You are stuck. You have written a high-quality vacancy, but no sign of many great candidates just yet. Of course, you know you can’t rely on applicants only, but you know you can do better.
Like no other I know vacancy writing is tough. In this article, I will share with you my personal checklist that I made when writing vacancies and a couple of tips for job advertising.
How to improve the job vacancy quality:
❐ Avoid using abstract terms – Don’t use terms such as “innovative mindset” and “fun work environment”. Rather write: With an employee satisfaction score of 9.5 colleagues see each other outside of work regularly and we organise monthly outings.
❐ Focus on the job vs company – Elaborate more on the performance metrics for the first 3 months and daily activities, move “about us” section to the bottom,
❐ Making the job relevant (for developer) For developers this involves making your job ad technically more articulate, with the full stack + in-depth technical challenges. Get your hiring managers to help with this.
❐ Write a great EVP Developers have mentioned the following motives to me: modern tech stack and complex challenges, having authorities in the team to learn from and having a big impact on the product and departments.
How to validate the job vacancy quality:
❐ Track application data Our brain is an awful database. We need numbers so we can distinguish good from great. That’s why we use our ATS (Recruitee), Google Analytics and Hotjar to track application numbers, drop out rates, applicant sources, completion rates and application quality.
❐ A/B test your vacancy Advert 2 different versions of the same vacancy and find out which one yields better results. Also find out why that is the case.
❐ Proofread your content by Subject Matter Experts Test your vacancy with hiring managers or colleagues to see if there are any confusions
Example of a vacancy that has worked great for us: https://swipeguide.recruitee.com/o/senior-fullstack-developer-nodejs
The job vacancy is good, but still, no applicants, what now?
Keep in mind that writing a great vacancy is not done once, but is part of a bigger iteration process. At LevelUp we keep on tweaking the content over and over until we get the results we want. There are some extra things to keep in mind, though. Here are some bottlenecks I found, so you don’t have to repeat them.
Tip #1: Improve your vacancy reach
The most simple problem is that your vacancy is simply not visible enough. Find out where your jobseekers are applying and post your jobs there. Follow these instructions to catch some low-hanging fruit:
- Post your job vacancy on LinkedIn jobs. About 80% of hired applicants came from there. The job posting is easy and you can forward applicants to your work email or your job inbox. Pricing is 495 euro per month, where we think it’s totally worth it.
- Post on multiple job boards. For those who use Recruitee: don’t forget to tick the relevant boxes under the “promote” section, it’s free! It integrates with Indeed, Glassdoor and Google Jobs. For paid boards, you could consider Angellist (199 p/m) and Stackoverflow Jobs (3465 p/y)
- Research your job title find on Google Trends what is the most sought after keyword and change your job title if necessary(eg developer vs engineer, or software engineer vs full stack developer)
- When sharing vacancies on LinkedIn make sure you (and your colleagues): have a clear introduction, make clear what you want from the reader (click, comment etc), include tags of other people, pay attention to timing (see next header), and add video if possible.
- Update your LinkedIn profile header with “currently hiring *enter role here*”
Tip #2: Lower application threshold
We live in a day and age where we are used to a seamless customer experience. Recruitment usually falls a little behind, because UI/UX isn’t the biggest focus for recruitment. You can make some low-hanging fruit efforts to get the biggest bottlenecks out of the way, though.
- Apply for yourself to identify bottlenecks. Try applying from desktop and from mobile. How does the landing page look like? Is the format right for mobile? How quickly do you find the actual application button?
- Application ease makes it as easy as possible to apply. Do not require a motivation letter, also no lengthy application forms. Include an “apply with LinkedIn” button, if possible. For LinkedIn jobs: add easy apply functionality, without redirection to your company’s page.
Tip #3: Be aware of timing
Timing can make a big impact on your job postings.
- Best posting times: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in late mornings (11 am) or early afternoons (1 pm). Please avoid Fridays and weekends. We have tried and failed hard, more than once :).
- Covid-19 note: It seems that especially for senior candidates, the applications/interest rates are lower than average. We suspect it’s due to the uncertain times, and data confirms this. We suspect that smart messaging about the financial health and future of your company can address that.
- Be wary of summer and winter holidays. This shouldn’t limit you to still get great applicants in, and I have heard great hiring stories during holidays, however, we have noticed overall influx is just lower on average. Just something to be aware of.
This checklist I have made during my 1,5 years at LevelUp Ventures. The checklist has helped me to assure high job advertisement standards every time again. I recommend you to use a checklist as well, you can make your own, or add some tips to your existing one.
Is you job vacancy still not working? Check out these 6 questions that can help troubleshoot your vacancy.
Cover by Freepik