The Definitive Guide to Creating Great Postings

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Given the white-hot state of the tech job market (the unemployment rate for tech professionals is hovering at 3 percent), it’s become an increasingly challenging task for companies and recruiters to source and hire the best possible talent. Although recruiters have taken to social as possible. Otherwise, you are missing a media, Web forums, and other cutting-edge huge opportunity to employ the brightest channels to find top tech talent, the job minds to drive company revenue, build posting remains a powerful way of pulling in great software, and take advantage of a candidates — provided, of course, that the growing marketplace. job posting stands out from the millions of others on the Web. In this context, a modern job posting doesn’t just explain the position’s requirements; it Whatever the future brings — and offers crucial insight into why a particular economists at the U.S. Financial Reserve company is an exciting place to work. It is Board expect tech unemployment to drop a narrative unto itself, an extension of through 2017 — it is critical that you the company’s brand, and a compelling engage, relate to and build relationships enticement to whomever reads it. with the right tech audiences as quickly ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR (@blogging4jobs) is an Internet television host, author, speaker, and human resources professional with a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 3

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INTRODUCTION THE MODERN JOB POSTING What is a modern job posting? So yes, a job posting is a marketing asset. It is also the hub around which a company can build a hiring and selection process for a particular candidate. From the candidate’s perspective, the posting offers a crucial first glimpse into the hiring process and the company itself. It is of vital importance that the initial impression be a good one. A job posting is different from a job advertisement. Unlike a job ad, which in its brevity and colorfulness is the information equivalent of a highway billboard (and in the case of some companies, may actually be a highway billboard), the job posting provides in-depth information that tells the candidate quite a bit about the company. Think of it as analogous to a movie trailer or a 5-minute YouTube video, one that imparts a significant (and hopefully intriguing) amount of substance. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 4

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A job posting should be 300-500 words in length and include bullets and headlines that make it easy to read. The language should be engaging, with words and phrases that Overall U.S. Labor Market 10.7 Million U.S. Tech Market 945,000 Active Job Postings Active Job Postings aim at a very specific type of candidate. Why that need for exactness? Because there are a lot of job postings, but not a lot of candidates to fill them, especially in tech. 20.5% 19.1% . only When you look at the numbers you can see why it’s more important than ever to make sure your job postings stand out. More job postings than in 2013 job posting 23 candidates per More job postings than in 2013 candidates per 6 techjob posting Source: Wanted Analytics, August 2015 “You have precious little real estate in your job posting. When you’re highlighting all of the factors that can motivate a job change [Advancement, Money, People, Technology] the people and culture rank higher for social people. Make sure that you have a tangible, relevant, short story of how people are selected and supported in your company. This is NOT your boilerplate corporate message. A custom message for each team or hiring department via templates will make it more relevant, more powerful, and more real to the people you need to reach.” – Bryan Chaney, Founder, TalentBrand.org DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 5

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No two job postings from two companies should be alike. Take the following examples: A Conventional Approach Northrop Grumman’s job postings do a great job of including a catchy visual and using SEO optimization to reach a targeted audience of qualified candidates. (SEO optimization is fairly obvious when text repeats a word multiple times on a webpage, but other, more subtle indicators include bolded texts, tagged words or combinations, and use of larger fonts for headlines.) DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 6

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An Unconventional Approach Compare Northrop Grumman’s posting to the very non-traditional one created by a tech company in San Diego, CA; that posting does not take the same “optimized” approach to its text or presentation. Northrop Grumman’s job posting is simple yet effective because it creates a clear differentiation between the company and its rivals competing in the same talent pool, while using graphics to emphasize the company culture and employee benefits. The posting clearly explains the hiring process, people, and the working environment. The posting from the San Diego company takes a completely different approach, which probably limits its potential to attract suitable applicants. Sure, the prose is efficient and takes some eye-catching risks, emphasizing salary and benefits while extolling the need for “great f$*%ing” developers. However, the posting is a bit too vague; there’s no mention of the company’s name or culture, or the position’s responsibilities, training, or advancement opportunities. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 7

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FINE TUNING SIX JOB POSTING BEST PRACTICES With so much competition to get candidate eyes on job postings, it is important to embrace some best practices in order to reach the most qualified people. 1 Showcase Your Brand into the culture and why your organization sentences of your job posting,” said Linda Building and establishing an employment matters to your employees. Blackmon, CEO of ExtendMyStaff. “Employees, especially Millennials, care Excellent compensation, an emphasis about the culture they are working in. Give on work-life balance and exciting work them a reason to opt in. Start simple with a challenges are the three qualities that brief summary or history about what makes attract tech talent to apply to a job. It is your company stand out in the first 2-3 important to clearly identify how your brand is an increasingly important part of attracting best-in-class candidates. By showcasing your brand, you provide candidates with information about why your company is a great place to work, insights DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 8

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technology is a game-changer in your industry, and how it offers value that is different from peer companies. When developing a posting, talk with current employees to understand what drew them to your organization. That can give you some of the insight necessary to establish an attractive employment brand. 2 Accurately Represent the Job Opening The best job postings provide information “Your current employees undoubtedly feel an affinity with your company’s values; if they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t be working for you! Values provide a foundation for action and behavior, shape the company culture, and support the organization’s vision. Socializing and reinforcing the values will help you understand how they resonate with employees and that, in turn, will guide you in the creation of a compelling message to candidates.” – Robin Schooling, Managing Director/Owner, Silver Zebras on the qualifications and skill sets needed in order to be successful in the role. This is especially important in STEM (Science, describe the job, provide information job titles in your headlines, as well as within about the skill sets required, and the body of the job posting: “Candidates encourage the candidate to either explore are searching for specific skill sets, candidate base. or move along to another opportunity. qualifications and areas of specialization, Paul Debettignies, Principal at Minnesota and not Senior Engineering Level II Guru. The single most important part of your Headhunter, LLC, recruits and consults A poor job posting headline can keep you job posting is the title. Like an email subject with tech startups in the Minneapolis and from reaching the best talent and draw out line, it is the first piece of information your St. Paul areas. He suggests avoiding using the hiring process possibly indefinitely.” candidate will read. It should accurately company acronyms and company-specific Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) roles, where even very minute differences can keep you from reaching a qualified DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 9

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When writing job postings, think about THE RIGHT TITLE FOR THE RIGHT JOB how your audience searches for a new role. I suggest talking with recent hires to learn more about how they sort through job postings, including what keywords and The posting title grabs the attention of your targeted candidate and draws them in, making them want to learn more about the job role and responsibilities. skill sets they use in their search. Use this information to optimize your job posting through SEO strategies. EXAMPLES OF GOOD JOB TITLES Lead Java Developer Java Software Developer: Web UI iCloud Java Server Engineer Java Software Engineer (Identity Platform) PPC Manager – Fashion/Apparel – Google AdWords/Bing Ads (Even though this doesn’t include ‘Java,’ it is a specific position for an internal division or product) EXAMPLES OF POOR JOB TITLES SEO optimization enhances your job UI & J2EE Architect / Java Developer / Java Lead / Java Solution Architect (Too many variations, so it’s hard to know the actual nature of the position.) postings (or other Web pages) in the eyes IMMEDIATE HIRE – Core Java Developer (Terms like ‘immediate hire’ and ‘multiple positions’ are misleading and make the position feel spammy.) unpaid keywords the candidates may enter of search engines, improving the likelihood of discovery via Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The practice involves creating a list of keywords; I recommend selecting no more than 3 to 5. Recruiters should focus on the “organic” or into a search engine when looking for a job. Those keywords (which you should list before composing the posting) include job title, main skills and geographic location. Web 8863 iOS Developer – Engineer/ Sr. Engineer Innovation (Includes a random job number that is only understandable by the Employer.) crawlers rank content at the beginning of the page as the most important; if you want a solid example of SEO at work, look at the next page to see how Lululemon structured their senior UX strategist job posting. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 10

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SEO BEST PRACTICES 1 Many products exist to help you determine if you bold your keywords, use bullets and which keywords to use, but I recommend include keywords in headlines. using common sense by putting yourself in your candidates’ shoes. Start by using Google’s Adword Keyword Search tool as you begin optimizing and experimenting. SEO also allows recruiters to reach a very While brevity isn’t a crucial element in SEO, Feature job title, key tech skills and location at beginning of the job posting 2 Include 3 to 5 focus keywords in the posting 3 Select low-competition search terms 4 Bold your keywords and use them as headings 5 Include photos and other media to increase optimization 6 Sprinkle your keywords 3 to 5 times in your posting it can only help your posting. For his part, Debettignies has seen a gradual shrinkage in the length of job postings: “We are targeted and specific audience. making the requirements on the job posting By focusing your efforts on a small number points on an iOS Developer job posting. of keywords, you increase the likelihood that They know if they are one or not. Some your job posting will appear earlier in search context is needed for skills but we generally results. Your posting will also rank higher eliminate a long check list.” much shorter. There is no need for 17 bullet DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 11

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[Sony Playstation] Staff/Senior Software Engineer, SHAREfactory Team Apply Now Save Email Share Sony Computer Entertainment, San Diego, CA Posted 1 Week Ago Position Id: 158895 C++, Game industry experience, video/audio development a plus Have a Job? Full Time, Full-Time Post it 145000 Similar Positions Telecommuting not available Travel not required Software Engineer 2 3 Create a Great Call to Action You’ve worked hard to create an effective posting for the candidates, giving them insights into what you can offer their careers, beyond just another place to work. Now it’s time to conclude with a call to action that drives those candidates to apply. Keep your call to action short and to the NORTHROP GRUMMAN San Diego, their job postings, ensuring candidatesCA Examples of Calls to Action: can easily understand the next step in the Apply Now hiring process and what actions they need Apply Here to “Apply Online.” Their position titles are extremely specific, allowing engineers to Work Here better determine if they have the skills, Join Our Team qualifications and experience to work there. Join Our Talent Network The company takes its call to action another point. In theory it could be as simple as, A great call to action is the last opportunity step further, encouraging job seekers to “Apply here,” but you want your call to action to convert a tech pro from prospect into share the opening on social media and even to stand out from those of your competitors. candidate. Be direct. Be brief. Be different. email the job posting to a friend. Take a look at your competitors’ job postings And always ask them directly to apply. and consider conducting A/B tests with different colors and calls to action to see what drives better results. What’s great about Dice is that it bakes On the career site of Sony’s PlayStation these features into their standard job division, there’s a call to action button posting, increasing candidate conversions included on both the top and bottom of and shares via social media and email. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 12

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4 Consider Technology mobile, special features, talent networks and Mobile job search activities come in The actual website and location of your job apps. This is especially important since job many forms: posting is just as important as the content, boards remain the number one source of copy and call to action. You must consider hires, according to a CareerXroads study. technology and how applicants will interact with and experience your employment brand. Mobile is a key technology to consider as Try to regularly test your own job posting and increasingly use their mobile devices to application process from the perspective of search and apply for jobs. According to a a candidate to understand how technology study from Jobvite, recruiters who use mobile plays a role in the experience. Each job- in their recruiting efforts see a 14 percent posting platform (job board, career website improved time to hire and a 13 percent or blog) produces a different candidate increase in quality of candidates. part of a job-posting strategy. Candidates Accessing social media via smartphone Video (whether live or via sites like Facebook and YouTube) Your mobile optimized career site Mobile app use Mobile apply Mobile research via the web Sourcing via mobile by your recruits for candidates experience. Consider the importance of Mobile touches nearly every aspect of 14 4 13 % % Improved time to hire Increase in quality of candidates a candidate’s job search, as well as the recruiter’s workflow. It is important to understand what technology candidates use to not just apply but also view, research and engage with your company. With this in mind, make a point of talking to recent hires and past job candidates about the job Source: Jobvite search preferences and habits that led to Use of Mobile in Recruiting them applying at your company. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 13

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5 Engage and Share via Social Media Social media is a great way to share your opening to a targeted community. Twitter is candidate community. Seventy-three percent a favorite among tech pros and is the third of adults use social media in their everyday most popular search engine behind Google lives. It’s a channel that puts candidates and YouTube. Job cards allow you to go in direct contact with recruiters and places – Kim Hollenshead, Senior Recruiter, Zenoss another great way to highlight a specific job posting as well as engage with your “ I have found social media job sharing most effective when it comes from individual recruiters as well as hiring managers. Social media allows you to connect on a personal level, helps establish relationships and tap into a network of new candidates directly from your employees,” Twitter job cards such as #Dice141 are beyond the 140-character limit and focus your employment brand front and center. a specific job posting using keywords, On the next page is a list of social recruiting tips to get you started on the right foot with sharing and engagement. While each tip is location and benefits. Twitter job cards extend the life of a tweet beyond its 15 minutes of fame. extremely important, perhaps the most vital Hashtags are the best way for recruiters aspect is remembering not to ”overshare” to reach a very targeted network that or spam your candidates. Personalize might or might not be following you. I your messages. Answer questions. Build consider hashtags the Dewey decimal relationships, and most importantly, do not system of social media, allowing others to automate all of your job postings. Depending find you and build new connections and on the size of your organization, you might communities. Recruiters can use hashtags have dozens or even hundreds of new job by job type (like #javadeveloper), city name openings. Oversharing can alienate your (like #sf or #sanfrancisco), or the #job or social media community of tech pros. Even #jobs hashtags to tell other Twitter users enterprises as large as Hewlett-Packard that the tweet contains information about a have chosen to feature one daily job posting job or job opening. Tech professionals tend on their social networks, use custom hash to search for jobs by skill, so highlighting tags, and focus on building relationships core skills with hashtags in your tweets is with their social media community. key to getting them found. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 14

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TWITTER RECRUITING TIPS Post between 1-5 job openings per day, just don’t overdo it Keep it short (under 110 characters) for reposting and retweeting 5 Take advantage of Twitter’s powerful search engine Use the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of content should interest your audience and engage in conversations, 20 percent should promote your brand and jobs Use visual networks such as Instagram and Vine to reach different candidate communities Personalize your messaging and don’t spam Utilize Twitter Job Cards such as #Dice141 Use hashtags to increase your candidate and community reach Another popular trend among employer #TeamAmtrack and #AdobeLife all promote a company-specific job posting hashtag to brands is to create a company-specific employee engagement and sharing. Equally organize social media job postings. HP has hashtag that encourages the sharing by important is the organization of company job done an excellent job of making searching members of your recruiting team as well postings on Twitter and other social media for their featured jobs easy on social media as employees. Hashtags like #AskATT, sites, which is why I recommend creating with their hashtag, #HPcareers. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 15

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Social Recruiting Beyond Twitter with their job postings. A recent social post candidates, they offer an opportunity for While Twitter is certainly an engaging looking for a “Java the Hutt” is shown below. recruiters to innovate. Regardless of network, recruiters have a variety of options when it comes to social media to connect, showcase their brand and engage with a very targeted candidate community. Social networks such as Vine, SnapChat, Instagram, LinkedIn as well as Facebook As Lorren Guerra, Talent Acquisition Leader at Blizzard explains: “The Java the Hutt job posting was an introduction to a more formal job description. It generated a large amount of positive feedback from candidates especially offer a great way to reach candidates. via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.” Blizzard Entertainment understands the Because social media is still a relatively new importance of creating a clear differentiation platform with which to engage and reach the social network, hashtags remain an important part of any social recruiting or social engagement strategy. They provide recruiters an opportunity to engage established communities and expand reach. CH2M Hill has more than 25,000 employee across the globe. The company successfully leveraged social media platforms such as Facebook to reach highly critical engineering roles. Rather than use status updates or targeted advertisements From Blizzard Entertainment WANTED: JAVA THE HUTT The most feared lead software engineer in the galaxy, Java is wanted for gangster on social networks, CH2M Hill found the most success in posting to social-media groups such as online engineering communities and alumni networks. programming skills, veteran leadership, and battle-tested experience. From Blizzard’s throne room in Irvine, CA, Java will lead an elite Battle.net web team to provide Social recruiting strategies are as different an entire universe of fans with high performance online as job candidates themselves. The key to experiences. Whereabouts currently unknown, although effective social recruiting and using social given the history of passion for server-side and scalable media begins with understanding your server architecture, Death Star ties possible. Java should audience and metrics in order to gauge be considered armed and extremely talented. All teams which social platform drives the most recruit with deadly intent. No disintegration! results and what success looks like to your recruiting team. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 16

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6 Create Clear Differentiation The best recruiters research their competition tirelessly and are prepared to answer questions, overcome objections and sell the role in this competitive, candidate-driven marketplace. The best job postings create a clear message that sets them apart from other employers. Testimonials are a powerful way to share what makes your organization unique and a great place to work. The best testimonials come directly from your employees. Companies such as Twilio are combining video with testimonials (in Twilio’s case, a YouTube channel called Twilio Life) that coordinate with their employment branding and social media efforts. The testimonials focus not just on employees but also on specific teams, including sales and engineering. Beyond research and employee testimonials, visual media helps to set employers apart from one another. This includes photography, videos and other digital assets that complement your job posting. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 17

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“Understanding the candidate’s needs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors will guarantee an open door to a better communication. It is also essential for brands to be authentic and genuine in the way we communicate with our audiences. Consistently incorporating these components in your job postings will increase your ability to attract more of the right candidates, and filter out people that are not a culture fit.” – Andres Traslavina, Global Recruiting Sr. Manager, HR Whole Foods Market Hootsuite recently executed a live-streaming video campaign on Periscope, called #followthesun, where they Scoped across the organization and in different locations throughout the course of a day, building awareness of a number of open positions at their company. The campaign, which was the first of its kind in recruiting, resulted in FINAL THOUGHTS Crafting the perfect job posting that attracts the best talent for your organization takes a great deal of research, preparation and work. Know your audience, keep an eye on your competition and understand what organizational values attract great talent and keep them productively working for your company. 230 new social media followers and 5,078 Job postings are the ultimate marketing tool to reach the most qualified candidates, views of their Scopes. but that’s only the beginning. In this competitive tech job market, companies must go beyond job postings to consider social networking platforms that grow your brand, tell your story and expand your reach. With effort and creativity, you can achieve your ultimate goal of hiring the best talent. DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 18

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JOB POSTING CHECKLIST Job Title • Create an eye-catching yet descriptive job title; for example, Lead Java Engineer rather than Software Engineer III • Keep your job posting headline short under 100 characters Skills, Keywords and SEO • Include necessary tech skills and descriptive keywords that are specific to the role • Use low competition, long tail keywords to reach a targeted candidate — adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner is a good starting point Tell a Story • Talk about what makes your company unique and a great place to work • What’s a typical day look like? • How will the person help the company meet its goals? • Get to the point — keep your job posting under 500 words Formatting and Graphics • Use bullets to separate and list skills and qualifications making your job posting more visually appealing and easier to read • Use media including video and graphics to set yourself apart from the competition The Nitty Gritty • Salary range • Contract vs. Permament • Telecommuting Options • Location • Unique perks, training and benefits Applying Should Be Easy • Make it easy to share, save or apply to your job • Have a clear call to action • Test posting and application process on mobile Promote Your Jobs on Social Media • Include Hashtags • Use Facebook/LinkedIn Groups • Twitter Job Cards • Experiment with other platforms like Vine, Periscope or Instagram Measure and Track success • Cost per hire • Time to Fill • Source per hire DICE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT JOB POSTINGS 19

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