Whether a candidate applies for a role because they are actively drawn to a particular organization, because they stumble upon an open positive via a general search on Indeed, or because a sourcer found and wooed them, the job posting is almost always a checkpoint in the hiring process. Although companies have been trying to improve their job ads for decades, the need for improvement has taken on new urgency in the last year given the scramble for talent, particularly for candidates with skills in scarce supply.
And that means it’s time for every organization to check its own job postings. CHROs, recruiters, hiring managers, CFOs—anyone who has any say at all in hiring should go to their company’s career site, choose a random job posting, and evaluate it by asking and answering the following four questions.
Is the posting a job description or a job ad?
Don’t use job descriptions in place of job ads. A job description is usually a long document with lots of details and legalese and might include phrases such as “this position requires sitting for long periods of time.” On the other hand, a job ad is succinct, compelling, and differentiating.
Job descriptions are best used at the time of the offer to ensure that the candidate has all the information they need to make an informed decision about accepting the position. Remember, a job posting is no more a legal document than a commercial for potato chips is. The function of the ad is to get people to want to eat potato chips, not to tell them the details about how potato chips are made, what ingredients they contain, and what potential harms could result from eating them.