8 Job Posting Mistakes | How to Fix Them

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hiring the best candidate

In today’s competitive job market, attracting top talent requires more than just posting a job description and hoping for the best. A poorly written job posting can be a major turnoff for qualified candidates, leading to a smaller applicant pool and a longer hiring process. Here are 8 job posting mistakes that can sabotage your efforts, along with tips on how to fix them:

Job Posting Mistakes That Sabotage Your Hiring Efforts

Mistake #1: Unclear or Generic Job Title

The job title is the first thing a potential candidate sees, so it needs to be clear, concise, and accurately reflect the role. Avoid generic titles like “Marketing Assistant” or “Project Manager.” Instead, use a title specifying the required responsibilities and experience, such as “Social Media Marketing Assistant” or “Agile Project Manager.”

Fix it: Brainstorm specific titles with your team that accurately capture the essence of the role.

Example: Instead of “Customer Service Representative,” use “Technical Support Specialist” if the role involves troubleshooting technical issues.

Tips for Crafting Clear Job Titles

Here are some key things to remember when crafting a clear job title:

  • Focus on Function: 

The title should clearly communicate the core function or responsibility of the role. What problem does this position solve, or what value does it bring to the team?

  • Use Industry Standards: 

Leverage common industry terminology that potential candidates will recognise. This makes your posting more searchable and helps qualified applicants find you.

  • Be Specific: 

While industry standards are essential, don’t be afraid to add a specific element to the title if it clarifies the role’s focus. For example, “Social Media Marketing Assistant” is more specific than just “Marketing Assistant.”

  • Keep it Concise: 

Aim for a title of 4-8 words. A long and convoluted title can be confusing and off-putting to potential applicants.

  • Avoid Jargon: 

Refrain from using industry jargon or company-specific acronyms that may not be familiar to everyone.

Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Identify the Core Function: What is the primary purpose of the role? What problem does it solve, or what value does it bring?
  2. Consider Industry Standards: Research common job titles in your industry for similar roles.
  3. Add Specificity (Optional): If necessary, add a specific element to the title to clarify further the role’s focus (e.g., “Content Marketing Specialist” vs. “Marketing Specialist”).
  4. Refine and Shorten: Keep the title concise and easy to understand. Aim for 4-8 words.
  5. Avoid Jargon and Acronyms: Use clear and simple language that anyone can understand.

Examples:

  • Unclear: Marketing Assistant
  • Clearer: Social Media Marketing Assistant
  • Unclear: Project Coordinator
  • Clearer: Agile Project Manager

Mistake #2: Lack of Compelling Overview

The job overview is your chance to sell the position and your company to potential candidates. A dull or generic overview won’t pique anyone’s interest. Highlight the role’s purpose, its impact on the company, and what makes it exciting to come to work every day.

Fix it: Write a concise and engaging overview that showcases the role’s importance and the company culture.

Example: “Join our passionate team of developers and be at the forefront of building innovative healthcare solutions that improve patient outcomes.”

How to Craft an Enticing Job Overview?

job interview

A compelling job overview is a golden ticket to attracting top talent. It’s your chance to grab a candidate’s attention, showcase the exciting aspects of the role, and convince them why your company is the perfect place to grow their careers. Here’s how to craft a job overview that compels action:

1. Hook ‘Em with the Why:

People are driven by purpose. Start by highlighting the impact of the role. What problem does the position solve? How does it contribute to the company’s mission? Don’t just list tasks; show how this role makes a real difference.

Example: “Are you passionate about building innovative solutions that revolutionise healthcare? Join our team of developers and be the mastermind behind the next generation of medical technology!”

2. Highlight the “What’s In It For Me?”:

Beyond the impact, showcase the role’s benefits for the candidate. Is it an opportunity to learn cutting-edge skills? Does it involve working on a fast-paced, dynamic project? It may offer a chance to collaborate with a diverse and talented team.

Example: “In this role, you’ll not only have the chance to develop your coding expertise in Python and AI but also work alongside industry leaders and be at the forefront of medical innovation.”

3. Keep it Action-Oriented:

Use action verbs and strong language to create a sense of excitement. Instead of stating duties, imagine a dynamic workday filled with challenges and opportunities.

Example: “You’ll tackle complex coding challenges, brainstorm creative solutions, and collaborate with a passionate team to bring groundbreaking ideas to life.”

4. Emphasise Company Culture:

Don’t just talk about the role; talk about the environment the candidate will work in. Briefly describe your company culture and what makes your team unique.

Example: “We are a collaborative team that thrives on innovation and pushes boundaries. We value open communication, work-life balance, and professional development for all our team members.”

5. Keep it Concise and Scannable:

Attention spans are short, so keep your job overview concise and to the point. Aim for 3-5 sentences that pack a punch and leave the reader wanting more.

Remember:

  • Tailor the overview of the specific role.
  • Use positive and enthusiastic language.
  • Proofread for any errors.

Following these tips, you can craft a compelling job overview that attracts top talent and sets the stage for a successful hiring process.

Mistake #3: Unrealistic or Excessive Requirements

Listing every skill imaginable under “Qualifications” is a recipe for a small applicant pool. Focus on the essential skills and experience needed to succeed in the role. Be flexible in learning “nice-to-have” skills.

Fix it: Prioritise your requirements. List only the essential skills and experience that are necessary for the role.

Example: Instead of requiring 5+ years of experience in a specific software program, consider listing it as a preferred skill and highlighting the willingness to learn.

Mistake #4: Lack of Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Candidates want to know what their typical day will involve. Don’t just list generic duties; provide specific details about the day-to-day responsibilities associated with the position. This will help them understand whether the role aligns with their interests and skills.

Fix it: Outline the essential responsibilities and tasks associated with the role. You can even break it down into percentages to give a clearer picture.

Example: “50% of your time will be spent on developing marketing materials, 30% on social media management, and 20% on collaborating with the sales team.”

Mistake #5: Unclear Compensation and Benefits

In today’s job market, salary and benefits are a major deciding factor for candidates. While you may not want to disclose the exact salary range, providing a general idea (e.g., competitive salary commensurate with experience) shows transparency and attracts better applicants.

Fix it: Include a section on compensation and benefits. If you can’t disclose a specific salary range, mention if the position is salaried, hourly, or commission-based. Briefly highlight key benefits offered by your company.

Example: “We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including health insurance, paid time off, and a 401(k) plan with company match.”

Mistake #6: Lack of Company Culture Information

company culture

Candidates are increasingly looking for companies with a strong culture that aligns with their values. Don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your company culture in the job posting. Briefly describe your work environment, values, and what makes your company unique.

Fix it: Dedicate a section to company culture. Highlight what makes your team special and the kind of work environment you foster.

Example: “We are a collaborative team that thrives on innovation and creativity. We value open communication, work-life balance, and professional development.”

Effective Ways to Showcase Your Company Culture in Your Job Postings

1. Dedicate a Specific Section:

Don’t force cultural information into an already crowded job description. Dedicate a separate “Company Culture” or “Our Team” section to showcase what makes your workplace unique.

2. Focus on Values and Behaviours:

Instead of generic statements, highlight the core values that guide your company and the behaviours you expect from your team members. Do you value collaboration? Innovation? Work-life balance? Let potential candidates know what kind of environment they can expect.

Example: “At our company, we believe in fostering a culture of collaboration, creativity, and continuous learning. We encourage open communication and teamwork and empower our employees to take ownership of their projects.”

3. Showcase Work Environment and Perks:

Beyond values, give potential candidates a glimpse into your everyday work environment. Is your office casual or formal? Do you offer flexible work arrangements or remote work options? Highlight any unique perks or benefits that set your company apart, such as on-site wellness programs, social events, or generous vacation policies.

Example: “We offer a casual and collaborative work environment focusing on employee well-being. We provide flexible work arrangements, a fully stocked kitchen, and regular team-building activities.”

4. Use Employee Testimonials:

Social proof is powerful. Consider including quotes or short testimonials from current employees about what they love about working at your company. This adds authenticity and allows potential candidates to connect with your culture personally.

Example: “I love the collaborative spirit at [Company Name]. Everyone is always willing to help each other, and there’s a real camaraderie. I also appreciate the flexible work arrangements that allow me to maintain a healthy work-life balance.” – Sarah, Marketing Manager

5. Leverage Visuals:

If you have company photos or videos that showcase your team culture, consider including them in your job posting. Visuals can be a powerful way to bring your company culture to life and give candidates a better sense of your work environment.

Remember:

  • Be genuine and authentic in your portrayal of company culture.
  • Align your culture description with the specific role you’re hiring for.
  • Proofread your content for any errors.

Mistake #7: Unprofessional or Unclear Language

Jargon, typos, and grammatical errors leave a bad impression. Proofread your job posting carefully to ensure it’s professional and well-written. Use clear, concise language that is easy to understand.

Fix it: Proofread your job posting meticulously before publishing it. Ask a colleague to review it for clarity and professionalism.

Example: Avoid industry jargon that may not be familiar to all applicants. Instead, use plain language that anyone can understand.

Mistake #8: Inaccessible Application Process

A complicated or time-consuming application process can deter qualified candidates. The position is as easy and streamlined as possible. Here are some ways to improve your application process:

  • One-Click Apply: Integrate with job boards and social media platforms that allow one-click applications. This eliminates the need for candidates to fill out lengthy forms manually.
  • Shorter Application Forms: Focus on collecting only the most essential information. Consider using a skills assessment or a short writing prompt instead of a lengthy resume.
  • Mobile-Friendly Application: Ensure your application process is optimised for mobile devices. Many candidates search for jobs and apply on their phones.
  • Clear Instructions: Provide clear instructions on what is required in the application process.
  • Fast Communication: Acknowledge receipt of applications and keep candidates updated on the selection process.

Following these tips, you can create a job posting that attracts top talent and streamlines your hiring process. Remember, the goal is to showcase your company as an attractive employer and make it easy for qualified candidates to apply for the position.

Bonus Tip: Highlight Your Employer Brand

job posting mistakes

Throughout the job posting, weave in elements of your employer brand. This includes your company mission, values, and what makes your company culture unique. By showcasing your employer brand, you’ll attract candidates who fit your company and its culture well.

Review your current job posting process and identify areas for improvement. By implementing the above mentioned strategies, you can create job postings that attract qualified candidates and streamline your hiring process. Remember, a well-written and informative job posting is the first step towards building a strong talent pipeline and finding the best person for the role.

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