Most companies' job postings suck. They're products of lazy thinking.
Let's take a moment to empathize with your hypothetical ideal candidate. For this talented person, the possibilities feel endless. They're sifting through opportunities. That's what your job posting represents; a possibility, an opportunity. You need to convince her that the prize behind door #3 is more exciting than the other choices.
Your goal is not to paint the portrait of an ideal candidate. It's not to inform the world of the official list of responsibilities assigned to this role in the HR database. It's not to weed out bad applicants (you will get those regardless).Your goal is to sell.
All those other things are just not going to accomplish what you want. They're not effective selling. They're approaching the job posting from your perspective, not the perspective of your elusive ideal candidate.
Job postings should sell the prospect of your amazing job at your amazing company. Job postings should bring as many awesome people in the door as possible so that in the interview stage, you have a solid talent pool to select from. Just writing a description of me or what you want me to do won't inspire me to apply.
Write to show off who you are. Explain what's awesome about working with you. Tell me why the role is super cool. Oh, the places we'll go!
Here's an above-average (seriously) job posting for an accounting job from Craigslist:
Large Queens/Long Island based warehouse Distribution Company seeks experienced Accountant. College graduate with at least 5 years experience preferred. Excellent growth potential. Heavy general ledger experience REQUIRED.
• General Ledger
• Account Analysis
• Bank Reconciliations
• Sales tax reporting
• Payroll analysis
• Internal auditing
• Credit card reconciliations
• Heavy general ledger experience REQUIRED.
• Outstanding communication skills.
• Ability to work independently.
• Experience in communicating with and reporting to senior management.
• Bachelor's degree in accounting or finance.
• Health Insurance
• Life Insurance
• Flexible Spending
• Profit Sharing/401(k) Plan
Does your hypothetical rockstar candidate feel inspired to apply to this? And do you think this is really going to stop anyone without "heavy general ledger experience" from applying? How about people who are poor communicators or are unable to work independently? It's a genuinely useless advertisement.
Try this on for size instead:
We're a laid back group of people working hard on a tough problem. Bookkeeping is a universal point of pain for passionate people trying to pursue their dreams. They want to run their businesses, not do accounting, so we make that disappear. While the sex appeal of the problem may seem lacking, we genuinely believe that solving society's big problems is super sexy. And so are you.
10sheet is not your average accounting firm. We've built our own technology that automates most of the day-to-day bookkeeping. We have a brainy team of technologists and AI specialists that work along side our accountants. We're backed by venture capital. We're going after an otherwise ignored market segment and we're using an approach no one has used before.
Looking to get your CA/CMA/CGA/CPA? This is the place to do it. You'll get real responsibility on day 1 and be put in front of clients by week 2. Our accountants aren't bean counters. They do sales and strategy in addition to debits and credits, and are always working on interesting new problems.
This is an awesome multi-faceted role that beats the pants off audit or tax. But it also requires a well-rounded, talented individual to pull it off. That's where you come in.
When you throw in with us you're not only joining a cool company working on a wicked problem. You're joining at the inflection point – possibly the coolest time to join any company. This is an extraordinary leg of our journey, and becoming instrumental to the team now would pretty much make us best friends forever.
Here are some of the things you'll be getting up to
• Prepare financial statements and present them to your clients.
• Consume delicious craft coffee in our wicked gastown loft office.
• Brainstorm improvements to our service and software, based on your daily interactions with clients.
• Entertain your clients with your good-natured wit and charm.
• College diploma or Bachelor's degree in Accounting.
• Some work experience in a professional setting.
• Be generally awesome to work with and be around.
Sound like something you'd like to take on? Hit the 'apply' button and let's get started!
Excellent job postings attract excellent people. Think about the kind of people you want to work with and sell to them passionately. That's how you build a great company.