How to Create a Strong Job Listing and Attract the Right Candidates


If you’re hiring for a critical role on your team, there are more things to consider than simply describing the day-to-day tasks. Your goal is to create a listing that attracts top talent, so you need to be concise and enticing. What is interesting about your job opening? What makes your company great to work with? What is expected of viable applicants? Are you generally responsive to inquiries? Whether you’re sourcing candidates on your own or working with an external recruiter, these are all important factors to determine before you begin your search.

Indicate key requirements.

Above all, be very clear about the must-have skill sets for your job opening. It is very likely that you’ll receive many non-matching applications, but there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to minimize your amount of time wasted by being as informative as possible about key needs. Does your company absolutely require a Bachelor’s degree as a minimum in order to hire someone? Say so. You’ll only consider candidates with over five years of Java programming experience? State it clearly.

attracting candidatesConsider disclosing (and placing emphasis on) perks and benefits.

Does your company stand out among the crowd because of some awesome perks? If your employee benefits include popular perks like education/tuition reimbursement, healthy lifestyle rewards or the option to telecommute, you may want to consider including these items in your listing. People are able to be more selective about where they want to work in the current candidate-driven job market, so if you’re looking to hire it’s in your best interest to show why your company is a better place to work than the competition. You may even want to consider placing benefits and perks information in your listing’s opening statement (i.e. “Are you looking to join a fun, dynamic team of professionals with great work-life balance, including perks such as flexible hours and unlimited vacation days?”).

Will you consider a consultant?

How urgent is your need? The process of finding, qualifying and onboarding a full-time permanent employee that shares your company’s values and meshes well with your team can be extremely time-consuming, and sometimes you need someone who can start taking care of things right away. In this case, you may want to consider hiring a temporary contractor or even bringing on a candidate in a temp-to-perm “try before you buy” engagement. If you are open to either possibility, you should say so in your job description to attract more qualified consultants who might otherwise pass over your listing.

Don’t fail at responding.

Have you ever passed on a candidate because you heard something negative about that person from a colleague who has interviewed or worked with them in the past? Candidates talk amongst themselves, too, and you never want your company to be the subject of a “job application black hole” conversation. It’s very tough, if not impossible, to respond to every last application you receive, but try your best anyway. If you interview someone, let them know if you decide not to move forward with them and why; it’s common courtesy, and I promise that it’ll make you stand out among dozens of other managers/companies who don’t bother to respond at all.

“I interviewed with John Smith at XYZ Inc. I didn’t get hired, but he got back to me quickly and let me know exactly why I wasn’t selected. I also interviewed at ABC Company and EFG Corporation…I never heard from either one of them again.” If you’re John Smith at XYZ Inc., this is an invaluable buzz to have circulating amongst the candidate pool.

What are some other ways you can maximize your pool of qualified applicants?

Hire top IT talent quickly with the help of EDI Staffing.


About Adam Barron

Adam supports EDI and IT professionals throughout the Midwest region of the US. As a recruiter with EDI Staffing since 2006, Adam has over 10 years of experience working with candidates to fill contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire positions, aiming to match each person’s unique goals with those of our clients. He is a frequent contributor to our blog, where he shares insight on industry topics such as marketability enhancement, resume improvement, interviewing and offer negotiation. Adam believes that strong relationships are key to the business and strives to connect with people, often keeping in touch long after a person has landed a job or interviewed with our clients.

Adam graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Prior to joining EDI Staffing, he worked as a Business Development Representative for its sister company, B2B Contact. Outside of the office, Adam loves to spend time with family and also enjoys writing, Boston sports, skiing, movies and board/video gaming.

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