Recruiters often say they don’t have the time to write the kind of job posting that will attract the interest—and ultimately the applications of—passive, high caliber talent. It’s not that they don’t know how to write an effective post; they simply have too many requirements to fill and are given too little information from hiring managers to make the opening sound as attractive as it could be. What’s the solution? An ad that can be written with an egg timer or what I call the “5-Minute Job Posting.”
- A 5-minute job posting contains answers five common questions job seekers have about an opening. Each answer should take you, the recruiter, no more than one minute to write.
- The five questions don’t include job requirements and responsibilities. They focuse on what the candidate gets to do, who they’ll work with, and what they’ll accomplish.
- 5-minute job postings help employers prove to top talent that they will be able to achieve conventional measures of success and do work that is meaningful and worthwhile.
The 5 Minute Job Posting uses the content, format and vocabulary that are most likely to pique the interest of top performers and persuade them to apply for an opening. The ad is easy to write, because it involves taking one minute to answer each of just five questions. Collectively, those five answers form a powerful trigger that will motivate even the most passive of prospects.
But first, it’s important to understand the three principles on which the posting is based:
- Top performers do not concern themselves with a job’s “Requirements” and “Responsibilities.” In fact, they think words such as “requirements” and “responsibilities” are examples of HR-speak that only an employer could love. Those types of words describe what an employer wants a candidate to know about an opening, rather than what the candidate wants to know–which is “What’s In It For Them.”
- Top performers do not read job postings; they scan them. Top performers have the attention span of a gnat, so they simply will not slog through the thick, pithy paragraphs of most ads. They want information that is accessible in the blink of an eye, so job postings must be written in headlines and bullets.
- Top talent works for both money and for satisfaction. In other words, an employer’s value proposition must feature both an external and an internal dimension. The ad must prove to top talent that they will be able to achieve both conventional measures of success and also do work that is meaningful and worthwhile to them.
The 5 Questions in the 5 Minute job Posting & Their Answers
1. What will the person get to do?
Answer: In this position (do not use the word “job” – vocabulary matters), you will be able to:
- Identify the most significant challenge or opportunity provided by the position.
2. With whom will the person get to work?
Answer: In this position, you will be able to work side-by-side with:
- Describe the caliber of the coworkers or the culture of the team associated with the position.
3. What will the person get to learn?
Answer: In this position, you will be able to acquire:
- Indicate the developmental opportunities presented by the work performed in the position.
4. What will the person be able to accomplish?
Answer: In this position, you will be able to achieve/contribute/support:
- Detail the potential impact or significance of the work to be performed in the position.
Internal & External Dimensions
5. How will the person be recognized and rewarded?
Answer: In this position, your work will be acknowledged by:
- Indicate the way(s) the person will advance themselves in their field in the position you are offering.
That’s it–the 5 Minute Job Posting. Five questions each of which takes just a minute to answer, but those answers combine to form a narrative that is engaging and, equally as important, compelling to top talent.
Guest contributor Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Get them at Amazon.com and at the all new Weddles.com today.