Competition for employees is fierce right now.
If you’re trying to fill positions, you might have been wondering if it was just you. It’s not. Unemployment filings are at their lowest point in 40 years – meaning nearly everyone who wants a job has one.
At the same time, there are more unfilled job openings than ever, and time to hire has been hovering around a record, between 27 and 29 days.
Sorry, didn’t mean to stress you out with those stats. But here’s the good news. Despite the fierce competition, a lot of people have been overlooking a simple way to optimize their hiring process and get better results.
Before you change anything else about the positions you’re hiring for, let’s have a look at the way you’re posting jobs. It won’t cost you a thing, and I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of room for improvement.
To help you post better jobs and dominate the job boards, I’ve got 7 easy tips that you can use right now, without spending a thing.
1. Write Job Ads, not Job Descriptions
Job descriptions are for describing the job for internal purposes. Job ads are meant to sell possible candidates on the job you’re offering. When you write a job ad, you want to think like a possible candidate and focus on details that will make them want to apply.
My next tip will show you how to find the details will work best.
2. Do Your Homework – Know What’s Important to Your Candidates
If you know exactly what it is that your candidates are looking for, what will appeal to them about your job, you’ve got a great way to get them interested in your ad.
There are a couple easy ways to get this information. One that I often recommend is doing a quick Google search that looks like this:
Intitle: forum [position you’re hiring for]
For example, if you’re hiring rocket scientists, the search would look like intitle: forum rocket scientist.
This will bring you to forums where potential candidates are talking. Look for posts where they talk about the pros and cons of the job, or gripes they have about their employers. See if there’s any common themes, and if you can counter them.
See the next section for more.
3. How to Hook the Best Candidates
Go to any big job board, search for the positions you’re hiring for, and just read the titles. My bet is that almost all of them are exactly the same. Most will have just the generic name for the position, some will have a few requirements – things that the employer wants – listed.
If you want to stand out, take that info you got from tip 2, select the detail that seemed most important to potential applicants, and put it in the title.
For example, if they were complaining about lack of paid time off, and you offer decent paid time off, you might have a title like: Executive Chef – Work for us and earn 15 days paid time off in your first year.
After you’ve done this in the title, do the same throughout the rest of your job ads – address as many of the typical complaints as you can, and talk about the reasons they’ll like working at your company.
4. What to Do When You Can’t Win on Salary
Sometimes the budget just isn’t there to compete on salary. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lose out.
If you can’t beat them on cash, what else can you offer? Maybe you can be more flexible on your scheduling, offer a four day work week, offer the possibility to work remotely part of the week, or pay for a perk applicants will appreciate.
People care about a lot more than money – for example, a new parent might be willing to take a job that pays less than the competition if they can have more flexibility in their schedule or a shorter work week.
If you did the research in step 2, look closely at the complaints, and see if you can offer benefits or perks that counter them.
5. Try Changing Job Posting Locations
If you’re not having luck with your job postings after a rewrite that focuses on advertising the job, versus describing it, try moving your job board location. For instance, if you are posting your jobs in a small city, try posting them in the nearest big city instead. There may be candidates that want to move somewhere quieter.
Also, try posting to areas where people that do the job you’re advertising for are more common. For instance, if you’re hiring engineers, try posting in a region where there are a lot of engineering schools, or businesses that require engineers.
6. Stay Organized with a Tracking System
One of the toughest things to do when you’re hiring is to stay organized while you’re hiring. Most likely, you’re juggling 10 other things besides hiring, and you’ve got multiple candidates, all in different stages of the process.
Don’t let a great candidate fall through the cracks because you weren’t organized.
Use a great system for tracking applicants to make it easy for you to stay on top of hiring.
7. Know Where Competitors are Hiring
Use LinkedIn to see which of your competitors are making the best hires, then see where they’re hiring. One easy way to do this is searching for the company name, along with the name of the position.
Those 7 tips should give you a definite edge on the job boards. Strapped for time? Just read over steps 1, 2 and 3 before you make your next job posting. You’ll be shocked by the results if you try it.