How to Write the Perfect Job Posting
To post, or not to post. That is the question… Just kidding! You don’t need to be Shakespeare to write a job posting that attracts the best candidates.
Whether you’re looking to hire an admin pro, or a contract employee to help with busy season, a great job posting can help a company of any age and size. You might be looking to refresh a dusty posting or write your first, and we’re walking you through the nuts and bolts.
When you’re ready to get writing, download our free job posting template to use as a guide, and watch those top notch applications roll in.
We know what you're thinking
Is writing a thorough job posting worth your time? Danielle, Jobber’s head of people management, who has past experience as a recruiter for a variety of industries (and helped us write this post), says absolutely.
Here are 4 reasons why:
- The time spent designing your job posting will save you from answering questions on the phone
- A detailed posting will help you weed out unqualified applicants, so that you only get to the interview stage with great fits
- A posting with clear duties helps with employee retention because employees will have a good understanding of their duties and responsibilities (costly turnover averted!)
- Posting a well-written job description communicates a high level of company professionalism, which will help attract quality applicants.Your approach to hiring is part of your brand, and the same way customers flock to trusted and professional brands, so does top talent.
Posting well-written job descriptions communicate a high level of company professionalism, which will help attract quality applicants.
Know your audience
Before we get into how to put together an effective posting, take a moment to think about how potential candidates are reading your posting. If you’re posting it online then you can safely assume that people will most likely read it on their smartphones, so keeping it short and to the point is more important than ever.
Even if you plan to circulate a printed copy of your job posting, it’s best practice to only include what candidates need to know and leave out what’s nice to know.
Going in with this approach also helps you cut down on the time you’ll spend crafting your posting.
Anatomy of a job posting
There are 5 main parts to a good job posting, with some additional sections that you can include or omit depending on your business needs.
1. Company overview
Once you write this section, you can copy and paste into future postings, updating as needed. This section allows job seekers to decide if they’re a good fit for your company based on their own values. For example, some people decide to apply to company of only a certain size, preferring to be part of a small team, or looking to join a large company with several departments.
Some information you might include:
- Overview of your company’s service offering
- Size of organization/# of employees
- Seasonal (or not)
Even if you only write one line about your company, it can be a good frame of reference for a job seeker.
A description for my fictional pest control company might be:
No More Bugging was founded in 2010, and provides superior pest control services to Edmonton and the surrounding area. Our dedicated team of 6 pest control professionals help our customers get rid of indoor and outdoor invaders.
2. Position summary
It’s always a good idea to give an overview of the role in a brief paragraph. Different from a list of responsibilities (that’s up next), this is your opportunity to communicate the intent of the role.
Some questions to get you started:
- Is this a new role?
- Who is it reporting to?
- What do you want the role to help you achieve over the next 6 to 12 months?
A ‘team lead’ role overview for my fictional snow removal business might be:
The team lead role is a new role for our 2017 season. The objective of this role is to act as second in command to the owner, providing direction to the team. This person will have experience managing and scheduling a large crew of at least 10 people.
If a great job candidate likes what they read they just might pick your company over another.
3. Personality characteristics
In a paragraph following the position summary, this is your opportunity to showcase your company’s culture, while sharing the traits you feel help your employees become successful. If a great job candidate likes what they read they just might pick your company over another.
Give some thought to the following:
- What personality traits or characteristics are non-negotiable for someone to join your team?
- What personality traits are so important to you that they might allow you to look past a lack of experience?
A summary of personality characteristics for a field worker role at my fictional lawn care company might be:
We’re looking for a self-starter who can manage their time effectively. The role requires drive and a sense of accountability because the day-to-day working environment will involve very little direct supervision.
4. List of responsibilities
It’s best to be as descriptive as possible in this section, providing duties along with numbers (where possible) to make it really clear what you’ll expect of the successful candidate. In this section, the more details the better.
Some questions to get you started:
- If this is a role for a field worker, like a cleaner, how many jobs will you expect them to complete each day?
- Will the person be responsible for scheduling new jobs, creating quotes, or invoicing?
- Will they be handling customer interactions face to face, or over the phone?
- Do they need to be available on certain days, or during the day, evening, overnight?
Once you’ve made a list, keep it in that form. It’s best to lay these specifics out in a bullet list.
5. List of job requirements
Similar to the list of responsibilities, you want to provide a very clear list of qualifications required to be considered for the job. This way, potential candidates who aren’t a good fit can self-select out of the competition.
Depending on the role, these might include:
- Previous leadership experience
- Experience working in a mobile service environment
- Required certifications or training
- Experience with specific equipment or chemicals
Once again, this section is best kept as a bulleted list.
Remember that the more you include, the less questions you'll get and the higher quality your applications will be.
Depending on the nature of your business and the position, you may decide to include the following information with your posting. Remember that the more you include, the less questions you’ll get and the higher quality your applications will be.
- Indicate any tools or training that you’ll provide.
- Let candidates know if you conduct any screening or testing pre-employment and during employment. These might include drug tests, driving records, or a background check.
- If the posting is seasonal, let people know if there is an opportunity for extension.
Always include instructions for how people should apply, indicating if you prefer an application or resume, sent to you by email or dropped off at your office.
And if you can’t call all of the applicants back, it’s always polite to mention that you appreciate interest, but you’ll only be contacting successful applicants.
Finally, don’t be afraid to be creative with your postings. There are less and less ‘rules’ compared to past thinking for what you can and can’t say in a job posting (but being profession will always be in style), so if you feel like being creative to attract the right fit, do it! You’ll attract a great candidate that wants to be part of making your company successful.
You’ve written a great posting, and a few great candidates have risen to the top. Now what? We’ve rounded up 5 great questions to ask when hiring new employees.