How to Improve Your IT Job Postings to Attract Top Tech Pros

Creating compelling IT Job postings is critical to attracting the best talent.
A common theme from technology leaders continues to surface in my travels: There's an ongoing frustration with the lack of qualified candidates responding to their online IT job postings.
It's not uncommon to hear a hiring manager say that they receive only a few responses from reasonably qualified candidates for each IT job posting. Let's start by examining the dynamics of online IT job postings.
There are an increasing number of sites that candidates search to find job opportunities. Additionally, the number of online job postings is steadily increasing. Therefore, it is becoming more complex for qualified candidates to find your postings as there are so many others competing for their attention.
The solution? You have to stand out from the crowd and create a better story than competing firms that want those same employees. Here are three steps to help you increase the effectiveness and results of your online IT job postings:
1. Attract attention. Start by writing a good job description with the following tips:
  • Get the job title right. Use a title that is catchy without being gimmicky. For example: “SQL Database Administrator in a Rapidly Expanding Healthcare Organization.”
  • Be clear about job duties and responsibilities: Who will the employee report to? What are the daily tasks? Remember to use keywords that the candidates will search for, such as “software development” or “A+ certification." Provide a detailed, honest and accurate description of the role.
  • Highlight benefits and environment. This is your opportunity to present why someone would want to work for your firm by highlighting the organization and any recent awards or accolades received. Provide any benefits to your specific physical location. Highlight your industry and why it is a good career choice. Also provide details on your company size (small, medium, large) as that may be appealing to certain candidates. What are the benefits of working in this position or for your company? Detail your health benefits, training programs, 401k plans, etc.
  • Use compelling language. Use eye-catching words that will draw attention to your posting, such as "challenging," "rewarding," "progressive," "prestigious" or "industry leader." A word of caution: Use words that accurately represent the job and your company because integrity in your posting is important.

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2. Give the specifics of the job. Detailed IT job descriptions differentiate your posting from competing firms and will attract skilled candidates. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • List both the technical and professional experience necessary for your position. Requirements include such things as years of experience, certifications, software skills and professional skills.
  • Eliminate a disqualifier mentality. Describe what people will do with their skills rather than the skills themselves. For example, saying, “Use your .NET programming knowledge to create a state-of-the-art inventory management system” will get more responses than saying, “Must have 5+ years of .NET experience.”

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3. Add the final touches. Consider these final tips before posting:

  • Create a sense of urgency. Try including, “Call today for immediate consideration,” or say you are only accepting applications until a certain date in the posting. Provide a phone number or  individual email address to create a more personalized posting vs. having candidates submit to a generic corporate email or website.
  • Clearly state the minimum requirements for the job (qualifications and competencies). You'll not only weed out inappropriate candidates when you narrow the requirements, you make the listing more appealing to your target audience by demonstrating you know the skill set you need.
  • Use clear and direct language and make it easy to scan. Generally, using a mix of paragraphs and bullets is easiest to read.
  • Avoid spelling/grammatical errors and clichés. Just as a grammatical error in a resume might cause you to question whether a candidate is right for a job, candidates will question whether they want to work for someone who misspells a programming language, for example. And try to avoid using clichés like "team player" or "out of the box" that have been so overused that they can seem meaningless.

Spending a little extra time and attention in creating a more thorough IT job posting that will stand out online is critical to your success in attracting qualified candidates.

I hope these tips will be helpful for you and that you benefit from them. 

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Note: This post has been updated. It originally appeared on 2/20/14.