Posted on

Just Proof-Read Your Job Postings!

Just Proof-Read Your Job Postings!We frequently criticize job seekers for spelling and grammar mistakes on resumes and unprofessional-looking emails, but are we taking a close enough look in the mirror? It’s simple to make a spelling mistake, often just because we’re rushing and our fingers type the wrong word or put letters in the wrong order. If you’re hesitant to forgive job applicants and immediately judge them for these slips, then you had better be certain that you never make the same mistakes. After all, just about every professional has learned the hard way that the sophistication in spell check in programs like Microsoft Word and Google Chrome, is not perfect.

Failing to properly proof-read your job description before posting it out to job boards, can have serious implications on your recruiting process. The obvious consequence is how unprofessional you will look to job seekers, though it is unlikely they will disregard the opportunity because you used the wrong “your.” Proof-reading goes beyond spelling and grammar ensuring text is formatted and written clearly to make sense. Without this process in place, you can suffer miscommunications with job seekers who misunderstand the actual role due to a vague job description or misguided requirements and perks. What if this misunderstanding isn’t recognized until mid-interview? You could waste both your time and the candidate’s time.

A few of the common mistakes job seekers report seeing in job postings include:

  • Spelling and grammar errors
  • Inconsistent tenses in bullet points
  • Run-on or incomplete sentences that don’t make sense
  • Excessive corporate jargon
  • Inconsistent or sloppy formatting

Given the potential outcome of not reviewing a job description before publishing it, perhaps it’s time to review your own processes and minimize your risk of appearing unprofessional. A few practices you can consider are:

  • Review it later. If you wrote the entire description, then close it and come back to it later when you have a fresh set of eyes.
  • Review it with different goals. Use the common errors above as an example. Proof-read your description five times and, each time, search for a different type of error.
  • Get somebody else involved. Sometimes, no matter how fresh, your eyes just won’t catch errors and your mind will always make sense of the convoluted sentence you wrote. Ask somebody else, preferably somebody detail-oriented and not connected with this particular role, to proof-read as well.

The reality is, no matter how much effort you put in, some errors are going to sneak past you. As long as you have a plan to quickly fix them as they’re identified, you will minimize the risk of losing business or candidates.

You could also ask yourself how you will deal with applicants who point out your errors. Is it a negative or a positive trait? Start that conversations in the comments below!

Posted on

Are Facebook Job Postings Right for You?

Are Facebook Job Postings Right for You?Social media is an integral part of many strategies in today’s business world. It’s used by e-commerce sites to sell products, marketing departments to build relationships with customers, and recruitment teams to attract new talent. Focusing on the latter, the most popular social network for recruiting professionals is LinkedIn. It boasts a massive network of future employees for companies around the world. But, LinkedIn tends to be limited to professionals and white collar workers, meaning it is not effective at recruiting for all positions. Enter Facebook!

This past February, Facebook finally got into the job board game and opened up free job postings for employers. Since then, companies have scrambled to understand and try the new service and see if it works for them. If you’re still working to wrap your head around this concept, then keep reading this simple overview of Facebook’s job posting feature.

How do Facebook Job Postings Work?

  1. The administrator of a company page just has to go to the “Jobs” app in Facebook, which is usually located in the left menu of their newsfeed.
  2. Immediately at the top of the page will be a button to Publish a post. From there, the administrator can enter all of the details, including a job description (max 5000 characters), a photo to attract users and, if you’d like, questions to ask applicants before they apply.
  3. Once published, a link to a “Jobs” tab will appear in the left menu of your company page. That tab will have all of your company’s jobs for visitors to explore. Your job will also appear in Facebook’s main job board section, and link back to your page.
  4. For extra exposure, companies can pay to boost their job postings. The benefit of paying to boost on Facebook is that you can target specific people. For example, ensure it is only viewed by people living in a certain region who previously worked in a specific industry.
  5. When job seekers are interested in your job, they only need to hit an “Apply” button. Facebook will auto-populate their information based on their profile and allow them to edit it.
  6. The candidate’s complete application will arrive in your Facebook company page’s inbox, ready to review. The administrator can then send Facebook messages back and forth with the applicant to receive further clarifications and request a resume.

What Do You Need to Set Up Facebook Job Posting?

  • Company Page: You absolutely need a company page if you’d like to do get started. It is easy to set-up and doesn’t have to be complicated. In addition, you need to ensure that anybody who will be involved in the job posting process on Facebook has the proper administrative rights.
  • Proper Employer Branding: The previous point said set-up doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should be well thought out and more than just a name. Be sure to add pictures and information that show your corporate brand so job seekers immediately know what it’s like to work at your company.
  • A Second Company Page (optional): When you tell your marketing department you plan to take over the Facebook page to show your internal culture and recruit people, they may not be happy. Especially in B2C companies, Facebook pages target customers who may have different behaviours and interests than employees. If this is the case, consider a second page that is corporate and geared towards recruiting.
  • A Defined Process: Posting jobs to Facebook and receiving applications is different from traditional job boards, especially since applications only come in through instant message. Ensure you know how you’ll post, take in applications, and interact with candidates.

Do Facebook Job Postings Suit Your Needs?

There are endless job posting and recruiting tools out there and you clearly don’t need all of them. Facebook is no exception and should be evaluated accordingly. A few questions to ask yourself are:

  • Who are your candidates? As noted, LinkedIn is better for professionals. Facebook will include them, but will also encompass another demographic of workers. At the same time, many people boycott Facebook or, if they are on it, they do not want to use it for a job search.
  • Do you have the resources to manage it properly? The previous section discussed developing a defined process. Once that is outlined, can you follow it? Do you have enough time and ability to manage those applications?
  • Do you have too many jobs? Perhaps the biggest downside for many recruiters is that Facebook has no integration with Applicant Tracking Systems. Part of its value is the easy application and information to your Facebook inbox, but if you have hundreds of job postings, that is an administrative nightmare.

All social networks have their uses and benefits and whether Facebook works for you is a decision for your recruiting team. One thing is for sure, as the largest social network in the world, its free job postings are guaranteed to be the right opportunity for countless small and medium sized businesses.

Posted on

Using Analytics to Create the Best Careers Page

Using Analytics to Create the Best Careers PageThe Careers Page on your website is one of the most important online recruiting tools you have. It’s the place where you can be certain all candidates are going to get your sales pitch about working for your organization. You use it as the hub for bragging about your benefits, culture and opportunities. It also usually includes links to job openings so people can apply.

Such an important asset must be monitored, maintained and continuously improved to ensure you’re always delivering the right message to job seekers. The question is: How do you know if it’s working?

Measuring your Careers Page will apply the same strategy used by your web team to monitor the success of your entire website. Google Analytics or a similar tool should already be set up, in which case, it’s a matter of requesting the right information.

Set Your Goals

The first step to improving anything is understanding specifically what you want to improve. Simply saying “We want the best Careers Page” makes it very difficult to measure success. Work with your recruiting team to understand exactly what you want to get out of the page. Does it just need to tell people how awesome it is to work at your company? Do you want job seekers to find your page and apply to job openings or reach out to HR? Is it a place where candidates at the interview stage can seek additional information about the organization?

You should also set a strategy about how you want people to learn about your page. For example, are you making a push to promote your company through social media or do you want to understand how successful your in-house recruiters’ emails are? Your strategy may also focus on referrals from other job boards or search engines like Google.

Decide What You’ll Measure

Your goals will dictate what you want to measure. Very often, people will track the traffic on the site, and feel happy when that grows. But how useful is that? What if all of those visitors were living on another continent where you don’t do business? Perhaps you have keywords and content that’s causing an influx of high school students to end up on your page while researching an assignment.

Conversely, you can’t measure everything either. If we consider Google Analytics as an example, there are hundreds of metrics and reports to choose from. Asking your web team for everything will be a waste of everybody’s time. A few areas you may want to consider monitoring are:

  • Which sources are people coming from? Do they fit with any recruiting investments you’ve made?
  • How well are people engaging with your page? Do they stay on it for a long time or are they leaving right away?
  • Where do they move to after your Careers Page? To another page on your company’s website or do they leave it completely? Do they apply for jobs?
  • How many of your visitors are returning visitors versus new people?
  • What region are they from? Are your recruiting efforts being wasted by attracting people from the other side of the world?
  • How many people apply to jobs versus look at them? Are any people dropping off part way through the application process?

Once you understand your goals and are tracking them against specific metrics, you will quickly see more success in your Careers Page. If you’re still not seeing success in your recruiting goals, then your next step may be to re-evaluate your online goals, ensuring they all connect.

What goals do you have for your Careers Page? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments below!

Posted on

Optimize Your Job Postings for Maximum Exposure

The first step to reeling in top job applicants is to have the best possible job posting. Beyond  a detailed description that tells a job seeker what you need, a perfect job posting uses persuasive communication to grab their attention as well as optimizes tools to drive people to the posting so it gains more exposure.

All of a sudden, creating a great job posting seems more difficult than a standard cut and paste job… it requires thinking! Before you get too overwhelmed, have a look at this AkkenCloud infographic that was created in partnership with Ghergich&Co. It highlights the most important strategies for gaining maximum exposure for your job postings.

Click To Enlarge

How to Optimize Your Job Posts for Maximum Exposure

Via AkkenCloud

Posted on

How to Write a Job Description (Video)

A proper job description is helpful when posting jobs during the recruiting process, but their usefulness goes beyond hiring. A perfect and detailed job description will ensure all employees are completing their tasks and allow for accountability if something falls apart.

Writing job descriptions can be daunting, especially when you’re starting from scratch or dealing with extremely outdated files. If you’re working in HR, or any sort of management, and find yourself in this position, have a look at this short video from HRCloud. Not only is it entertaining, but it gives some quick pointers on the basic elements of a job description.

Posted on

Does Your Recruiting Process Match Your “Fun” Corporate Culture?

Does Your Recruiting Process Match Your "Fun" Corporate Culture?How fun is your recruiting process? Not for you, but the applicant. If your organization boasts a fun work environment and encourages new hires to have a sense of humour, then shouldn’t you demonstrate that as a company while recruiting them?

Before going any further, let’s clarify that not every organization wants to have that fun, Silicone Valley-style corporate culture with ping pong tables. We all have different definitions of “fun” and to different degrees, and some organizations prefer to define their corporate cultures in other ways. Today, we’re going to provide some tips on where you can inject fun and humour, on any level, into your recruiting process.

Careers Page

The Careers Page on your website is the first place a job seeker goes to learn about your company before applying. It needs to reflect your culture. A common technique many HR departments already use on this page is interviews, either written or video, with current employees. You can continue to do this, and add lighter elements into the interview. For example, ask them to tell their favourite joke, their weirdest experience while with the company, or any other out-of-the-ordinary question. The way people dress and what’s happening in the background of a picture or video will also give an idea as to the company’s culture.

Job Descriptions

If you search through job descriptions on Indeed, you’ll notice that very few of them have that “fun” element to them. Most, at best, have a standard company boilerplate, followed by a description of the role and the requirements work in that role. That doesn’t scream “fun corporate culture.” Try including a few off-the-wall responsibilities or make light of the position’s stereotypes (make sci-fi references in a developer post, or comment on the accounting department’s obsession with being organized). You may also add some graphics, comics or memes.

Job Interview

Do not hire a stand-up comic to run a job interview, unless you plan to film it and make the next viral video on YouTube.  Your top priority in the interview is to evaluate the candidate and their skills, so it needs to stay relatively serious, but you do have some opportunities to stand out. Interviewers have a habit of going on a power trip, trying to intimidate candidates and make them sweat — why? Keep the conversation light and add a subtle joke here and there. You may choose to evaluate how they react or respond to your jokes, but most candidates will remain conservative as opposed to exposing their natural wit. A couple quirky questions will also soften the mood and give you a chance to learn about the candidate’s creativity.

A Few Words of Caution

Comedy is a tricky thing. If you’re not funny, you come off as cheesy or offensive. Understand where to draw the line and run ideas by other team members, before causing damage to your company’s reputation. Also, it goes without saying, but take note as to where the fun should be minimal. For example, the first phone interview, salary negotiations, and the first-day policy review all need to remain serious and professional.

How can you spruce up your recruiting process so it better matches your corporate culture? Do you have an ideas you’d like to share with our readers? Please share them in the comments below.

Posted on

How to Create Images for your Job Postings on Social Media

How to Create Images for your Job Postings on Social MediaIn a previous post, we discussed the importance of adding an image when sharing job postings on social networks, as well as a few tips for sharing them on networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. That sounds great, but for many recruiters and managers, it may raise the question “Where do I get images to share on social media?” Once again, Virtual Recruiter is here to help!

What kinds of images can you share with your job postings?

It’s really limitless. If you can think of something visual that would grab your job seeker’s attention and represent your employer brand, then throw it up there! Here are a few ideas to get your mind working:

  • Just the Title. Sure the title may be in the post, but adding “.NET Developer – Apply Today” in large colour letters will make a job seeker see you before your competitor’s identical LinkedIn post.
  • Any other stat, quote or statement. All you need to do is make somebody look at your link. Your image can be somewhat irrelevant to the job posting, as long as it will make your target audience look twice.
  • Memes. Memes are those witty images you see with white writing that get shared (sometimes overshared) across every social network you’ll ever be on. They also go viral. Wouldn’t it be cool if your job posting went viral?
  • GIFs. Social networks have only recently started supporting GIFs as much as they do now. There are ways to create your own, but even easier is to find a website that provides GIFs for free.

How can you create images to share with your job postings?

First, there’s no need to create them. There are plenty already available for you to share, you just need to look. You can share one that you already see on a social network (remember to give credit), or look through a free database, like Google Images.  Use search terms related to job hunting, your industry, or the specific skill. For example, “funny developer meme” or “job search quotes.” If you use Google Images, remember to click “Search Tools” and under “Usage Rights” select “Labeled for Reuse.”

Here are a few suggestions if you’d like to create your own images related to the unique job posting:

  • Talk to Marketing. If your company has a Marketing Department, then they may have access to software that makes creating graphics a cinch.
  • PowerPoint. Yes, PowerPoint is for more than just presentations! Start with a blank slide and use some of the built-in formatting. Then add your words, maybe some clip art and you’re done! Go to File, Save As, and change the file type to jpeg.
  • Canva. Finally, there’s this tool that will turn anybody into an expert graphic designer. Canva is a free resource that helps you create graphics very easily. It also has templates and sizing already optimized for the social network to which you want to share your job.

Are you adding images when sharing your job postings on social media? Do you plan to start? What ideas can you share with your readers?

Posted on

Tips to Recruit Techies When You Know Nothing About IT

Tips to Recruit Techies When You Know Nothing About ITAs your small business grows and becomes more successful, you may need to expand your team and start bringing some work in-house. As exciting as this is, hiring a new employee is always a huge investment and you want to make sure you recruit the right person the first time. If screening piles of resumes wasn’t already complex enough, what happens when you know absolutely nothing about the role you need to fill? Specifically, how do you hire your first information technology employee when you know absolutely nothing about IT? Here are a few tips:

  • Understand your needs. You don’t need to know all of the technical requirements at this point. For now, identify your own business objectives lay out everything that you know this person will need to handle. It’s a good idea at this point to also discuss the requirements with other people on your team who may require this person skills.
  • Write the job description. Read through job descriptions online and search for ones similar to what you require. This will help you nail down the right title for your new IT resource and learn about jargon, technologies and certifications you may want to include.
  • Know what attracts IT professionals. Your job description should also speak to your target market to attract the best talent. Like most people, techies are looking for a nice salary, but they also want to know they will have interesting work, new challenges, and work with the latest technologies.
  • Get the word out there. Major job boards and LinkedIn are great resources for recruiting anybody, but there are niche IT job boards and technical forums filled with with techies looking to be hired. Attending networking events or tech meetups will also get the right people in front of you faster.
  • Conduct detailed interviews. You go through this process with every new hire, but there are a couple extra steps to take with your new tech professional. In the interview, ask them about similar work they’ve done that relates to your current situation. Also, test them to ensure they can understand your business and objectives, as well that they can explain things to you clearly, in layman’s terms, and not in “geek speak”.
  • Ensure you can support them. Your new hire will want to be able to do their job in the best way possible. Learn what kind of equipment and software will be required to do that and obtain it, or you may be setting them up for failure.
  • Consider contractors. Independent contractors are often a better solution for technology projects that don’t last forever. Review your needs and see if a temporary or contract worker would make better sense.
  • Get help when you need it. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Especially if you truly don’t understand what you need, you don’t want to hire somebody only to realize it’s the wrong skillset. Help can come from your friends, your network, or a recruitment agency.

IT professionals — developers, analysts, architects or any other discipline — are a major asset to organizations; however, they can be tricky to find when you don’t know what to look for. These tips, plus the help of a trusted recruiting professional, will surely get you on your way to hiring the best IT resource.

Posted on

10 Mistakes You’re Making in Your Job Postings

10 Mistakes You're Making in Your Job PostingsHow much thought do you put into the job postings you publish online? Is it just a template that you never edit? Did a hiring manager throw it together and nobody reviewed it? If you’re not putting much thought into job postings and at the same time questioning why people don’t apply, perhaps it’s time to change your ways. Here are a few mistakes we’ve seen people make over the years. Once fixed, we consistently see a larger stream of applicants coming through.

  1. Inaccurate Job Titles: Have you ever seen an article on your LinkedIn or Facebook feed that looked interesting and when you clicked on it, realized it was nothing what they promised? If you think that’s frustrating, it’s worse when you’re a job seeker. Regardless of how tempting it may be to spice up the job title so people click into it, this practice will not generate more qualified applicants.
  2. Weird Job Titles: Where an inaccurate job title may get you more clicks, weird ones will get many less so people will never learn about your opportunity. Try to stick with generic titles that people understand. If you are searching for someone to write proposals for example, you may have difficulty finding a Proposal Writer but more success with a job title such as Writer/Editor.
  3. Vague Description: When the right person clicks into your job, make sure they understand what it is and if they fit. A vague description could have a number of adverse effects, including the person not realizing they’re a fit (when they are a perfect fit) or an impression that you didn’t care enough to customize the posting.
  4. Massive Amounts of Content: People have short attention spans; this is a reality that you need to accept. Writing your job posting in the form of an essay, or including 50 bullet points, is going to result in very few applications and many more page exits.
  5. Limited Information: On the contrary, not enough information is also a negative thing. Now you’ll have everybody and their brother applying to your job because they all think they’re qualified. Good luck screening those resumes.
  6. Boring: A common mistake made by companies wanting to be perceived as professional and intelligent is that they write their descriptions using obscure words and complex phrasing. Unless you’re specifically targeting this type of resource, try dumbing it down for an easier and more casual read.
  7. Unprofessional: Although we don’t want you to “boring” we also don’t want you to be unprofessional. This can happen when recruiters have so much fun creating a job posting that it looks like a kindergarten application, but it can also happen if you fail to proof-read.
  8. Boilerplate: One strategy to get a job posting published sooner and ensure it’s been proof-read is to have some templates available. This is helpful, but applicants may recognize your boilerplate and it could get you into trouble with points 3 and 6 above, so take a few minutes to customize it.
  9. Unrealistic: Sure, we’d all love to find that iOS Developer with 8 years of experience using Windows 10 and the ability to perform a root canal, but it’s not going to happen. If you’re not receiving any applicants, take a step back and ask yourself if you may be asking for too many qualifications from your candidates.
  10. Failure to Write for Your Audience: Finally, this last mistake gives you permission to ignore any of the points above. Your primary goal needs to be writing for your audience, for example are they contractors or permanent employees? Although less common, some roles require a vague description, others can be super boring, where others may even succeed with a weird title. The key is to truly understand your target audience and who you’re trying to attract, and then write a job posting for them.

The job posting you publish to your careers page or a job board is the first impression a new applicant will have of your company. A terrible posting can result in a lost opportunity of an application from a talented candidate, meaning you will never even know that this person exists. Rather than letting candidates screen you, ensure the description you use to advertise the job opening encourages them to apply so, instead, you’re screening them!

Posted on

4 Steps to Getting Applicants Immediately

4 Steps to Getting Applicants ImmediatelyHow many times have you found yourself suddenly needing to hire somebody but when you go to post the job, you realize you have no idea what the job posting should say? Writing the perfect job posting and getting input from all necessary parties takes time, something that you may not have if your need is immediate. Here are a few steps you can implement today so when you need applicants “now”, you only need to click the “Publish” button:

Create a Company-Wide Template

Almost all organizations have a boilerplate job posting template. It contains company-approved information about the culture, any legal disclaimers, and a basic shell of subtitles such as requirements, description, and maybe even salary range. Regularly review that boilerplate to ensure it’s up-to-date. You may also consider adding bullets that you know will always be requirements, for example, in-depth knowledge of you industry, outstanding communication skills, or a specific education level or certification. From there, refrain from keeping the document HR-centric. Have that template readily available to all managers so they can start filling in the blanks on their own.

Create Generic Postings

Aside from the odd specialized role, your organization probably has some common positions that you’re always seeking to fill. Go one step beyond the basic shell and create generic job descriptions for these positions. If you anticipate specialized roles in the near future, it wouldn’t hurt to put together postings for them as well. There are many online resources to get you started. When you have generic postings prepared, a hiring manager can customize a couple points to match the requirements of their department, and be ready to post it in minutes.

Continuously Update

This might be the most challenging step. It’s easy to create a template or generic template and forget about it. Then, when you pull it out, you realize that it’s terribly out-dated. Schedule regular times to review the documents and confirm they’re still publish-ready. Has your organization changed its perks? Did you win any new awards? Are there new technologies being used that applicants need to understand? If you get in the habit of making these updates as they happen, your life will be easier in the long-run.

Another strategy for keeping up is to inventory your staff on the skills they require and tasks they manage on a regular basis. Good business requires continuous changes in process and updates in role requirements, so, depending on the position, an employee’s role one year may have different priorities the following year. Understanding this also means your recruiting team is always on the look-out for new skills that may now be essential.

Create a Job Posting Plan

Finally, even if you have job descriptions ready to go, you may get stuck in conversations and debates about where you’ll promote the job. Or, worse yet, you may start posting it to places that are irrelevant and a waste of money! The easiest and most obvious place to post a job is your website, so ensure the process to get it there is well-defined and accessible. It would be a shame if your job posting was delayed by two weeks because your only webmaster is on vacation! Next, work with your management team to build a strategy of where else you’ll promote jobs (if at all), understanding that some positions are more successful through different sources. For example, a Developer position may have a different posting strategy than an Accounts Receivable position. If you decide staffing agencies are the way to go, then understand which recruiters are best for which role, and have their numbers readily available. You’ll also want to make sure you’re prepared to answer their questions, such as salary and screening requirements.

Like so many other tasks, the key to success is organization and preparation. By being a step ahead and ready for the unexpected, you can have quality job postings published across the Internet and in front of those who matter — qualified applicants — in a matter of hours. What steps do you take to be prepared? Share your tips in the comments below.