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Comprehensive Guide to Job Postings

Companies can take months to fill an open position. Often, the problem isn’t a talent shortage: it’s bad job postings.

Bad job postings have one or more of the issues below:

  • They fail to accurately describe job duties
  • They set the bar too high for candidate eligibility
  • They use biased language
  • They have no sell in them

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to avoid the pitfalls above and share tips for creating job postings that attract candidates.

How to create an effective job posting

Here’s how to create more effective job descriptions.

Understand what the job (really!) entails

Get in-depth information about the job goals and duties. Here’s how software companies Basecamp and Zapier ensure the accuracy of job descriptions:

  • Basecamp gets existing employees to do the work that will be assigned to the new hire. “When it comes to an all-new position at the company, we like to try to do it first with the people we have so we really understand the work,” Basecamp co-founder Jason Fried wrote on Reddit

Identify essential requirements

Establish what candidates need to succeed. Researchers at Harvard Business School suggest coming up with a list of must-have skills and short-term objectives — and keeping it short and relevant. 

Keep your biases in check by “focusing on the results you’d like to see, rather than the type of person that you think could deliver those results,” Gopika Maya Santhosh, insights analyst at LinkedIn, recommends.

Be clear

Write a job description that’s easy to read and understand. Use simple, concrete language and avoid jargon, buzzwords, and meaningless phrases. Tools such as the Hemingway app can help you create a job posting that’s clear and concise.

Use language of belonging

Use language that’s inclusive to everyone, including candidates from underrepresented groups. Eliminate gendered, age-biased, and off-putting copy with the help of tools such as Textio Hire and Gender Decoder.

Sell the job and your company

Sell your company to job candidates as if they were potential investors. “If a company wants to land the best talent, it should appeal to them with its mission, values, and goal,” says recruiting expert Marissa Peretz.

Attract more and better candidates

Clear, concise, compelling, and inclusive job postings take more time to create than rehashing an old job description, but the investment is worth it. Good job postings don’t just lead to more and better applications — they lead to happier new hires. 

To improve the quality of your job postings, follow the guidelines included in this post:

  • Understand what the job (really!) entails
  • Identify essential requirements
  • Communicate clearly
  • Use language of belonging
  • Sell the job and your company

Check out the other posts in this series:

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