How to Boost Your Candidate Pool by Improving Job Postings

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 47.3% of the nation’s private workforce is employed by small businesses. Even though a large number of people work for small businesses, it’s not always easy to find the right candidates. With 83% of HR professionals reporting difficulty recruiting quality candidates, increasing the number of job seekers you have access to can help you avoid that problem. When your business is ready to hire, attracting a large candidate pool that contains many qualified applicants gives you the best opportunity to hire the right person. Improving your job listings could help attract more applicants that fit your needs.

 

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Include key components in job postings

When writing a job description, include as much detail as possible, as briefly as possible. If you’re vague, candidates can’t tell if the job is a good match. They don’t know whether they’re qualified or if it’s a place where they want to work. If you’re too wordy, job seekers may click to other postings.

 

Include important details, such as:

Put the most important information near the top of the description. Job seekers should be able to determine what the job is and have a general overview of what’s involved with a quick glance. A good hook at the beginning encourages them to keep reading.

 

Make it easy to read with formatting

You have lots of information to pack into your job posting, but don’t create a wall of text. Formatting is crucial to break up the content and make it easy for the applicant pool to scan the details to see if it’s a good match.

 

Use headings to identify each section of information. If benefits are the top priority, a job seeker can skip to that heading. If someone is more concerned about company culture, they can go directly to that section.

 

Bulleted lists also make scanning easier. Keep the bullets short yet informational. When you provide information in paragraphs, break them up into shorter subsections.

 

Craft a more compelling company summary

Selling your organization is one way to attract applicants who fit your company culture. Talking about what makes your company great and unique can be an effective recruiting strategy. Maybe you prioritize being eco-friendly or you run a dog-friendly workplace. Things that set you apart could help you find a good fit for your team.

 

Think about your company’s branding when writing the company summary. Use words that fit your branding, and describe the company in a way that makes your ideal candidate want to work there.

 

Reevaluate must-have vs. nice-to-have skills

In an ideal world, your next hire already has all the necessary skills. They have the right degree, they’ve used the software you use, and they have real-world experience.

 

In reality, you could miss a lot of quality candidates if you have a very rigid set of required skills and qualifications. A long list of required qualifications might scare off quality candidates before they apply. If you screen applicants based on those skills, you might eliminate someone who would bring value to your company.

 

For example, someone with an unrelated degree might have real-world experience that makes up for it. If you need a marketing copywriter, you might limit it to applicants with marketing or journalism degrees. A freelance writer with an unrelated degree could have thousands of marketing pieces under their belt, yet they’re a quality candidate that you might miss.

 

Reconsider your required and desired skills. When you put those skills into your job posting, clearly differentiate between what you’re requiring and what you hope the applicant has to offer. You’ll likely increase the number of applicants if your desired list is longer than your required list.

 

Highlight company benefits and perks

Benefits matter to the workforce. At least 41% of employees state that they’re likely to seek a job with better benefits. When asked to rank noninsurance benefits, 40% say that generous time off is at the top of the list while 30% want flex time to take care of unexpected family commitments.

 

It’s fine if your company can’t match the free gourmet meals and indoor slides that the Googleplex offers, but being creative with your perks and advertising them in your job listings might help you create a larger applicant pool.

 

Your company’s perks don’t have to cost money to attract quality candidates. Nonmonetary perks like flexible work schedules and casual Fridays can be just as appealing. Maybe your company is located in a hip, up-and-coming neighborhood that’s close to local bars, restaurants and music venues. A building right next to a public transportation stop or free parking in a downtown area with limited space is also a perk.

 

Let applicants know what they get with your company beyond insurance benefits and a 401(k). For best results, be specific about your benefits and perks instead of saying that you offer a generous benefits package.

 

Disclose potential deal breakers

You want to sell the job and your company with every word of your job listing, but you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Some jobs require duties beyond a traditional workday or tasks that might not be appealing to every candidate.

 

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential candidate and ask yourself possible deal breakers, including:

  • Does the job require occasional nights and weekends?
  • Will I have to travel 25% of the time or more?
  • Is there overnight travel required?
  • Is it only a part-time position?
  • Does it require background checks and drug testing?
  • Does the position involve heavy lifting or working in harsh conditions?
  • Are there extra duties that aren’t typically included in this type of position?

Consider these and share the details in the job posting to help your candidate pool fully understand your expectations before they apply. You might think that withholding that information until the interview will get you a larger candidate pool. But applicants might be disappointed and turned off when they find out all of the details, and may be less likely to accept an offer.

 

For some people, travel is a deal breaker. For others, it makes the job exciting. By including those details in the posting, you attract more applicants who want to do that type of work.

 

Include the right keywords for your candidate pool

Including keywords in your job posting title and throughout the description helps job seekers find you. The right keyword in your title might encourage candidates to click through to the description. Keep the title keyword straightforward to convey exactly what you need. If you describe a marketing writer position as a word master, you’re missing out on searches, and you’re likely confusing people who see the listing.

 

Create a list of keywords based on how your ideal candidate might search. Keyword tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you find appropriate phrases.

 

Once you have your main keyword, think of alternative ways to say it. If you’re hiring an elementary literacy teacher, you might also include keywords for reading teacher, primary reading teacher and literacy instructor. Varying the keywords helps you capture more search traffic since job seekers might use different search terms.

 

Variations also prevent you from overusing keywords. If you cram “elementary literacy teacher” into the description too much, search engines might lower your ranking in their results. Sprinkle your keyword throughout your description, but keep it natural to avoid sounding spammy.

 

Be true to yourself

Robotic, boring job descriptions do nothing to make you stand out. When you’re seeking forward-thinking, energetic, engaging employees, your job description tone needs to match. If you don’t want stuffy, boring employees, don’t make your job descriptions sound that way.

 

Content should also show the overall personality of your company. If you consider your business innovative and cutting edge, a job listing with textbook-style writing misses the mark.

 

Your description should show what your company’s all about, but it should also be honest. Not every company is a laid-back start-up decorated with beanbag chairs offering flexible work schedules and unlimited time off. Your company might be a little more traditional, and that’s fine. Make sure your description is honest, accurate and reflects your brand.

 

Make the application process clear

Don’t leave the job pool guessing how they should apply for the position. Let them know where to go to apply, whether you’re okay with them applying through job sites or if you prefer them to go directly to your website. List everything they need to include, such as a cover letter, resume, samples and answers to questions that you use to screen your job pool.

 

Sponsor a job post on Indeed

Indeed attracts millions of job seekers every day. You can get more of those eyes on your post by sponsoring a job. When you pay to sponsor a job on Indeed, your ad gets even more visibility among those visitors. This helps you reach more candidates who fit your needs.

 

When you sponsor a job, you get to set a daily budget with help from the estimator tool. Higher budgets usually expand your candidate pool further. Sponsoring a job on Indeed also opens up Instant Match. This tool helps you find job seekers who are already on Indeed and have skills that match your needs. You can then invite them to apply for your job.

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