Write smarter job posts, attract better candidates.

Even the highest paying, trendiest job can be sabotaged by a bland or unrepresentative posting. We’ve all experienced it; you post about an exciting new opening at your company, only to find that very few people – with often misaligned skills – are applying. What gives?

Yes – you’ve described the ideal candidate, outlined the key responsibilities, and alluded to opportunities for growth. But have you communicated your culture? Have you drawn people in? Are you really describing the person who would best fit the role?

The most successful job posts don’t simply explain the position – they make people engage with it on a personal level. These posts show candidates how they will help move the company forward, how they will contribute to its growth and culture.

Want to increase your qualified applicants? Follow these steps:

1. Create a timeline to help candidates imagine themselves in the position.

Job posts should not be a haphazard list of required skills and responsibilities. These kinds of posts rarely get much traction; people will scan through and lose interest. When unemployment is at a 17-year low, you’ll need to make your post as clear and compelling as possible.

Focus on what you would like to see from people by describing the actions they’ll need to accomplish at specific intervals – 30, 60, 180 day mark – in order to succeed.

This strategy enables prospective employees to get a better idea of what they’ll be doing day to day. Make the scope of work extremely clear – instead of writing ‘needs 5 years of event planning experience,’ try ‘host 300+ galas, raise 500k+ over the course of the year.’

2. Describe your best employee ever.

Every day at Proven Recruiting, we speak with Hiring Managers determined to find the perfect candidate – from technical skills, to specialized must-haves, to requisite industry knowledge. But is that really what’s most important?

Think back to your most-valued employee ever. Why did you like them? What made them so exceptional at their job? Usually it doesn’t come down to subject matter expertise, technical proficiency, or years of experience.

Almost always, what people care about most is character; the constant, unmoving traits that won’t change from day 1 to year 11. Write your job posts with these key personal attributes in mind, and you’ll find that your applicants are more aligned with your company’s values and mission.

Remember: you can teach skills and you can impart knowledge, but you can’t teach trust, loyalty, friendliness, or a go-getter attitude.

3. Explain why you’re different.

Posting a list of job requirements is telling candidates that which they already know.

Whether you’re an accountant, a web designer, or frankly a recruiter, your job responsibilities are usually the same, regardless of which company you’re working with. What makes a job unique is a combination of culture, mission, guiding principles, friendships, trust relationships, hierarchies (or lack thereof), and so on.

At Proven Recruiting, we make a point of sharing our Five Guiding Principles – our ‘secret sauce‘ – with each new candidate to make sure our goals and values align. Sharing this information takes candidates beyond job requirements and allows them to envision themselves as part of a thriving, singular community.

The moral of the story? Tell your prospective employees something they don’t already know. What makes people at your company love to come to work every day? What drives them to put their best foot forward? What is the glue that holds your organization together? These are the aspects of your company that you’ll need to emphasize in order to cut through the noise of similar job posts.

4. Choose your job site wisely.

Before you post anywhere, you’ll want to identify exactly who you’re looking to target.

Do you want to attract senior level hires? Early career professionals? Tech savvy candidates? Casual job searchers?

The key is in identifying who you’re looking for and targeting them where they’re most likely to be searching. Here’s a basic breakdown of the most popular job search websites:

– Monster: majority entry-level applicants, actively looking.

– Indeed: a bit of everything – the most popular job search site.

– LinkedIn: your main hub for professionals online – but most are passively browsing.

– Dice: a technology-specific job board site.

– College job boards: an excellent resource if you’re looking for new grads.

– Glassdoor: if you have solid reviews, a great place to find savvy professionals.

Your post’s audience largely depends on getting it on the right website, in front of the right eyeballs. Do your research, consider who you want to entice, and go from there.


Looking for more job post tips, or have a specific question? Shoot us an email at hello@provenrecruiting.com, we’d love to chat!

About the author:

Louis Song_CEO_Proven Recruiting-01Louis Song 
Co-Founder & CEO, Proven Recruiting

With more than 20 years of experience in Information Systems Analysis, Technology Recruiting and Sales Management, Louis is the driving force behind Proven Recruiting’s innovative culture and award-winning staffing services.  

Since Co-Founding the company in 2007, Louis has grown Proven Recruiting from seven original founders to more than 200 core employees and consultants spanning offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York. Previously, Louis was a Managing Director for one of the largest staffing companies in the country. He managed an office of 70+ people generating more than $40M a year. Louis graduated from the American University in Washington D.C. with a BA in Psychology. He is active in local business and community organizations as a board member of the Asian Business Association (www.aba-sd.org), and Pacific Arts Movement (www.pac-arts.org).  

Have a question for Louis? Ask him in the comments