The following article was featured in the July/August issue of PORK Network magazine.

Be sure your organization’s first impression on candidates is positive, and this begins with your job posting. An effective job posting is clear and concise, while also being descriptive. Creating the right language for your job postings will save your organization time because you won’t need to sort through lists of unqualified candidates. A major advantage of online job boards is the almost unlimited space with which you can sell your company and job opening.

Here are insights on how to take advantage of the space you have to ensure your posting attracts qualified applicants.

Being descriptive is key

AgCareers.com frequently surveys job seekers about what they look for when applying to open positions. Candidates felt that job responsibilities were the most important factors to have included in a job description. When considering the actual description, duties and responsibilities were crucial components when job seekers chose whether or not to submit an application. Other studies also support the fact that candidates want to know about a position’s responsibilities, first and foremost. 

Job seekers were most discouraged by job descriptions that were too short or not descriptive enough.  Employers should keep their job descriptions detailed enough, but not so long that job seekers need to scroll down. Sell the position – how does this position impact your overall company success?  How will the employee learn and grow in the position?  Responsibilities should be concise and easily understood from someone outside the organization.

Location, location

The second most crucial factor when job seekers chose to apply is location of the position, making it critical for employers to include information regarding the city, state or region in which an opening exists. If you have multiple locations for a particular posting, you may want to separate them into multiple postings by specific cities, states or regions. Keep in mind that the web is international, so you’ll have people viewing your opening from around the world. 

Job title

Titles should be descriptive, clear and understandable to someone OUTSIDE your organization. Eliminate abbreviations and jargon specific to your company.  For instance “Senior Quality Assurance Manager” will usually get a better response than “Quality IV, Mgr.”

Skills and education requirements

Be clear about the skills and minimum education level required for your job opening, as this will save time in the long run for you and the applicant. For instance, if you require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree for a position, don’t hesitate to list this as a requirement. If your opening is more flexible, you can use language such as, “Bachelor’s degree preferred or equivalent work experience.”

Money

Right behind lack of descriptive details, candidates are discouraged from applying to positions when no salary or pay information is provided. Many applicants may skip your posting entirely if no salary information is given. Try to provide at least a pay range, based on experience if necessary. If you are unable to give a number, you can state “competitive,” but make sure that indeed your salaries are competitive! Salary benchmarking surveys can assist your organization in determining how your salary and benefits stack up to others in the industry. 

Your organization

Include a short description of your company, including its mission statement and goals. Use descriptors to showcase why someone would want to work for your organization. Tell candidates what they can expect to gain by joining your organization! Reputation means a great deal to candidates. Job seekers place high value on the company and its products; in an AgCareers.com poll, more than half of the candidates stated two of the main things they looked for in companies that they were “leaders in the industry” and had “good products.” Candidates feel these are important characteristics for potential employers to have. 

Call to action

Give clear directions for the applicant. List a closing date for receipt of applications, note if you would like the applicant to provide salary, and state any other requirements. Put a sense of urgency in the posting to motivate candidates, especially if it’s a plus because of company growth or the launch of a product. 

Finishing touches

Proper formatting matters: Make good use of bullets, paragraphs and bolding. These formatting touches, when used appropriately, help make your job posting easier to read. Check spelling and grammar. Can you glance at the ad and get a good idea of what the position entails? Candidates absolutely form an opinion of the person responsible for posting the job and the company. A poorly developed job posting will turn top performers away.

Hopefully these tips provide you with a few new tools that you can implement to increase traffic and qualified candidates to your postings. For assistance on a job posting or information on salary benchmarking in the agricultural industry, please contact agcareers@agcareers.com.  

For more articles and features from the July/August issue of PORK Network, click here.