Are job-posting mistakes really that much of a problem? Even so, aren't job candidates so badly in need of employment that they'll respond anyway?
Job-posting mistakes can prove quite costly to a business. A poorly crafted job-posting could mean desired job-seekers simply don't apply at all; even worse, you might land the wrong person for the job, which in the not-too-distant future may result in problems in the workplace and the eventual need to address the problems (and possibly start the whole job-posting process all over again).
Here's a look at five common job-posting mistakes you should avoid:
1. Neglecting the basics
All too often, employers post job openings, but neglect to include basic information, such as:
- Job title
- Job objectives
- Description of functions, scope, and responsibilities
- Specific tasks that must be performed
- Skills and qualifications required (education, experience, licensing, etc.)
- Contact information, preferably an email address for a "real" person, not a generic address
Regarding job title, a common mistake is dreaming up a lofty title in an effort to draw more interest. Generally speaking, this only leads to applicant confusion, potentially attracting the wrong type of candidate. Instead of being "creative," it's best to use a conventional title and description that is consistent with other job titles and is most likely to appear in an online search.
According to HR specialist Katie Loehrke, research from the job search firm TheLadders shows that "on average, it takes a job seeker 49.7 seconds to determine whether or not a job posting is a good fit." As a result, a candidate "who doesn't find the information he or she needs is not going to spend much more time searching for the details."
2. Avoiding any mention of salary and benefits
Look at your job posting from a prospective candidate's point of view. Wouldn't you like to know how much the open position pays and what types of benefits are offered? It's not necessary to include a specific number, but providing a salary range, as well as a mention of healthcare plans and retirement plans instantly makes the job opening more attractive. Be sure to include "salary negotiable" or "competitive pay range" in the description.
3. Overloading the job-posting with keywords
Yes, keywords are needed to help the posting appear on a relevant search, but overpopulating them in a job-posting can discourage people from applying. Nor will an abundance of keywords fool Google into improving your search rankings. It's best to stick to phrasing "that's logical (put yourself in the job seeker's shoes) and appropriate to your industry," according to Loehrke.
4. Publishing a job-posting that's replete with errors
It's imperative that, before getting published online, the job posting is checked for typos and grammatical errors — and checked again. Too many small errors can discourage applications and may make your company look bad (or at least, sloppy).
5. Complicating the applicant process
How difficult is it for job-seekers to fill out an online application? Some postings include multiple required fields and other mandatory sections that can discourage applicants from pursuing the open position. As Loehrke notes, "Giving the applicant more control over what portions he or she must complete may make the process more manageable and may encourage him or her to see it through."
Remember, too, that while your objective is attracting applicants, the first priority is fashioning a job description that's all about your potential employee.