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Great businesses depend on great people, and that's particularly true in the tech and digital marketing industries, where many of a company's possible advantages lie in the gray matter of its employees.

When recruiting new hires, many companies turn to job postings to attract a broad, diverse pool of candidates. But the process can be difficult, and many companies struggle to turn job postings into interviews and great hires.

Job postings are like advertisements: they're easily created, but making them work can seem like a lost art.

There are a number of reasons job postings fail to deliver. Here are five that you should keep in mind when your business goes public in a search for its next employee.

It's too cute

Although it's an employer's market in most industries, recruiting good people in digital industries can be tough today.

In an attempt to stand out, some companies try way too hard to stand out and sound cool. From the use of the word 'rockstar' to ads that provide way too much personal information about a company's employees, the truth of the matter is that there's a fine line between a clever ad and a crappy ad.

Unless you're confident you know where the line is and can straddle it, a more straightforward approach may be more effective.

There's more fluff than detail

A good job posting should be detailed enough to convey what a job's duties and responsibilities are. Surprisingly, many ads fail to do this. This means prospective candidates may pass the ad by, or that they might not even see it because it doesn't include the right 'keywords.'

One of the big reasons: they're written by people in HR who don't really understand what a job entails. To set your HR staff up for success, be sure to include members of the hiring department in the process of writing copy for a job posting.

It will go a long way towards ensuring that the posting is detailed enough to get on the radar of the right candidates.

You're promising the world and everything in it

Nobody wants to work at a lame company that isn't going places. At the same time, serious job-seekers typically know when an offer is too good to be realistic.

As a rule of thumb, it's almost always a bad idea to make predictions and promises about future fundraising and liquidity events.

Instead, if you want to convey that your company is on a great path, provide details about what you've accomplished already, and what you're working on today. Then let prospective candidates imagine the possibilities for tomorrow.

You posting strategy is flawed

If you post it, they will not apply. A successful job posting must be:

  • Posted on the right properties.
  • Posted in the right categories.
  • Reposted at an appropriate frequency.

If you're not doing each of these things, you're likely missing out on candidates.

The job sucks

It's easy to forget that the most effective way to create a successful job posting is to have a good job on offer. If you fail to research the market and structure a desirable position, no job posting will be able to overcome the fact that the job you're trying to hire for isn't appealing.

Patricio Robles

Published 22 September, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2394 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

Tony Barker

Tony Barker, Director & Founder at eEnablement - Online Interim Management & ConsultancySmall Business

The most difficult (and normally) missing part to any job advert or recruitment process is a true insight to what the job entails ie describing what the role involves on a day to day basis. As a result have seen numerous examples where individuals have been recruited (especially where they have the "right" organisations on their CV or come from a direct competitor) only for the appointment to fail due to a mismatch between what the role entails and what the candidate was expecting.

almost 5 years ago

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