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Writing the right job listing leads to good hires

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job adWriting an effective job listing is key to finding the best candidates for the position. If you’ve been tasked with creating a job ad, collaborate with the hiring manager so you have all the information you need, says consultant Donn LeVie Jr., who has more than 25 years of experience in hiring manager positions. Ask about the skills, qualifications and experiences that would make someone a good fit for the position and find out when the window to apply will be closed. Once you’ve got what you need, follow these additional tips.

  1. Change perspective. Imagine what would attract the ideal candidate, says Ian Cluroe, global head of marketing at Alexander Mann Solutions. What is that person looking to get from the job? What kinds of keywords would they be looking for in their search? Include them in the ad. Jeremy Spring, vice president and senior recruiter at Elever Pro­­fes­­sional, says it’s important to consider job ads as “people descriptions,” not job descriptions. “Writing job ads that appeal to the types of people who are successful in your company is a much better way to attract candidates than describing a job,” he says. Something like “prepare and report weekly KPI reports” isn’t going to be interesting to top talent, for example.
  2. Keep it simple. Never use acronyms or internal corporate jargon in the title or heading, Cluroe says. You’ll miss out on people who are searching for a specific title.
  3. Make a connection. Use personal pronouns—we, us, our and you—to create a conversational tone that creates a connection with potential candidates, Cluroe says.
  4. Be specific. Cast a wide net by listing the skills you require and the ones you prefer, Cluroe says. At the same time, don’t be afraid to use specific or technical terms to really target people who understand what you’re looking for.
  5. List your needs. If you have special requirements for the application, include that in the ad. For example, make it clear whether you expect a cover letter with the résumé, LeVie says.

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