Job boards have been a known source of frustration for applicants since the beginning of the digital age, with candidates commonly struggling to find ways to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of online applications. But for employers — the supposed receivers of all those applications — the grass isn't always greener. If you're having trouble attracting quality candidates through your job posts, here’s what you can do to start improving them.

Start with this short video, and if you want to dig deeper, just keep reading below.

why you need a great job ad

In a recent Randstad report on the impact of tech on today's workforce, 71 percent of respondents said that they spend time job hunting directly on employers' websites. That's a lot of passive job-seeker traffic just waiting to be engaged. But if your job posts aren't up to par, you'll likely have a hard time converting any of them into serious applicants.


It's not just about capturing the potential applicants that come to your site, either. Employees of different generations will be looking in different places for jobs. For instance, a majority of millennial and Gen Z candidates look for work on social media, whereas baby boomers still trust traditional job boards to help them find their next great opportunities.


percent of job seekers by generation who search for work on job boards.


how to improve your job posts

If you're having little to no success finding candidates through your job board posts, then follow these steps to see if there are any areas where you can improve. 


1. make your job ad an actual ad

Job posts that offer nothing but lists of qualifications and requirements get stale fast. A job ad needs to be a proper advertisement in addition to sort for skilled and experienced candidates. Your job ad should: 

  • convey excitement and buzz around your business, its goals for the future and the important role that candidates can play in its success
  • use engaging verbiage — think more “social media maven” than “office assistant with social media proficiency”
  • highlight unique perks of working in your office and the best attributes of your workplace culture 

2. write clearly

You want your job posts to be read and understood clearly by job seekers, so avoid using obtuse language in your job posts. Instead: 

  • Stick to simple, functional language that leaves little room for ambiguity.
  • Use bullet points when presenting large lists of information like job requirements or day-to-day duties. 
  • Have some fun in your intro or in the boilerplate text at the end to showcase your employer brand voice in order to attract like-minded candidates. 

3. use the right keywords

No matter how great the content of your ad may be, if you're not using the right keywords, your ad won’t turn up in a search. The two main areas you want to focus on optimizing are the job title and the main job description. 

  • Research relevant words and phrases with free software like Google AdWords Keyword Tool to pick the ones that best describes the job. 
  • Be careful when adding these words and phrases to your job description, however, as you never want it to appear obvious which words you're trying to artificially graft onto the text. 
  • Practice reading your drafts aloud to identify and remove unnatural-sounding phrases until you find the sweet spot between readability and searchability.  

4. outline the hiring process

Simplifying your hiring process is an easy way to get more qualified applications. Being fully transparent can ease job seekers’ concerns and help them know what to expect.

  • Describe what will immediately happen after clicking “Submit” on an application. Who will be reviewing? When can job seekers expect to hear back?
  • Let people know how many rounds (and what kinds) of interviews will be scheduled, and who in the organization they will meet. 
  • Give them information about additional type of screening or background checks necessary and if they will be required to come onsite for a trial period.

partner with a staffing firm

Following these steps will get you on the right track to writing better job ads, but if you don’t have the time to manage applications, or you’re looking to hire for many different positions all at once, then consider working with a staffing partner. Staffing firms can help by:

  • sending you qualified candidates from their pre-existing talent networks so you don’t have to sift through numerous responses
  • getting the wording right on your job ads from an employer branding perspective can be tricky, but experienced recruiters can help you find people who have the skills and fit into your culture
  • providing you with hiring strategies so you can get better at finding and hiring the right kind of candidates 

start polishing up your posts

By picking the right keywords and tweaking the language of your job posts, you should start seeing more responses from more qualified candidates in no time. Or if you’re looking for a staffing partner for extra assistance, contact us to start working together today.