Dos and Don’ts of Job Advertisements

Paige Buchanan, Recruitment Specialist

letter board saying "now hiring"

UCO’s job advertisements, job descriptions and even the application process have an impact on the number of candidates we attract to apply. It also impacts the quality of the applicants. ERE, a recruiting intelligence blog, recommends the following items are reviewed when posting job ads.

 Job Titles and SEO 

If you were to go to Google, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. to search for job openings – what would you enter into the search bar? In order to attract candidates, we need to ensure we are thinking the way a candidate thinks. For example, don’t advertise a job for an Admin Asst II, but an administrative assistant II. I know it might seem trivial but search engine optimizing is an entire field in recruitment advertising. Therefore, if you’re not sure what to put as the job title, try going to these job sites to see what other people are titling the role. As always, reach out to jobs@uco.edu if you need any help.  

 Job Title: Keep it short and simple 

Research shows that the highest-performing job ads have titles between one to three words, and they outperform other title lengths on average by up to 40%. Keep it simple.  

Job Requirements: Don’t make them a barrier to entry 

When reviewing the required and preferred qualifications, ask yourself if some of those items are a need versus just “nice to have.” It is quite possible the qualifications have morphed into a wish list for an overqualified person who may or may not exist. A lot of applicants self-select out if they don’t tick all of the requirements you list.  

Brag about our benefits.  

There is a direct correlation between application conversation rate and the number of non-cash benefits listed in a job description. Including four or more benefits in the job description can yield up to a 22.5% apply rate. Yes, our benefits are listed on our career’s site, but not every candidate may go look. We recommend adding a few bullet points listing some of our benefits: 

  • Tuition waiver 
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance 
  • Telework options 
  • OTRS retirement plus voluntary retirement options 

Your candidate communication is lacking 

Letting an applicant sit for weeks before calling them for an interview is not a best practice. Instead, we highly recommend reviewing applications daily, and at a minimum, emailing the applicant to let them know you’re interested, and you’ll be contacting them soon to learn more. If you are getting too many candidates and are worried you can’t contact them in time, then we can hide the posting so no one else can apply. This can provide you the time you need to contact everyone. We have the ability to switch a job from external to hidden and vice versa with the click of a button. Fun fact, the best candidates are off the market within 10 days.  

For more information or to read the entire article, visit the ERE blog.