What is in a job post?

What you include in a job post needs to whet the appetite of an applicant, while discouraging unqualified applicants from applying.

What is in a job post?

iBCScorp uses PrimeAgile® HR Suite to manage its job postings.  These tools allow job postings to not just be on the internet, and managed by internal recruiters, but to be ranked highly in search engines, and also with Google Jobs, so that job postings can easily be found by applicants looking for a job.

Persuasive Job Posts

A successful job posting doesn't need to just be found. It also has to both persuade the applicant to apply, and at the same time prevent them from applying if they are not qualified.

In this article we try to explain the vital parts of a job posting so that we can best accomplish this objective. Getting quality applicants who are qualified, willing, and able to accept the job.

Job Title

Each job needs a job title. Simple, right? Well, not really. Consider this...There are millions of searchers, and millions of jobs. And those jobs all have titles. And many of them are, well... the same. So when we write a job title, we want to be as explicit as possible without the title being too long.  

Bad Examples of Job TitlesGood Examples of Job Titles
Software EngineerSenior Java Spring Boot Software engineer 5+ Years Experience
Software EngineerReact Front End Client Side Software Engineer 5 Years Min.

Specific keywords within the title make the posting stand out and easier for applicants to find. More importantly, it makes it possible for the applicant to determine if it is relevant to them without having to click on the job posting link to read more.

Posting Date

Does this really matter? If the posting date was two months ago, would you still apply? Perhaps not. But guess what? If the posting is still active, we are still trying to fill that position so we still want people to apply. Maybe no posting date is a better choice?

Practical experience, however, tells me that perhaps the date is relevant.  From an applicant's perspective, if a job has been open for 6 months, maybe there is no point in applying - if they haven't filled it by now, maybe they won't.  Applicants may wonder if it's even an active posting.  

So what is the best solution?

Post the date when posting the job, but re-post the job frequently enough that applicants know without question that it is still a job position that needs to be filled.

Job Location

Each job posting should have a job location. 

Why do we even need to say that? 

Because it isn't so simple. A job location today isn't just a pin on a map.  More than ever, with remote jobs and partly work-from-home positions all over the globe, the job location is less clear than ever. It is our job to be as clear as possible to give the applicant the chance to determine if the opportunity is right for them or not. 

A job position may be in Bangalore, but allow working from Kochi, or even Seattle. Or it may be a remote position in Bangalore that allows the associate to work from anywhere as long as they can come to monthly in-person meetings held in Bangalore. I personally have worked in Tokyo from Portland and in California from Utah, flying in for important meetings or weekly team work as needed. Even 100% remote jobs sometimes have requirements such as US only, or within the State of California only.

Explicitly Define Location in Job Posts

Applicants need to understand what will be expected of them in terms of their working environment. Each location needs an explanation such as: 'Bangalore (on-site only)',  or 'Bangalore (remote four days per week)', or 'Remote work from home with company located in Bangalore (must be able to be on site for meetings weekly)'.

Company Overview on Job Post

If you're talking with an account manager at iBCScorp about filling a position within your company, we will want to understand a bit about your company, and even the department and team in which the new employee will be working before we can make a job posting.

The reason we need to understand the company and team is that we need to sell the company, the department, the team, the position, and the opportunity to the applicant.  We also have to make sure it's a good fit within your company.

This is why every job posting we provide has information about the company for whom we are posting the job. Not just generic requirement information, but specific information that helps the applicant understand why he/she should be willing to leave their current position with the company they know and love and set sail to the new and unknown shores of your company.

We will not post a job or try to fill a job for a client unless we can tell the applicant What's In It for Me (WIFM).  We use this information:

  • when we post the job
  • when we screen the applicant
  • when we interview the applicant
  • when we re-interview the applicant
  • When we do a background check
  • when we extend the offer, and
  • when we follow up to make sure they fill the position. 

Yes, we do a lot of work for our clients.

So what can we say about your company in our job posts and in conversations with professionals  to sell it as we introduce it?

It isn't just about the salary package, it's also about the benefits. Being unhappily paid well is not how most people want to live today.

The points that we focus on may be different with each applicant depending on what they are looking for. Each applicant has different needs. In order to honestly and clearly represent our clients, we need to know what they are bringing to the table for the applicant aside from the salary.

In a future article, we will explore this topic more, give examples, and discuss how to figure out what the best selling points are for your company/department/team and the roles within that team.

Job Overview or Short Description

Of course a job needs a description.  Here we are looking for only a short description though. An elevator pitch. It should be short enough that the applicant can determine if it is right for them, and convince them to continue to the next section at a glance. The short description broadly qualifies and entices the applicant to continue if they are qualified.

Hard Skills and Experience Job Requirements

Yes, there are requirements, and then...there are requirements. Hard skills are typically quantifiable trained attributes related to a profession, like being able to type 50 words per minute. Or having 5 years of Java development experience.  

Minimum Hard Skills  Requirements

Minimum hard skill requirements are skills that if the applicant doesn't have them, then they are not qualified to apply for the job. 

Preferred Hard Skill Requirements

These are items which push the candidate to the top of the short list, but which are not required. For example the job may require a java engineer, it may require spring boot experience, but having experience with PostgreSQL as a back end database may be an optional preferred skill.  Applicants with this skill will move higher on the list all other things being equal.

Soft Skill Job Requirements

This is perhaps the most important thing of all and yet the most overlooked entirely when making many hiring decisions. Soft skills are things like emotional intelligence, communication, teamwork and respect, flexibility and creativity, problem solving and critical thinking, leadership, time management and organization, motivation and work ethic.

These are extremely important, and are more likely to predict job success than hard skills are.  If the applicant does not communicate well for example, they may not be a match as a customer service representative no matter how well they know the product.

If your company has over looked this in the past, don't worry we provide training on soft skills if necessary, but if we are helping you hire, we want to get it right the first time. 

Soft skills can be learned, but it is always better for the client and applicant if we find the right fit from the beginning.

Minimum Soft Skill Requirements

Depending on the job there may or may not be required soft skills. However, as soft skills are the biggest predictor of success within a given job we should consider what are the required soft sklls?  It is a good idea to have a least preferred soft skills if not required ones.  Often we don't realize what the soft skill requirements are until we have someone who doesn't have the soft skills required to do a job.

The point of minimum soft skill requirements is that like minimum hard skill requirements, they qualify or disqualify applicants.

Additional Desired Soft Skills

Like hard skills there are must haves, and preferred soft skills.  In this section we put all of the nice to haves regarding soft skills.  We can hire someone who doesn't posses these attributes.

Other Requirements for the Job

This is optional.  Not all jobs have other requirements.  But it may be that it is a remote job and it is required that they have a headset, webcam and reliable internet.  Or it may be that they have to stand for long hours at a time and need to be capable of standing for a 12 hour shift.  In any case when posting for a job other - non ordinary requirements should be considered.

Job Description

Finally we can talk about the job description.  Too often we think of the job description as the requirements for the job.  What the applicant really wants to know is what they will be doing for the job.  Here we want to describe the jobs daily activities.  What does the job entail, not the requirements to apply for the job.

For example if we were hiring a receptionist for our Idaho Office, we might have a job description that goes like:

"The receptionist will be answering a minimum of 5 to 10 calls per hour, and routing those calls to the appropriate individual.  They will also be sorting the mail.  A few times a day they may great a visitor and seat them until their desired party is available.

If we were hiring for a spring boot developer we might say something like:

"We are a document, test first development company.  The spring boot developer will be reviewing documentation, writing tests which will be used to validate that the code to be written works.  They will write code to make those tests pass.  They will submit their code to be reviewed by others, and they will be reviewing the code of others providing informative feedback. 

We all are learning together and improving our skills every day.  We use Intellij as our IDE but individuals may choose to use the IDE of their choice.  We use Spring boot JPA for database operations and for now will continue with that method. 

The spring boot developer will attend a daily standup, and interact with the team throughout the day.  Occasionally we do peer programming.  

This job provides opportunity for growth and learning through cross training and implementing of the latest and best technologies.  We typically work in teams of 3 to 5 individuals with one team lead. 

Upward advancement from this role within iBCScorp includes to Spring Boot Team Lead, Senior Java Engineer, or to other departments depending on the applicants desires and capabilities."