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Optimize your Job Postings to Attract Top Talent

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Photo of employee is a statewide, online job-matching system that helps employers find qualified candidates. With the largest pool of candidates in the state, it is a valuable resource for your talent needs whether you’re looking to fill roles from professional to high-skill to unskilled labor.

If you’ve used the website before and not found the quantity or caliber of candidates you were looking for, it could be because the job posting is not set up correctly. Here Lisa Bogany, Strategic Projects Planner at Workforce Solutions, shares some common pitfalls employers encounter and offers tips for making postings more effective. When job postings are set up properly and consist of all the requisite information, companies can expect to receive resumes for at least three qualified candidates within three to five days.

Tip #1. Leverage The Experts

While a do-it-yourself approach to posting jobs on may seem like the fastest way to get your search going, the system can be confusing, and employers don’t always know exactly what candidates are looking for. Workforce Solutions offers free services from a dedicated team of Employer Service representatives. With a quick call or email, this team’s deep experience with and knowledge of the system and candidates can save time and deliver better candidate matches. In addition to providing technical assistance on postings, recruiters can also help you source and screen candidates and reach out to community partners and career offices to find additional candidates. They can even promote your position on social media or have it featured on ABC-13 or Univision television stations. The team knows time is of the essence and is committed to returning calls within four hours and posting all jobs received before 4 p.m. on the same day.

Tip #2. Switch Up Occupation Codes

There is a particular setting in that can have a significant impact on the search responses you receive for your job posting. It’s the O*NET code. These codes are standardized, occupation-specific descriptors established by the Department of Labor. With over 900 to choose from, it can be challenging for employers to determine the best fit for their postings. Typically, employers will select the occupation code they believe best represents the position without thoroughly considering how candidates might be searching. The key is, if you aren’t seeing volume or quality of candidates you want within the first few days, try adjusting the code. For instance, replace “Customer Service” with “Sales.”

“There are so many employers who call in to say, ‘I’m not getting what I need.’ We go in and we switch the occupation code and it’s like turning on the faucet. Suddenly, they’re getting the right types of candidates.” Lisa

Tip #3. Fill in the Blanks

All job postings have fields that are required to get the job on When employers only fill out only the required sections, candidates do not get all the information they need to evaluate if they’re a good fit for the role. These incomplete postings tend to get overlooked by qualified candidates and result in an excess of resume submissions from unqualified candidates, creating a headache for the employer to sort through. This makes investing in creating comprehensive job postings, upfront, incredibly important. Completing each section enables candidates to more easily identify if they are a good fit and interested, and will yield the most qualified candidate pool for your specific needs.

In the Job Description section, make sure to provide details that explain the daily duties/activities of the position and what is required to perform the job as well as experience, education and skills. For Tools and Technology Skills, emphasize specific knowledge and/or skills needed to perform the job duties. If there are specific licenses or certificates required, be sure to check the box and provide specifics. Additionally, don’t be shy to include a salary range to help attract candidates. Last, make sure the application instructions are clear and easy to decipher. Painting a clear picture of your ideal hire will help attract the right fit.

Tip #4. Define Qualifications and Requirements/Be Specific

Clear, specific and detailed information about what you are looking for can also help attract higher quality candidates quicker. Specify the responsibilities you feel are important for the role keeping in mind that what one company is looking for in a receptionist could look completely different for another. For example, greeting customers in-person, answering the phones, managing supplies/vendors, scheduling meetings, etc. Additionally, define expectations for the role and what characteristics you’re looking for – someone who… can multitask, is professional, will need to be in front of a computer or stand on their feet most of the day. Providing details for what you mean for each qualification or requirement can also help narrow qualified candidates. This might include specifying the type of environment they will need to work within – high-call volume, type A leadership team, etc. – or clarifying education or certification requirements and exceptions. For instance, if you state that a bachelor’s degree is required, but will also accept candidates who have combined education with experience, state how many years of schooling and work experience you will accept.

“The more concrete information submitted, the better talent attraction you’re going to get. The information must be precise, clear and relative to what you need,” says Lisa.

Tip #5. Specify Background and Drug Screening Requirements

Stating that a background and/or drug test are required is not sufficient. Potential candidates want to know upfront if they will fulfill the requirements or if they are at risk for not qualifying. For background checks, include details including how far back the check will go (2 years, 7 years, etc.) and if it is national or international. For drug screenings, specify the method of testing such as urinalysis, nail scrape or hair follicle. This enables people to self-select and will help employers receive higher quality responses.

Tip #6. Don’t Discount Commuters (expand your geographic horizon)

Maybe having a candidate live close to the worksite is critically important. If geography is a requirement that cannot be compromised, clearly state in the description that you are looking for people within a certain number of miles or within a ZIP code. Many times, it can be beneficial to broaden your horizons related to job site proximity. Commuting is rarely a non-starter, and many candidates are willing to move or relocate once they have secured the right job. Removing geographic restrictions from your search can open up a wealth of qualified candidates.

“We encourage employers to understand that people in this area are typically willing to travel and to be open to hiring people from across the region, even if it seems like candidates won’t want to commute so far.”

Tip #7. List the Job Site Location

This one might seem simple, and it is often overlooked. Some job postings are for roles needed in locations outside the business office. Make sure to list the specific job site location address in the profile, rather than a corporate or headquarter office location so that the job shows up in the right zone criteria candidates are searching for.

For help to set up your job posting or to have someone review it to ensure it is optimized to find the best candidates, call Employer Service at 713.688.6890 or email at
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