Aug
18
The Magnetic listing: 5 ways to make your job post stand out.
Girl looking happily shocked to find the job listing of her dreams

We’ve all seen the signs in windows lately: Help Wanted!

Yes, we’re in an employee market—but, rather than lament the lack of candidates, you can use this opportunity to stand out as the employer of choice. As the saying goes,

The whole world is short staffed, so be kind to those who showed up.

One way is to stand out is to shift the way you think about attracting potential team members. How, you ask?

Competitive marketing. 

In our current environment, recruitment is marketing. What are you offering to get the most qualified person? 

As an employer you must consider the job listing from a marketing perspective and sell it to the potential candidate.

Money isn’t everything! You can have a competitive advantage by being a fabulous boss who everyone wants to work for.

So, when you’re putting together your job listing, consider these five important points:

1. Make it about “them.” Not you.

In other words: paint the picture of your ideal candidate so they can say ‘hey, that’s me!’

A common mistake is to make the description too long with minute details about the daily tasks rather than about selling the company to the reader.

Just as with any type of marketing, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the audience, in this case, your ideal candidate. Don’t talk about what you want, talk about what they want. What do they value, what motivates them, what interests them?

2. Avoid clichés 

Try to avoid terms such as “team player.” IF the work is indeed a team effort, consider the ideal candidate and their perspective. 

Perhaps you describe this as something they can be a part of, something that will benefit them with a network of connections for the future. 

If your listing is full of clichés and euphemisms, you won’t stand out by saying the same thing as 10 other employers, and you’ll likely end up with a handful of resumes stuffed with the same hiring jargon coming back at you.

3. Tell them who you are 

Let potential candidates know about what is unique about you and your company. If you’re a zany bunch, say so.

Be consistent in your language. If you’re dedicated to a cause, let candidates know about this passion. 

4. Be honest.

Describe the culture that the new recruit would be working in. Include essential qualifications without being entirely prescriptive.  If you’re flexible, say so (it’s a pretty hot item and seen as a perk) but stick with honesty.  

If you’re dishonest about what your company and job are really like it, your new hires will notice once they get into the role so it’s better to be up-front. Painting a role with rose-coloured glasses will result in higher turnover, which is more costly in the end.

5. Respond to everyone

Let candidates know that you WILL respond to each applicant. Yes. It is a lot of work but maybe less so in this labour market. Plus, it’s a sign of professionalism and good communication, leaving the door open for the future if need be. 


Take your recruiting to the next level and get the tools to attract, retain and manage your A-Team!

Join Tanja Halsall, Chief People Officer of Potentia HR, for a series of information packed webinars that will provide useful HR strategies for business owners at all stages.

In this interactive series, you’ll learn proven practices that will help you maintain a company culture that attracts new employees and engages your team.


Dawn McCooey

Dawn McCooey is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Women’s Enterprise Centre. She has worked in the adult training and development field for over 20 years. As owner of a career consulting company for over 18 years, Dawn managed up to 32 employees in three offices in Victoria and was voted “Best Boss in Victoria.” Her book “Keeping Good Employees On Board” was an Amazon.ca bestseller in 2010. Dawn was also the HR expert on the Reality TV Show “The Hard Way.”

See all posts by Dawn

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