Recruiting & Hiring Blog for HR Professionals

Are Your Job Postings Deterring the Best Candidates?

We know you want to find the best person for the job to fill your open position. But to do that, you have to make sure you are attracting (and not repelling) the best applicants. Mistakes at the start of the hiring process can leave you with a dismal applicant pool, and ultimately a bad hire for your team. So stop scaring off the best candidates by avoiding these 5 common mistakes:

Unclear Job Titles

When it comes to a new job, people like to know what they are getting into -- and the job title is the first thing that catches the applicant’s eye. If your company’s job title is too general (i.e. “associate” or "assistant") the applicant won’t know the actual scope of the position. However, if the job title is too specific or outlandish (i.e. calling a receptionist a “Director of First Impressions”) the applicant will run into even more confusion. The right candidate may see your posting but just pass you by because he or she really isn't sure what you are looking for. Much like Goldilocks, hiring manages need to work to find a job title that is “just right” by using strong descriptive words that clearly indicates the position they need to fill.

Poor Job Description

A strong job description goes hand in hand with a strong job title. If you aren’t accurately describing the job, the right candidate will have no idea that he or she is, indeed, the right candidate. Once again, the goal is to find an appropriate balance. If you don’t provide enough information up front, applicants will surely walk away.  However, too many non-important details may seem overwhelming, and also deter your perfect candidate. The best approach is to concisely describe your company, and the position you need to fill, while at the same time defining the day-to-day job responsibilities in an easy to read format.  

No Salary Details

Sure, you don’t want to put all of your cards on the table, but candidates want to know what kind of salary to expect if they get the job. Relying on phrases like “depends upon skills and experience” for a professional position only attract unqualified individuals (or as we like to call them “the dreamers and believers”). Giving a ballpark range will let the candidate know exactly what to expect and give an indication of the skill level required to do the job.

Making Candidates Jump through Hoops

When it comes to applying for jobs, candidates want the process to be quick, easy, and uncomplicated. If your current hiring process includes 34 pages of questions, there is a good chance your applicants won’t have the patience to make it to the end. While it is important to have all of your bases covered, you also need to remember that bringing on a new employee is a process, and you can slowly gather relevant information at every stage. So ditch the SAT style applications, ask a couple of key questions, and get the basic information you need to make an informed decision.

Poor Formatting

This will kill you. If your job posting contains misspellings, bad grammar, or just one big wall of text, expect many qualified candidates to move on.  Poor formatting shows a lazy attitude and no quality candidate wants to work at a lazy company. Take a few minutes and spellcheck and proofread. Play around with formatting tools and learn the ins and outs of headings and bullet points. A few minutes of preparation will pay dividends in the long run.

Avoid these mistakes and you’re on your way to better quality job postings that will attract better quality candidates! For more information on how to find the best candidates, check out our ebook: The Online Recruiting Guide: 11 Steps to Attract More Applicants.

The Online Recruiting Guide: 11 Steps to Attract More Applicants


Topics: Hiring Process, Job Description Writing Tips, job description

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