3.5-minute read

Does finding suitable candidates take you longer than expected? Maybe there aren’t enough qualified people on the market – but it’s also possible your job postings are making it harder to attract or identify the right talent. Here are five questions to ask yourself.

1. Is the posting too vague?


The first stage of the screening process is for potential applicants to vet themselves based on the job posting. You don’t want the wrong people submitting résumés because the description doesn’t give them enough information to rule themselves out. 

“It is imperative to have the ‘must-haves’ front and center,” says Hubble’s Klara Proner, Recruitment Director, Business Services at Hubble. “Most people skim job postings and really only read the title and main requirements, so important pieces must be visible and included as early on as possible.”

Klara's advice:

  • Identify the core functions of the job, link them to specific skills and qualifications, and stipulate these in the posting.
  • List your must haves at the beginning of the posting as opposed to the end
  • Be more detailed. For instance, request “advanced Excel skills” instead of just “proficiency with Excel,” which is open to interpretation.


2. Is the posting too long?


The flip side of this is a posting that goes overboard with details and fails to engage the reader. We’ve all seen long-winded job descriptions that provide a laundry list of roles and responsibilities. These tend to have an adverse effect.

“In the age of social media, our attention is limited and patience is low. Keeping things to the point and relevant is a must for all things that are meant to grab attention,” says Klara.

Her rule of thumb: keep the posting somewhere between half a page and a page in length. “Half a page is accessible, to the point and quick to read,” she notes.

Klara's advice:

  • Focus on providing a short amount of highly relevant information.
  • Give a brief description of the company and its direction.
  • Positioning matters- grab the attention and the beginning and relay the most imperative information 


3. Does the posting sell the job?


Besides keeping the posting short, you also want it to be more than a list of bullet points. It should concisely explain what the company is, why the job is available and why a qualified candidate would want to work there – e.g., “Work on what matters! Join a brand that celebrates individual contribution and thrives on genuine partnerships.”

When Hubble was looking to hire new personnel, for instance, its job postings mentioned that it was entering the Toronto market following a rebranding, looking to become a disruptor there with a unique recruitment approach and needed talented people to achieve this. This attracted people who connected with the company’s message.

Klara's advice:

  • Don’t just describe the job – tell a story.
  • Focus on what makes your company unique rather than recycling clichés.


4. Are you using the right recruitment platform?


“Not all platforms are created equal in terms of attracting candidates,” says Klara. “You need to be strategic in where you post job openings.”

For a mid- or high-level business specialized position, LinkedIn will likely lead you to the best selection of qualified candidates. However, it’s not the best option if you’re hiring for blue collar roles. Traditional ads, community events or job fairs may be much more effective. In that case, you might want to try a site like Indeed. For some opportunities, networking may be more effective than recruitment sites.

Klara's advice:

  • Know your market and where they tend to get job information.
  • Think outside the box and use platform which will resonate with your target audience 


5. Is your focus too narrow?


If you’re struggling to attract qualified candidates, it might just be a slow time of year – like December, when people are reluctant to move before getting their bonus – but you may also need to cast your net wider by adjusting your messaging or parameters.

“Adaptability is key. Sometimes changing the wording of job postings or rethinking our strategy altogether is what’s required,” remarks Klara. For instance, the posting may be too restrictive or the terms of the qualifications too demanding.

Klara's advice:

  • Don’t get too hung up on experience within a specific industry. There may be candidates in other industries with transferable skills who can do the job equally well.
  • Candidates shouldn’t necessarily be ruled out because of poor résumé writing or formatting skills. They may still have the right skills for the job.
  • Be nimble and adapt!


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