How to Create Job Postings That Make Hiring Easier on Human Resources

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HR departments are busy. Between hiring and non-hiring activities, they have to carefully structure and manage their days, often relying on processes to help them maximize their resources. When those processes are outdated, it can be a real struggle for HR to properly manage those resources.  

This is especially true of hiring processes that, when ineffective, make talent acquisition a drain on HR resources. To alleviate some of that pressure, companies need to rethink and update their talent acquisition processes in order to maximize every asset to reach only the most qualified job seekers. 

It starts with the job posting, which is the first stop for most applicants on their employment journey. An effective job posting serves as both a magnet for attracting talent and a gatekeeper for discouraging applicants who are not qualified for the position from applying. When that weeding out doesn’t happen at the beginning, the hiring process can quickly overwhelm HR departments.

job prospects holding applications wait in line, some nervously, some confidently; concept: attract better talent with better job postings

Poor Job Postings Drain Your HR Resources

Attracting talent is one of the biggest challenges for HR departments, writes Nikos Andriotis at eFront Learning. It takes “discernment, time, and a whole lot of work” to find the right people. So, when job postings are constantly bringing in the wrong candidates, it is a drain on vital HR resources.

They Cost Money

“The cost of a bad hire is always extensive,” says Arte Nathan, founder of human resources advisory service The Arte of Motivation. Between the money spent on recruiting a wrong hire, the time and labor costs of HR professionals throughout the recruiting and onboarding process, and the extra money spent to find a replacement, a bad hire is a financial drain on a company. 

Just how high that number is depends on a lot of different factors. An estimate, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers, human resources professionals and full-time workers, is that a bad hire costs a company about $15,000. 

They Cost Time and Productivity

Human resources departments don’t have time to spend searching through unqualified applicants or regularly rehiring for positions after a bad hire. It’s a drain on an already limited commodity for hiring managers—time. 

When HR teams are forced to confront the challenges and consequences of attracting the wrong talent, productivity in other areas of their job functions suffers because they don’t have the time to complete those other tasks. As a result, team members have to pick up their slack, pulling them away from their own essential tasks and setting off a chain reaction of productivity loss. 

They Hurt Morale

Employee morale is a cornerstone of any organization’s success. When employees become dissatisfied, their productivity suffers. This is a common problem among HR teams when they are constantly faced with the problems associated with attracting the wrong talent. 

It isn’t just HR’s morale that declines when there is trouble attracting the right candidates. Morale company-wide takes a hit as well, with the ire of dissatisfied team members often directed at HR departments that fail to make good hires. 

Less May be More When Attracting Candidates

When struggling to attract the right talent to fill job vacancies, the wrong approach for organizations to take is to try and attract a higher volume of candidates in the hopes that a qualified job seeker will apply. All that accomplishes is overworking your HR department and further draining their resources. 

The solution is to go for quality over quantity and to create a recruiting strategy around that principle. This alleviates some of the strain and pressure on HR teams struggling to deal with the mounds of applicants who aren’t qualified. The positive impacts of taking this approach also extend beyond the HR department to the company as a whole.

“High-quality talent can have a significant impact on business outcomes, including 20 percent faster time to successfully perform in their roles and contribute to teams that get a 19 percent boost in their ability to meet future challenges,” says Gartner HR Vice President Lauren Smith.

So, recruiting practices should be geared to attract more high-quality candidates, starting with job postings.

interview at a desk in a modern office, senior leader shakes the hand of a younger worker; concept: better job postings will help hire better talent

How to Ensure Your Job Postings Attract the Right Candidates

“Hiring great talent starts with attracting the right talent,” writes Sharon Florentine, senior writer at CIO.com. The job posting is the doorway to finding those candidates. But if it isn’t properly crafted, you will likely attract the wrong talent. Here’s how to create a job posting that appeals to high-quality job seekers.

Write an Accurate Job Title

A  job title is what job seekers search out when hunting job openings. So, when posting an opening for a position, HR teams need to be sure to use a clear job title that is easily recognizable to both the candidates and the search engines they are using to find open positions. 

Because most job candidates do their job searching online, “a job title can either attract them to your job post or ensure they never see it at all,” writes Mona Bushnell at Business.com. Odd or overly-creative job titles may keep the posting from pulling up in search results.

Also, getting too inventive with job titles has the potential to confuse, and thus repel, the qualified candidates you are searching out if they do locate your posting. While a potential candidate may know exactly what it means to be a “marketing manager,” they may not know what it means to be a “marketing guru.” 

The most effective job postings have job titles that are clear to anyone who may want to apply. That clarity will help deflect any candidates that would be the wrong fit from applying while appealing to those who are right for the job. 

Create Effective Job Descriptions

The most important, and most challenging, part of building a job posting is creating an accurate job description. When the role isn’t clearly described and responsibilities are not clearly stated in the job description, you increase the chances of attracting the wrong talent. 

Start by writing an overview of the position that explains the job’s function and how it fits into the organizational structure. Then, create a clear and concise description of the day-to-day tasks candidates would be expected to perform in the role. That should include the primary responsibilities and essential functions, as well as the qualifications and working conditions. 

When completed, the HR team at Wright State University says the “job description should accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of the position. When well-written, it produces a realistic picture of a job and answers the question, ‘What does the person in this role actually do?’” The more specific those answers are, the more likely you are to attract candidates that are actually qualified for the position.

Include Salary and Benefits Details

Effective job postings also let candidates know what is in it for them if they should be chosen for the position. That includes, but is not limited to, details on salary and benefits so candidates can ascertain if the position meets their compensation requirements. It’s a considerable waste of resources if candidates make it deep into the hiring process only to be put off by wages and benefits. 

So be transparent about these details in the job posting. This doesn’t mean you have to give a specific dollar amount, only a realistic salary range. Be sure to include an overview of benefits such as medical, dental, retirement, vacation, flexible work schedules, work environments, and any other benefits that may be important to potential hires. Such details will help draw only serious contenders for the positions.

Describe the Company

An effective job posting also communicates a company’s mission, vision, values, and culture. By portraying the company honestly in the posting, you give candidates insights that can help them decide whether or not they should apply for the position. 

To do this in the job posting, writes Bridget Miller at HR Daily Advisor, include details that relay what the working environment is like and information that represents what the company stands for. She recommends using the job title and description elements as opportunities to highlight what makes your organization unique.

Candidates who connect with the company’s culture will be more likely to apply than those who don’t.  

Solicit Current Employees’ Input

Nobody knows the ins and outs of working for an organization better than current employees. Thus, they are a valuable asset in creating effective job postings. 

Employees can help HR departments update old job descriptions to reflect current skills and experience needed to succeed in certain roles, as well as frame the company’s culture from their perspectives. They are intimately familiar with the day-to-day happenings in the office, so their input should guide the development of job postings. 

Use AI

Employing talent management software is one of the most effective ways to create job postings that will connect with quality candidates. Powered by AI technology, these systems collect and analyze data that can be used to create accurate, targeted job descriptions that appeal to the right candidates. Such tools are also capable of ensuring job postings are optimized to perform well on search engine results. 

“Finding great people to join your team is a constant challenge. And it’s not getting easier any time soon,” Bhushan Sethi, Alex Spira-Gutner, Carrie Duarte, and Julia Lamm write at PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

HR departments need to focus on creating hiring strategies that target the right candidates. Detailed job postings that appeal to only the most qualified candidates are key to ensuring hiring teams don’t have to waste their precious resources on combing through stacks of unqualified applicants.

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