The Perfect Hire Starts With The Perfect Job Posting

The art of the effective job posting is an often overlooked and vital piece of assembling a great team. Follow these five steps and find the perfect new employee.

Hiring may be one of the biggest challenges facing any company, but it’s often considered a secondary task, taking a backseat to more "pressing" matters like a new product launch or client acquisition. However, your team is your company’s greatest investment and no decision has a bigger impact on your business’ future than whom you hire.

While many job ads are hastily sketched out with little forethought, these descriptions can be one of the most important tools to finding the best people for the job. Paying careful attention to your ad ensures your team understands the role you’re trying to fill, as well as broadcasts your needs to the world. After all, you’re not going to attract the right people if you haven’t defined what "right" means for you.

This doesn’t mean that putting together a job requisition needs to involve all the blood, sweat, and tears of writing the next great novel. Here are five tips to help you through the process:

1. Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel
Since it’s easier to start from something than nothing, go through any previous requisitions that you or any other hiring managers in the company have written before. If an ad has worked well for you in the past, it may need only a few minor tweaks. If nothing else, you have a starting point.

2. Define The Role
Research the requirements of the role by soliciting input from those who are working in a similar position as well as those who will be interacting with the new staff member on a regular basis. What are the must-have skills and traits, and what are the nice-to-haves? It's important to be realistic about your requisition’s requirements. If your list is too diverse, you might be trying to fill an impossible role. In addition, be clear about the level of experience required for the job. Advertising for the wrong skill level sets your candidates up for failure and creates unnecessary tension in the company culture.

3. Writing The Req
Just as you’re looking for that great candidate, they’re looking for that great opportunity. A standout job title will start your requisition off with a bang. If this is a role you'll be recruiting for regularly, consider running some A/B testing on different titles, so you know which ones are the most effective.

4. Focus On Culture Fit
Finding the right employee entails more than skill-sets and experience. While you’re naturally looking for a top-notch customer service agent, you also want to find people who fit well within your company culture. Inject the vibe of your organization into your job and company descriptions. Be sure to stress the work environment, company values, learning opportunities, and any other details that will accurately represent what your company is all about.

5. Post It
Once the requisition is written, you will need to post it for the world to see. Be thoughtful about where to place your job ads: your goal is to attract the right candidates, not as many candidates as you can. In addition to the careers page on your company website, think about the preferred avenues and networks for your target candidates.

Social networks present one of the best opportunities for finding your best hires because they provide good access to your target audience. Have your team members share job openings through their personal Facebook profiles, LinkedIn updates, and Twitter feeds. Encourage employees to use their own authentic voice to introduce the role and company to people in their networks. Employee referrals are generally considered the best source of new hires, and as such, social networks have transformed recruiting.

Putting the time and effort into designing an interesting job ad with clear expectations and cultural values will ensure you get resumes from well-qualified applicants suited to the role and your organization. Stay tuned to learn how to most effectively prescreen candidates from the piles of resumes and cover letters that will hit your inbox.

This three-part series offers a step-by-step guide to hiring the best people for your team, from writing a killer job description to screening resumes and the interview process.

Related:
Why "Hire Slow, Fire Fast" Is A Bunch Of BS
Why "Hire Slow, Fire Fast" Is A Better Idea Than You Think

Amy Kelman leads Zendesk’s Customer Success team, whose charter is to create a beautifully simple experience for all Zendesk customers. Learn more at www.zendesk.com or on Twitter @zendesk

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  • scottadelson

    it's probably good to add: do your best to respond to those who apply to your job posting. a simple "no thank you" or "we're considering your application" goes a long way toward establishing your organization as operating in good faith - and not drive away talent that you might want to engage in the future.