Potential employers, listen up! Did you know that the way you write your job ads might be turning away potential job seekers, especially those you would consider the cream of the crop? Browse through the job postings on America's most popular online classified website, Craigslist, and you're likely to note some disturbing similarities in the postings. Here are some common mistakes companies make in their job postings (and their attitudes) when seeking new employees.
1. Providing shockingly little information about your company or the position you're seeking to fill. It's understandable if you don't want to give away your company's name so that your phone won't start ringing off the hook, but to ask someone to spend their precious job-seeking time creating a customized cover letter and resume for a position that's barely been explained is hardly fair. As a job candidate, I'm not interested in the opportunity to work for someone who wants to start wasting my time from the minute they introduce themselves to me.
2. You offer no pay. I don't care if you offer the "possibility of a full-time position." There is a "possibility" that if you do not pay me, I will not have the "possibility" of paying my rent, feeding myself, paying for health insurance, paying my electric bill, or paying for any of the other things that give me the "possibility" of working for anyone in the first place. If your company is a startup with no real money, at least show that you're willing to make some kind of effort towards treating your employees like human beings and offer minimum wage. If your business isn't making enough money for you to be paying people, you aren't at the employee stage, anyway. Having employees is a privilege afforded to those who are successful enough in their business pursuits to afford them. It is not a right.
3. You want me to already know exactly how to do the job you are hiring for. Here's the thing about a new job: it's new. You're going to have to train someone. Your job candidates may have known how to do everything perfectly at their last jobs, but every job is different. If someone has four years of accounts payable experience and you don't want to hire them because that experience doesn't include matching invoices to packing slips, you're being unreasonable. Do you think a previous employer would have kept someone for four years if they weren't capable of learning new tasks?
4. You only want to hire someone who is "outgoing." This is seriously insulting to introverts, whose desire to keep to themselves often results in very productive work habits because they aren't wasting hours talking to co-workers or gabbing on the phone. Even departments that seem to require extroversion, like sales, can benefit from having some introverted folks on their team. After all, some potential customers might be put off by a gregarious personality and might be more willing to listen to someone who doesn't scare them off.
5. The job you've advertised as part-time is described as "work up to full time." Most candidates are either looking for a full-time job or a part-time job. If someone wants to work full-time, they will probably not be looking in the part-time listings unless they are desperate for work, and desperate employees are usually not going to be the best match for your company.
No matter how much care you put into your online job posting, you will probably still receive plenty of offensively bad responses, but these tips will help you project a positive image of your company and attract the best and brightest candidates for the job you're looking to fill.
Photo by Stephanie Asher
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