Optimizing your recruiting strategies to find the top talent in the education sector for your open positions saves money and frees up time for you to focus on other activities that directly impact your organization's mission and goals. Writing compelling job posts that attract talented, diverse applicants is among the best ways you can optimize your recruiting strategies.
It's tempting to follow a cookie-cutter approach or simply make a list of desired skills and qualifications when creating a job post. However, this doesn't set you apart from other organizations looking for top talent for their non-teaching roles in education. Below, we offer several tips to help you compose effective job posts and ensure the job candidates you want are more likely to apply for your open role.
The concept of job posts and job descriptions are often used interchangeably, but from a recruiting perspective, they are two different things. Many employers, including those in the education sector, believe if they post a job description, they have done what they need to do to get job candidates. They feel the job description tells job seekers all they need to know about the open role at their organizations. This, however, is not the case. Both job posts and job descriptions are pivotal to your recruitment efforts, but they serve different purposes.
A job description is a functional internal document that provides every aspect of an open role in great detail, including the minutia responsibilities of the role. For example, a job description might include how often someone must attend a department meeting and specific skills they must possess. A well-written job description helps candidates understand their role and summarizes a role's essential duties. Additionally, job descriptions explain what success looks like and how an organization measures success. A strong job description helps potential applicants envision the day to day in this role to build clarity and commitment.
Unlike job descriptions, job posts are advertisements. A well-written job post catches your intended audience's attention and sparks interest in your education organization and open positions relevant to their interests. A job post showcases the most compelling aspects of the position and sells, but doesn’t oversell, the role in an effort to entice job seekers to apply for your open position. Job posts include elements of a job description, but they are not the same thing. A strong job post helps potential applicants see themselves, their skills and their interests reflected in this opportunity to build excitement.
You might be uncertain about what you should include in a job post for a non-teaching role in education. The best way to know what things to highlight is to think about the questions a potential job candidate might ask during their job search. If you attempt to answer as many of these questions in your job post as you can, you're on the right track.
Why do you need to fill this role?
What does your ideal candidate look like?
How does this role interact and support other roles in your organization?
What personality type usually finds success in this role?
What does success look like in this role?
What skills are the required and preferred skills for this role?
What unique perks or benefits does your organization offer?
What is the biggest selling point (besides helping students) of your organization?
If your education organization is not a nonprofit, how do you give back outside the office?
How does your compensation package compare to similar organizations nearby?
Once you are prepared with the information from the questions above, you can compose a compelling job post that attracts top talent. Writing an effective job post is not about using punchy and trite phrases. You need to consider proper format, include the right details, and create a captivating narrative that inspires candidates to apply to your open role. Keep these tips in mind as you compose your job posting:
There is a natural inclination to include as much information as possible in your job post because job seekers can make an easier decision on whether or not to apply. However, this is not the case. A LinkedIn study found shorter job posts that are under 300 words get over 8 percent more applications than medium or long job posts. Most job seekers do not want to read a dissertation when they are searching for open positions. You can catch the attention of your intended audience with a strong, catchy title.
Your post needs to be short and scannable. The average person takes about 14 seconds to decide if they are going to submit an application according to the LinkedIn study mentioned above. This means you need to be cogent, succinct, and get to the point in your job post as soon as possible. After tracking the eye movement of job seekers as they read job postings, The Ladders found job seekers spend most of their time reviewing information at the top of a job post and only skim the bottom portion of a post. Keep the least important aspects of your job post at the bottom. This way, job seekers get the information they need and can find out more if they read the entire post.
Readers go after things in snippets, especially online, and especially younger generations who are accustomed to texting and communicating on social media. Bullet points are a successful way to provide information to job seekers because:
They break down complex concepts.
They make information easier to remember.
They allow for a quick scan of your job posting.
They allow job seekers to quickly see if your open role is desirable for them.
Using bullet points in your job post also makes your job posting more pleasant to look at. Job seekers do not want to look at long blocks of text.
You do not have to use formal language in a job post, but you still must use professional language. Job seekers expect to be working in a professional environment. Using casual and friendly language still falls under the umbrella of professionalism, without sending the wrong message to a job seeker. You definitely need to avoid profanity and highly informal references. The language you use in your job post sends a signal to your audience about the professionalism of your office.
In today's job market, many job seekers have expressed a desire for transparency from recruiters and hiring managers. This does not mean you should write a lengthy job posting, but you need to include pertinent details about the open role and your organization. You will likely get a better response from your job post if you include salary information. Glassdoor found that almost 70 percent of job seekers want salary information in a job post. Revealing salary has benefits and your audience wants the information and it can lead to higher quality candidates for your non-teaching roles.
Including salary lets job seekers know whether your position is financially viable for their situation and if they should bother to apply. Additionally, it makes salary negotiations easier later in the hiring process because candidates are not surprised by the amount. There is also much research and conversation in our space that sharing salary in job descriptions is more equitable, and leads to more diverse hiring pools. Ultimately, you need to do what's right for your organization.
After the past two years, job seekers now place greater value and emphasis on a strong benefits package, and have started asking about total compensation beyond salary. This includes the traditional medical, dental and vision, retirement and parental leave policies but now also include hybrid or remote work opportunities, wellness initiatives, etc that many of our organizations have invested in. Ensure that you place these unique benefits front and center in your job post.
There are certain aspects and requirements for your open role that candidates must have to be considered for the role. You need to put them in your job post to save job seekers and yourself time. For example, does the position require the applicant to travel to different schools in the county or state? Or, does the applicant need to live within a certain radius of your organization? Be upfront about location, travel, education requirements, and any other must-haves, so you do not end up interviewing candidates that cannot meet your requirements. Location is especially important and not listing it can prevent qualified job seekers from putting their application in the ring for your non-teaching role.
You want to attract job candidates who align with your organization's mission and values, but you do not need to share all aspects of your organizational culture and fit in your concise job posting. Candidates can visit your website to learn more. Instead, provide a broad picture of your organization, its purpose, its goals with respect to students, and how you accomplish these goals. This type of information helps job seekers understand the opportunities they might have in your organization and how the role you are advertising fits into the broader picture.
You need your job posting to get in front of job seekers or you won't get any job applicants. The best way to ensure the right talent sees your post is to use common keywords that an applicant might use to search online for a specific role. It's tempting to use colorful language, but common and exciting terms do not show up in searches and decrease the chances that job seekers will see your post.
Keywords are especially important if you are trying to recruit from outside the education sector for open roles. Take the time to research specific positions in other industries to make sure you find the right buzzwords. For example, an IT specialist or budget analyst might not be specifically looking for non-teaching roles in education. However, you can get these job seekers to check out your job post if you include words specific to the duties and responsibilities of an IT specialist or budget analyst.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is also very important for both search engines like Google and for places where you may post your role such as job boards. Ensure that your role summary is the first thing in the job post as this is what will be pulled by these systems for the snippet that is displayed in the preview before the jobseeker clicks through to the full post. On average you have between 160 to 230 characters that will be displayed as a preview.
This is a great place for your elevator pitch for the role itself in order to entice the jobseeker to click through to learn more about the role itself.
Today's job seekers want a career and those seeking non-teaching leadership roles are no exception. They want to know they have the opportunity for growth. You cannot set expectations or define what someone will be doing in five years. However, you can set clear expectations for the short-term. You should have defined success in your job description, so you can offer abbreviated versions of expectations at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months, and a year. If job candidates can picture themselves achieving goals in your organization, they are more likely to seek employment with you.
We've offered several tips on how you can write a compelling job post to attract applicants. However, finding the balance between keeping it short, being succinct, and providing ample details can be tricky. WorkMonger offers personalized service tailored to your organization's needs and we specialize in education, so we can help you get your post in front of top talent for your open roles. We specialize in matching employers and job seekers for non-teaching roles in the broader PreK-12 education sector. We help employers in the education sector find the most talented, diverse leaders so you can reach your organizational goals. Contact us today to learn more.