We’ll say it: a lot of you are flailing out there. No one’s in the dark about The Great Resignation, and while not every sector was hugely impacted by it, the fallout continues. For many HR leaders, it isn’t just about who you lost, it’s about who you can’t get now.

There may be some identifiable generational or regional distinction, but the truth is this: some companies have operated on the (false) assumption that their employment pipeline would never dry up. And it has. And it’s really really hard to attract top talent.

A few fundamental flaws exist that throw a wrench in the cogs. One is that businesses that haven’t had to try very hard to hire good people have forgotten how. Whatever the core issue, deploying better strategies all comes down to the messaging.

Remember: external and internal marketing are both essential components of “getting it right.” Convincing customers that you have a great product to sell is just as important as convincing people to sell it for you. If you’re scurrying and coming up short, we can tell you right now that a good place to look is your job postings. And we have some ideas for how to make them better.

Why should you care what we think? Because we specialize in this. Your Business Marketer’s REC program is a well-oiled machine that wins every time. We leverage the power of awesome technology, intelligent human insights, and time-tested processes to get you face-to-face with qualified prospects faster. Get in touch to learn more.

Write Better Job Listings

Wherever you post it, your company’s “open job” listing is the first thing people see, and what it should contain has changed. It used to be that you could have a one-liner company summary and chock it full of highly detailed job requirements and expectations. Nowadays, job descriptions need a little more pizzazz. You’re likely competing against more players, as well as people’s attention spans.

Here’s how to uplevel this content:

1.   Tell the Company Story

Now, this shouldn’t be the epic narrative that bores people to tears with its long-windedness. It should be your brand narrative: a brief and inspiring origin story, the evolution to where you are today, your identity in the marketplace. Those are all good touchpoints for crafting something that aptly describes a company people want to be a part of. In a more competitive job market, people aren’t just looking for anything: they want to know who you are and why they should care.

2.   Title the Job Right

This is something that’s becoming more and more creative. People are into it, because once they know your identity, they want to understand how they fit into the grand scheme of things. Can they picture themselves as a “Data Analyst” or as a “Data Wrangler”? Of course, you may have HR restrictions on how flowery or off-the-wall these can get, but consider how you’re positioning the most important line in the whole piece: the job title.

3.   Be Creative About the Sections

Most job postings have predictable blocks of content:

> The company

> Work duties

> Work requirements

> Experience requirements

Give these a little energy. Think about using “Who We Are,” “Who You Are,” “What You’ll Do.” Or something like, “Why Us,” “This Role,” “Your Job,” “Your Team.” The more reader-centric you can make it, the better they’ll be able to envision themselves moving forward.

4.   Use the Right Keywords

This is an important job posting tip for a couple of reasons:

> Most job listing sites will index your content, serving up results that align with searches, similar to a search engine. Make sure your post has the right keywords to show up in the right searches.

> People are conditioned to look for certain differentiators, criteria, and buzzwords. If you’re trying to hire someone for your real estate company or crypto startup, you want to use the lingo of the industry.

5.   Don’t Leave Details Out to Sound More Appealing

If you’re starting to feel a bit panicked about a hiring famine, it’s tempting to want to spice up job postings by leaving less appealing parts of the job out. Is there a busy season where overtime is expected? What percentage of travel will really be required? You know you have to disclose this, and you might as well start that way. Otherwise, you risk getting interested leads who just bail further into the process.

6.   Use Fewer Words

With the uptick in mobile users alone, you need to be mindful about the length of job postings. People are scanners. They’re quickly glossing over your posting, swiping, and onto the next. This is why the aforementioned keywords are key: give their eyes something to land on. It’s also why you need to be succinct and razor-sharp precise with language. Don’t wax eloquent. Say the right things in as few words as possible.

7.   Don’t Cliche it Up

Should we have to say this? People see through cliches. The word “innovation” has about as much meaning as the incoherent ramblings of a one year old. People basically get it and will indulge it, but now is not the time for that. “Self-starter,” “team player,” are also suspect to a lot of applicants. Consider how the phrases you use are being perceived: people have a heightened sensitivity to whether yours will be a healthy work culture; don’t give them cause for concern. Be authentic.

8.   Add Visuals (Even Videos)

We already know that video gets way more attention and yields way more retention. Why not use it here? A video introduction of your team, or to the position if it’s important enough, could make a job listing stand out in a big way. Don’t be afraid to be creative, remembering that you may want to attract out-of-the-box thinkers and people who will make a real difference at your company. Attract them with content you yourself would like to consume.

Write Better Job Postings

This could be the ninth point, at risk of being redundant: gut the content you have and start over if you have to, but ruthlessly assess what you’re putting out in the world to describe jobs. If you’re getting crickets, you have to consider whether you’ve got the right message to the right people at the right time. Speaking of which, we can help with that: learn more.