In an increasingly competitive job market, the quality of your online job postings matters. When done right, job postings don’t just yield a higher volume of applications; they also draw more interest from the types of candidates you want to attract. 

While your organization likely attracts candidates via referrals, networking, social media, and other sources, online job posting remains critical to a successful talent acquisition program. According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 59 percent of surveyed job seekers named online job boards their top method of researching available jobs.

To attract high-quality candidates that are excellent matches with your organization’s culture and values, take the following actions:

Paint a realistic picture of the organization and role

Job postings can’t be a digital version of the old-fashioned job description. In addition to describing the role and what you’re looking for in a candidate, you also need to talk about what makes the position attractive and unique, and what a candidate can expect if hired. To get the attention of high-quality candidates who undoubtedly have other opportunities to consider, be sure to cover areas such as:

Culture and work environment: what candidates need to know about working in your organization and on a particular team
People: the key interactions the person will have in the role
Opportunities for growth: the advancement and learning opportunities that exist for the person who fills the role

Use clear and descriptive language

The more clearly your posting describes key responsibilities and desired qualifications, the more likely you’ll attract individuals who match the description. Without that clarity, strong-fit candidates may overlook the posting completely. A recent study found that one-fifth of candidates decided not to apply to jobs with “vague or confusing” job descriptions.

So instead of using generic language, industry jargon, and internal company buzzwords, describe responsibilities and qualifications in straightforward language, and use detailed examples where possible. 

Craft inclusive postings free of potential “red flags”

Attracting top talent online requires inclusive terminology that welcomes applicants with different backgrounds, perspectives, and talents. As a first step, ensure job posting language is free of bias. In addition to using gender-inclusive language, avoid phrases and terms that suggest a bias for specific ethnicities, physical abilities, ages, or other groups. For example, use graduate vs. recent graduate, parental leave vs. maternity or paternity leave, and move up or advance vs. climb.

It’s also critical to be mindful of terms that could be perceived as red flags by candidates and could deter them from applying. Examples include:

Rockstar,” “ninja,” and “superhero”: These can seem unprofessional to some candidates and gender-exclusive to others. Instead, use descriptive job or functional titles.
“Fast-paced environment”: To some job seekers, this means “an exciting environment where I’ll be challenged and learn new things.” To others, it may mean “an understaffed environment where employees are overworked.” To avoid confusion, describe what makes the environment fast-paced and what that means for the specific role.
“Wear multiple hats” and “Handle stressful situations”: While these descriptors may mean that you’re looking for candidates who are resilient and flexible, they can also be a warning sign to candidates that the position could result in burnout or a poor work-life balance. As an alternative, give examples of key challenges and times when the incumbent will be asked to help other team members.

Be transparent about compensation and benefits

Pay transparency laws in some states require employers to include salary ranges in online job postings. But even if it’s not required where you hire, there’s another reason to be transparent about pay in job postings: candidates expect it, and many won’t apply without it. In a recent LinkedIn survey, 91 percent of job seekers said the presence or absence of a salary range in a job posting affected their decision to apply.

It’s not just the pay range in a job posting that can help you attract quality candidates; it’s also the benefits and perks your organization offers. Though you likely describe benefits in-depth on your company career page, consider briefly describing key benefits in the posting, or link to the section of your career page where benefits are discussed in greater detail.

Set a consistent job posting strategy

Every job posting shouldn’t feel like reinventing the wheel. To achieve consistency in your employer branding and deliver a positive candidate experience, include the following in your job posting strategy:

Timely follow-up with applicants once positions have been filled
Consistent tone, voice, and formatting of job postings
An “easy apply” option where possible
Promotion of job postings on company social media pages
Periodic review of job posting effectiveness in helping your organization attract talent

Given the many variables and opportunities to differentiate your organization from others, successful online job posting is truly an art. To master it, you’ll need a thoughtful strategy and the willingness to craft job postings that keep pace with evolving candidate needs and expectations.

ForceBrands offers end-to-end hiring solutions for all stages of growth. Whether you’re just starting to hire or are looking for the next step in your career, we’re here to help you be a positive Force that makes an impact.