Writing Effective Job Listings

When you are looking to recruit a new employee, you owe it to your business to seek out the most suitable person available. After all, in a small or mid-sized business each member of your staff is a vital component in ensuring your business is successful. But how do you go about finding that person?

In today’s world, that task is not as straightforward as it once was. No longer is the best solution to place a “jobs wanted” advertisement in the local newspaper and wait for the calls. These days you could put a general notice on a jobs-wanted website, but you could face the problem that the resumes will pour in from all over the country and you face the massive task of going through them all.

Advisers suggest you take these steps to develop an effective job listing that will result in responses from the best candidates:
Write a job title that is as precise and clear as you can make it.
Avoid casting too wide a net by writing a job title that is so broad almost anyone could qualify. Narrowing down the title will cut back on the applications from candidates who are looking for any job that roughly fits their skills. At the same time, do not use an in-house term for the job. People outside the company may not know what your job title means and so almost no one will apply for the job, even those who are capable of doing it. Check with someone outside your company what the job title means to them. The best solution is to use a job title that is used in the industry for that specific position. In that way, your listing will more likely be seen by those searching for that title on the Internet.
Use the job description to narrow down the field even more.
In addition to the job title, the job description should state clearly what the person is expected to do, where they will work, and what their skills should be. Avoid being too narrow so that few people will qualify. On the other hand, avoid being too broad in the description so that too many will qualify.
State the salary range.
You should indicate how much the position pays. By leaving out the salary range, you will leave people questioning whether they want to apply for the position. Of course, by putting in the salary range you will eliminate some people who feel they are worth more money. But leaving it out might mean that you will go to all the trouble of selecting and interviewing a person who will then turn you down when they hear how much the position pays. “Competitive pay” can work, but check out the situation to make sure you know what that means to most people in the field.
Be up front on what your company is and what it does.
Avoid the temptation to play up your company in the job listing and make it seem bigger or more profitable than it is. Also, do not make promises you may not be able to keep, such as saying that rapid promotion is possible or annual salary increases are likely (unless, of course, that is true). You face the inevitable disappointment when the candidate starts working for your company and finds out that the situation is not as promising as they thought.
Consider asking for more than a resume.
To further cut down on the number of responses from those posting their resumes to as many companies as they can find hoping some will garner a response, advisers suggest that, along with the job listing, you post a series of questions or a survey that the job seeker should complete. In addition to narrowing down the number of applications you receive, you will gain an indication of the quality of the candidates from their answers.
Research where you should post your job listing.
Where you post the listing depends to a degree on the nature of the job. If the position is a specialized one, you should look for sites that place job listings in that field. If it is less specialized, some suggest that posting to facebook or even craigslist is a good idea. Spend time deciding how you can reach the best people for the position you are seeking to fill.
Indicate clearly where and when the response should be sent.
Make sure that someone who is interested in responding will know exactly what to do. Avoid simply giving your company name. Give a specific e-mail address or mailing address to which the applicants should apply. Set a deadline so that interested applicants will not let it slip and you will not face the situation that someone who is really suitable to fill the post may apply at the time when you are offering the position to someone else.

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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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