The 4 job posting mistakes that turn candidates off

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A job posting of any kind is essentially an advertisement, where the buyer being targeted is your next potential hire. Much like when selling a product, you need to consider basic marketing essentials to make your posting attractive.
Many think that they know how to market a career opportunity to a pool of talent. However, these same individuals express frustration at the lack of applications from relevant candidates. You may think you have job posting protocol down, but the truth is a lot recruiters and HR managers are making posting mistakes that are based on antiquated practices that actually turn off the modern, talented workforce off.
Here are some mistakes that may surprise you, and that you are probably making:
Role description is vague
A very common job posting mistake revolves around the lack of attention to the wording and descriptions of a particular role. Think about it: You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes just from someone describing them. You want the full details - you want to “try the shoe on for size.” The same applies to posting for a job within your company.
As well, you are not really saving yourself work by using a bland, standard job description you found on Google. It needs to fit your organization!
Starting with a creative job posting will attract the right people, and you know you’re doing it right when candidates click “apply” because they are signalling that they have bought into your product. Also, keep in mind that it’s not just the job you’re trying to promote, but the company itself. Sometimes candidates have a company in mind, and the job itself is variable as long as they meet the minimum requirements. This is very common with new grads. They have an idea of company they’d like to work for, so they will often apply to any job they believe they can fulfil.
Application deadline is open-ended
Many companies that are experiencing an extended period of growth and are hiring multiple people for one kind of title within the organization feel that leaving up a posting for several months while they fill up the growing department in question will keep efforts efficient.
However, the opposite is really true. Leaving a posting open for an indefinite period of time gives the wrong kind of message to candidates who do not have inside knowledge of your motives. For example, a long-term, open posting may indicate that you have high turnover, and that this role is entry-level enough that you are open to hiring any and all throughout the year. By leaving a deadline off of your posting, you are inadvertently communicating that this role is not lucrative, is unappealing, and is not important. Adding a deadline, and sticking to it, ensures the opposite; potential new team members are able to get excited about this “rare opportunity” and will jump to apply as quickly as possible, which will help you move the hiring process along even quicker.
If you know you will be hiring for this post again, save your copy (refer back to mistake number one on creative descriptions), and repost with an updated deadline only at that time.
Making contact promises
In a quest for the ideal candidate, eager recruiters will make the promise of reaching out to candidates no matter what. This is understandable; you want to make sure you are closing all loops and avoiding offending someone who may be a better fit for a different role down the line.
Contrary to your best intentions, making such a promise can hurt your efforts more than help. Avoid making a promise that is difficult to keep, and instead state clearly in your posting that only those who are being considered will be contacted. Otherwise, it will become a zoo trying to decipher who you’ve contacted and who is just contacting you.
You’ll also avoid the “false hope” issue. Those are are told they’ll be contacted, anxiously await that phone call or e-mail, and begin to take matters into their own hands and begin contacting the hiring manager.
Providing multiple ways to apply 
Do not provide multiple ways to apply. When posting a job, keep it simple for your potential job candidates by being clear about how you wish to receive those applications, either through the online job portal, e-mail, etc. Make sure that the process is easy, and that you are sticking to the one way only. Doing this will ensure that you have all your applicants in one place, that you’ve minimized the risk of missing a great candidate, and that job-seekers are going to have a positive impression of what it could be like to work at such an organized company as yours.
A good way to tell where your resumes are coming from, is to have an option for the applicant to select how they heard about the position. This will allow you to see where you need to focus your attention and get the best results. Maintaining accounts with companies such as Workopolis, LinkedIn, KnightHunter, etc. can be costly, so it’s best to know where those investments should stay, and which ones are not generating as much traffic.

With a bit more control over how you manage the job posting process, you stand to gain access to a higher quality talent pool while reducing the overhead required to manage your ever growing, awesomely talented group of candidates.
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  • Theo Tiv Gal on 2015-04-27 12:40:03 AM

    One of the items I see on our job board is that employers do not take the time give enough reasons for passive career seekers to apply. Understanding that great talent already has a job and you got to give them a good reason to go with your company is key. Ask yourself "why would someone in this field come work for us?" should this be one of the questions answered in the job ad? I think, yes.

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