reject offers that do not immediately mention names of employers – such as those presented by agencies or some search engines.
First of all, because the principle is flawed. As long as the company has diversified its sourcing, a simple Google search will reveal its identity.
Then, because in this age of HR marketing, the vast majority of candidates do their own research online before applying. A company that refuses to play the game immediately appears suspicious. And she can only expect to receive standardized applications anyway.
2. Choose what information to send to the candidate
An effective job posting is not a simple copy and paste of the job description. The recruiter must strike a balance between an advertisement that is too vague, and a description that is too complex and detailed. To guide his choices, he keeps his objective in mind: give candidates a precise idea of the nature of the position, so that can assess their own ability to fill it.
Recruiters can dispense with other technical details in their vacancies as well.
Thus, long paragraphs stating that “the company encourages the diversity of teams” does little for the candidate. After all, the company is only complying with the anti-discrimination law in hiring. Better demonstrate these HR commitments through concrete actions. For example, the recruiter may avoid using gendered terms (“ We are looking for a leader, a champion ”; or even “ a secretary ”,“ an assistant ”). He will prefer descriptive and precise terms to them: “ a candidate who can demonstrate his ability to manage a budget of 10K ”, “ a candidate with two years of experience in office management. ”
The job offer is not the place for a detailed presentation of the company, its turnover, its history … The candidate will in any case rely more on his own research.
3. Knowing how to “talk” to candidates
No one wants to respond to an ad that looks like it was written by a robot. Recruiters have every interest in relying on HR Tech to draft and distribute their job offers. But they must choose their words to engage readers and convert them into active candidates. This is one of the objectives of the conciseness of the job posting: it generates a call to action. Applicants should be willing to contact the company to learn more about the information in the job posting.
Several writing techniques encourage candidate reaction:
- Choosing a catchy headline. Some ATS – including Recruitee – optimize the keywords of job offers, including job titles;
- A direct tone, frank, accessible without being familiar, and which remains consistent with the employer brand;
- reading facilitated by short sentences, precise adjectives, bullet points, and keywords in bold;
- Some personalization, within the limits of the chosen HR marketing codes.
In contrast to these good practices, we find the standardized job offer but also the “nice” job offer.
The candidate relationship is based on a sincere and human exchange with the company. Using a “quirky,” “fun”, or “cute” writing style, if it is out of step with the rest of the candidate and contributor experiences, will seem forced and manipulative. This is the best way to create unease among candidates.
As this year sees economic and labor market turmoil, recruiters will play a crucial role in absorbing the shock in the months to come. At the height of the crisis, companies that have cultivated their good HR marketing practices and their talent management strategy are better prepared to adapt to new ways of working. Their competitors will be able to follow their example to regain their HR brands.