Online recruiting is different than traditional methods like classified ads and Help Wanted signs. This article addresses the most important piece: the job posting. If you have ever or will ever post a job online, this is a must read!
Whether your business is small or large, getting the right candidate starts with the quality of your job posting. Posting a job online is very different than buying a 4-line classified ad.
However, a little planning and a small time investment gives you a huge return when you hire the right candidate. Use the following techniques as you write your job posting:
On a piece of paper, create 3 lists of 5 to 10 items: 1) Job Duties 2) Qualifications your candidate should have 3) Character Traits that are important for a good fit in your organization. Then, mark any of these items that are absolute requirements. The unmarked items should be important, but not requirements. Note that CareerBuilder.com job postings have two sections - job description and job requirements - which is discussed in section 5 (below). Use the Job Duties and Character Traits lists to guide your job description, and the Qualifications list to guide your requirements.
To some people "jazzing up" an advertisement equates to selling a used car. You oftentimes see positions that look something like this:
$$ Fabulous Opportunity to Succeed Today! $$
Are you ready for a change? Want to set your own hours and be your own boss? Move fast, make money and smile all the way with...
Although the above may stand out in print, these techniques do not work online. When writing job titles, make them common and recognizable, such as Sales Account Executive, .NET Software Engineer or Line Cook. A recent CareerBuilder.com study confirmed that application rates can increase by as much as 500% by using common and recognizable job titles.
Your perfect candidate may not yet know your internal or industry jargon and abbreviations. Job seekers are less likely to click on your job in the job results list if they do not understand the title. A job title like "Entry-Level Sales / Sales Support" performs substantially better than "ISG Sales Specialist."
Abbreviations can be a little bit trickier. Many abbreviations are common and visually recognizable, like RN in place of Registered Nurse. Most job seekers do not search on abbreviations, and abbreviations usually look less professional. For example: Use Senior Manager of Accounting instead of Sr. Mgr. of Accounting.
Online job boards like CareerBuilder.com use relevancy searching. This type of search quickly matches the right candidate with the right job. By increasing your job's relevance in two areas, keywords and criteria, you should get more applicants.
Criteria - Complete the extra fields like Job Type, Industries, Full-time, Part-time, Manages Others, etc. The more accurately these are completed, the better the search engine can match your job to potential candidates.
Keywords - Just like a Google or MSN search, keywords are important in a job search. Try to identify at least 5 to 10 words on which someone might search to find your job. Then try to find a synonym for each word on your list. This is your keyword list. Include these words as much as you can in your job description and requirements. Then, at the bottom of your job posting, add your keywords like this:
Keywords: physical therapy, manual therapy, orthopedic, PT, P.T., rehabilitation, rehab
The keyword list alone is not enough for the search engine. But, the combination of your keywords in sentences and the keyword list will make a significant difference.
The next step is to optimize your job description for easy reading and to sell the job seeker on why they should apply. Here's a simple formula for success:
Introduction - Your introduction should quickly identify your company and the basic functions of the open position. This is also a good place to introduce some of the character traits that are important to you and your company. Remember, the introduction is where you convince the job seeker to keep reading.
Details of the Position - The details of the position are the general duties and daily responsibilities of the job. Use the techniques noted above while writing this section. If you already have a similar position, consider asking your current employees to review what you have written and to suggest changes.
What Makes this Opportunity Great - Let the job seeker know what sets your company apart so that they can make a better-informed decision. Here are some things that are common to address:
Detailed requirements enable job seekers to determine whether or not they are qualified for your position. Be honest about the absolute requirements vs. the desired skills.
Online job seekers prefer to apply online. These job seekers are online because they understand that faxes, letters and paper resumes are inconvenient, costly, time consuming and cumbersome. Make sure that job seekers can easily apply to your job online.
Managing applicants online or electronically is easier and cheaper for you. Consider only enabling online applications for a job by not giving an address, phone or fax number. This saves time and simplifies the applicant management process. Also try using CareerBuilder.com's free candidate screening tools (Screeners). Screeners allow you to set up a short list of questions for your applicant to answer. The answers generate a score which helps you eliminate unqualified candidates.
If you feel compelled to accept other application methods, allowing job seekers to apply online delivers the most candidates. A recent CareerBuilder.com study found that enabling online applications increases total applications by over 25%.
Effective employee onboarding has a positive domino effect: it ensures that new hires feel welcome and prepared, giving them confidence and resources to make an impact within the organization, and also allowing the company to move forward.
Retail employers will be doing some shopping themselves - for talent. Many employers surveyed have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. Read the major recruitment and retention strategies for the retail industry in 2008.
For businesses that need extra help during the season, the holidays start with their first "Help Wanted" ad for seasonal work. Make sure you are ready to find the best holiday help for your company.