Posted by Accountemps on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 10:00 | Follow me
Perusing job boards is no fun for most candidates. Job postings are usually dull laundry lists of requirements, with very little to make potential applicants feel enthusiastic about the positions. Their eyes glaze over, and they click on to the next link, and the next…
But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s possible to write attention-grabbing job descriptions that inspire job seekers to complete the application — something that gives them a taste of what it’s like to be part of your accounting team. Here are five pieces of advice for writing great job postings.
1. Show off your workplace culture
Job postings are a lot like online dating profiles. To attract Ms. or Mr. Skilled Accountant, promote those qualities that make your company irresistible.
Finding a candidate who’s a good cultural fit with your organization is a common recruitment goal these days. The idea is that you should look for people who not only have the requisite skills but also the personality and attitude that will mesh with the company and your existing staff.
Most finance job seekers take the same approach — they look for a workplace that excites them. Do your postings let you put your best foot forward? Do they highlight your company culture so candidates can decide for themselves if they belong there?
As you write job postings, reflect on your workplace: Are you more focused on results or processes? Is the atmosphere formal or more laid back? Do employees work in teams or alone? Is there a social scene outside of work, or do most interactions take place during office hours? How does the company promote work-life balance?
There are no right or wrong answers here, so you don’t need to sugarcoat your office environment. By being honest in job postings, you not only set realistic expectations for potential candidates, but you also boost your chances of hiring accounting staff who will thrive in your corporate ecosystem.
2. Advertise your best qualities
By seeing job postings through the eyes of prospective applicants, you’ll gain insights that will help your business stand out.
Job postings are a lot like dating profiles. To attract Ms. or Mr. Skilled Accountant, promote those qualities that make your company irresistible. Marketers call this their USP: unique selling proposition.
A good way to generate a list of USPs is to ask your existing employees to name three great things about their job. After sifting through the responses, you’ll start to see common themes. Do they love the training and professional development opportunities, like tuition reimbursement and conferences? Perhaps they appreciate the friendly and supportive work environment, or the generous incentive bonuses.
These are the virtues you want to include in your job postings. To bolster these claims, you can make and upload video clips or post short testimonials to your website’s careers page and social media sites about the many reasons current employees enjoy their jobs. Then direct prospective applicants to click on the link.
Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report shows it’s not just money that attracts candidates. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of workers said the chance to gain new skills is a critical consideration when making a career move.
3. Tell your story
What’s your corporate narrative? Storytelling is an essential part of corporate branding, and it works well to win over top talent. At the beginning or end of job postings, include a short paragraph about the company — the early days, how it arrived at where it is today, and where it hopes to be in the future. A strong narrative makes it easier for applicants to imagine themselves as being a part of your story.
Read about the importance of storytelling when Financial Executives Reveal How to Attract the Best People in the Robert Half Finance & Accounting blog.
4. Check out the competition
Job descriptions can look very similar, especially when hiring accounting staff. So what’s different about your company? Why should they spend time applying for this particular role?
Thanks to the internet, it takes only a few minutes to do basic market research and see how other firms advertise their openings. Which tired clichés appear in every listing? (Avoid those.) Which phrases sound particular appealing? (Adapt those for your own job postings.) What seems to be missing from the others? By seeing job postings through the eyes of prospective applicants, you’ll gain insights that will help your business stand out.
5. Don’t neglect the basics
Apply the same standards of professionalism to job postings that you would to any company document. Proof it before publishing, and have someone else check for errors. An ideal length is between 350 and 500 words, with bullet points and bolded subheads to make it easier to scan. Any shorter than that, and you risk not giving enough details to interest the good and weed out the bad. But if it’s too long, job seekers may become overwhelmed and move on to the next post.
Besides including details such as work location and how to apply, keep in mind keywords. Brainstorm all the search terms a candidate might enter into a job board, such as “CPA” or “supply chain,” and use those keywords naturally several times in the text.
The recruitment market for accounting talent is extremely competitive. According to a Robert Half survey, 68 percent of CFOs polled said they have had trouble hiring skilled finance staff. It’s more important than ever to get every step of the recruitment process right, including the first one: writing excellent job postings.
See what our clients have to say about their financial staffing experiences with Accountemps.