Job Posting vs. Job Description and Which One you Should Use, Part 2

jobpostingSo why do companies use job descriptions as job postings?

When recruiters are under the gun or overworked, they’ll often do whatever it takes to get requisitions up and positions filled as quickly as possible. So when hiring managers have to create their own job postings as part of the requisition creation, a job description cut-and-paste job is almost always the outcome. And when hiring managers won’t make the time to discuss the job with the recruiter, the job description might very well be the best (or even only) information that a recruiter has on hand.

Job descriptions also get used as job postings because recruiters assume they are required to do so. In many of my company’s recruiting audit engagements with companies, recruiters have claimed that a rule from “legal” or “the HR leader” or the “compliance team” states that job descriptions must be used as job postings. Upon closer inspection, though, its almost never been the case that this perceived requirement is in fact true. More often than not, this “requirement” is a piece of folklore passed down from one generation of recruiters to the next.

Best Practices for Job Postings

An effective job posting culls the most important responsibilities, competencies, and qualifications from the job description and surrounds this information with a compelling description of the company and the department. An effective job posting is also peppered with SEO keywords to ensure that it appears in relevant candidate searches. Details about the job requirements are crucial in the job posting, and candidates need to recognize this need as well: 77.3% of respondents in a Jobvite survey ranked “job descriptions” as the “most useful employment content.”

Above all, the best job posting appeals to its targeted candidates and is written with them in mind. To distinguish a job from similar roles at other companies, the posting must highlight the job’s most important and differentiating benefits. It should also point out features of the company itself that could appeal to the target candidates.

Together job descriptions and job postings help increase quality of hire by providing engaging and accurate information. In this way, the right candidates opt-in and the wrong candidates self-select out. When it comes to hiring, the company succeeds not by satisfying nebulous legal requirements but when it garners the best talent for the role.

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