Search engines and job boards have become prominent places that candidates look for opportunities to build their careers. However, these mediums can feel like a black hole for recruiters and applicants since the volume of jobs and applications are high and the process is transactional. As a result, it is important for hiring managers to consider the candidate behavior used to find positions and optimize job posts to increase exposure in front of the “right” candidates. We have highlighted tips below that any hiring manager can easily use to optimize a job post:
Free keyword tools are available online to provide insights into search volume around certain keywords and phrases. Google Trends and Keyword Tool are powerful sites that deliver metrics and trends for search queries across multiple engines. Researching keywords will help hiring managers understand the volume of search activity around a job title or skill prior to posting the job into the marketplace.
Optimize job titles
Job titles are important because it is often the first aspect of your job posting that the candidates see in search results. Be specific in the job title and make sure it is explains what department the candidate will be working in. For example, a job title that says, “Sales Representative” is broad and will come up in results when a candidate searches “sales” in a query. If you are looking to target a higher level candidate then make sure to indicate that in the title. “Director of Sales” is an example of an effective job title that will attract more qualified candidates right off the bat. Additionally, make sure to not abbreviate important words in a job title. Type out Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) instead of using an abbreviation to increase visibility in search results.
A/B Test your job descriptions
Many organizations view a job post as a legal document which makes it difficult to change after approval. Working with a software like Vizi provides a flexible solution that updates your job post experience and keywords in real time while still keeping the original legal document intact. Additionally Vizi offers an easy way to add tracking parameters to better understand candidate behavior with the job post. We encourage HR teams to analyze key metrics and make adjustments as often as needed. The marketplace demand is far greater than the supply which means positioning a job post in front of a qualified candidate is harder, and more important, than ever.
Candidates aren’t searching for terms specific to inter-workings at the company, so don’t include them. Make sure someone who doesn’t already work at the company would understand the nature of the posting. Try to imagine if your grandma, friend, or neighbor came across the job post, would they understand all of the terms? If not, then rephrase the message to limit abbreviations, explain industry-specific terms, and use language most would easily comprehend.
Don’t try to sell
Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell your job posting by using phrases such as “Rare Opportunity!” or “Act Fast! Talented People Wanted!” This will only make your company and job posting appear as a scam. Candidates are not searching for these phrases, so there is no benefit to including them. In order to attract quality candidates, you want to highlight the key points using clarity. Candidates should feel excited to learn about a job, not like they are being put in a sales environment.
Focus on key elements
If you are wondering which keywords to use in the description, simply start with what differentiates the company and position. Make sure to include the field, location, skills required, and job type to increase the likelihood that your post will appear in search results. Additionally, include a section around the culture and working environment of the position. Keep in mind not all candidates are looking for the same thing. Painting a complete picture of the position will increase search appearance and ultimately deliver a more qualified applicant.
Eliminate irrelevant keywords
Keywords are great in order to get more visibility but using too many can dilute the content of your post. Make sure to think about what is most important in your potential candidate and work these key phrases into the job post experience. Remember, you want to attract a qualified candidate, not just cast a wide net to attract any applicant.