Don't Post and Pray—Control Your Job Posting Results

Don't Post and Pray—Control Your Job Posting Results

If you’re in charge of your company’s recruiting, you’ve probably heard the term “post and pray” when it comes to using online job boards. If you haven’t, here’s a quick definition:

post and pray: v. to place a job advertisement on an online job board and hope that great candidates respond with the right qualifications.

Basically, the phrase states that the person advertising the job has little to no control over the results their posting will receive. Instead, they can only pray or hope that the right candidates will apply. As recruiting experts, we tend to disagree.

We believe you do have control. And that there are calculated steps you can take to drive better applicants to your posting. These small fixes can mean the difference between a rush of unqualified resumes and a steady flow of qualified talent. Next time you’re ready to advertise an open position, apply these three easy tips to strategically build an effective job posting that drives better results.

1. Use a Keyword in The Job Title

When a job seeker first starts their search on a job board site, they're going to use the most popular terms to find the job itself. While you want to use a compelling title to market your job and grab interest, you also need to include keywords so the right job seekers can actually find it. Using a keyword in the job title helps drive the right candidates to your job posting by increasing your search result visibility.

2. Keep Job Descriptions Concise

When you’re writing a job description, it can be easy to tack on too much information. This can actually make the job posting muddy and impossible to understand. Remember, it’s not about describing the job in detail. It’s about marketing the job to the right person. Know your audience and speak to them. Then, avoid confusing your candidates (and ultimately deterring the best ones to apply) by keeping the job description short and to the point. Summarize the role in one to two short paragraphs and list the top five job responsibilities to ensure it’s easy to comprehend. Doing so will help drive the right candidates to apply.

3. Identify the Mandatory and Preferred Skills

To attract the ideal candidate, you have to set the right expectations. Use your “skills” or “experience” section to clearly define what you’re looking for in an applicant. First, list off your must haves and clearly highlight that these are mandatory. Then, include your “wish list” of skills that may not really be necessary for the job. By illustrating the type of candidate you’re after, you can help filter out the ones who don’t align.

When it comes to posting a job ad, you don’t have to go in blindly. There are clear steps you can take to help predict and control the outcome. It’s just a matter of knowing where your efforts work best.

Whether you rely on keywords, targeted descriptions or clear expectations, you can start building strategic postings that help guide better results. Forget “post and pray,” it’s time to start marketing your jobs and steering ideal results.

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