I’m glad you’re back this week- welcome to Craft Venture! Im Brenda from Phydeaux Designs, walking you through hiring super star employees for your small business. Last week, we talked about possible spots to post your job openings. Today, let’s talk about the actual posting of your job opening!
If you’ve been reading Craft Venture from the start, you know my philosophy about writing: make it engaging! Job postings are no different. In fact, what is a job posting other than a description for something you’re selling; in this case, the job you are filling?
If you work in the corporate world, you are restricted from being too creative with your postings. However, you are your own boss! As long as you’re not breaking local, state or Federal regulations or labor codes, be creative!
But … let’s talk about the legalities for a second.
You already know not to recruit for specific ages, genders, ethnicities, religions, etc. So your job posting cannot include language about any of those. I won’t go into great detail here. Just please check your state’s labor or employment department to avoid inadvertently breaking any laws! As well as the Federal Department of Labor (or your country’s equivalent!)! You can also talk with your local Small Business Association or Chamber of Commerce.
Now for the fun stuff: the posting!
Your job posting should serve four main purposes: (a) spread the word about your opening, targeting your best applicant pools, (b) stipulate the required and preferred requirements for your job to screen out those not qualified, and (c) make clear to those qualified how to apply for the opening, and (d) serve as your tool/map to screen out unqualified and undesirable applicants.
We talked about the first purpose (where to post) last week. We already created our list of required and preferred qualifications (yay!). Now we just need to draft the positing, including directions about how to apply.
Your posting is the first thing your future employee sees about your job, your business and … you! Write your posting using your unique voice, allowing some of you to shine through! You want an employee that you genuinely like and who will both like and respect you. Does that sound odd to you, about liking your employee? Trust me, you want to like the person with whom you’re going to share space every day.
You also want your posting to be written well, free from typos, misspellings and other errors. Use your spell and grammar checker. Ask friends with very strong writing skills proofread your posting. Read your posting backwards (an old trick that writers and editors use to “break” their brains from self correcting errors or filling in blanks).
To start writing, you want a strong “lead” sentence, converting the mildly curious to the intrigued. Then, include a small bit of prose about the job and/or your work. List the job requirements. Detail how to apply. Include your contact information. Write an engaging, accurate and relevant posting title (which you can and should change depending on the venue for your posting). Done!
If you just need someone to sweep up and take out the trash for minimum wage, five hours a week, you can still be engaging:
If you dream about using your mad cleaning and organizing skills in a super cool ceramics studio, keep reading! This very entry level job supports an overworked while super cool artist. I need a self motivated individual to keep my studio clean and organized! Duties include stocking supplies, organizing packages for shipping service pickup, sweeping, and taking out trash and recycling. Part time – 10 hours/week – with a somewhat flexible schedule. Minimum wage. Ideal opportunity for college students! Six months relevant work experience required, along with the ability to lift and carry (for short distances) up to 50 lbs. To apply, email your resume with a cover letter detailing your qualifications, your professional goals and what makes this job so darned interesting to you (see email address below).
We have an engaging lead in, a brief while fun description of the work, qualifications, and how to apply. You’re requiring the applicant to do the work with specific instructions about how to apply.
Here’s the type of job posting you really don’t want to write, but everyone does it anyway:
$8/hour, 10 hours/week cleaning and organizing my studio. Call me at (phone #) to apply.
Why do people write postings like this? Because they think it’s a great posting: succinct with contact information. But … this posting is boring and creates a heck of a lot of work for you, with people calling you directly, requiring you to stop working to answer the phone or – worse – respond to their voicemail messages. Never post your phone number, address and if possible, your email address! If you post on Craigslist, use their anonymous email system. You really don’t want potential applicants, many of whom will be completely unqualified, to email, call or visit you over and over. Also, this posting says nothing about qualifications, which will result in even more unqualified applicants.
Your title can be both engaging and factual:
Part time entry level ceramics studio assistant needed – self motivated go getters only!
Part time entry level opening
Not that hard after all, is it? Here’s your template:
Engaging lead sentence – short prose about job/you (one to two sentences) – duties (make it engaging) – schedule – salary (OR ask your applicants to include salary requirements in cover letter) – qualifications – application instructions
The key is to make your posting factual, accurate and relevant – while showing a bit of your personality and setting up a screening tool for applications. Next week, we’ll talk about the screening and interviewing process.
Put yourself in the shoes of a job applicant – what kind of job posting engages you? What do you want to see included? When you’ve applied for positions in the past, what kind of job postings drew you in? What makes your job and your workspace a place that someone would want to work in? Share with us! And you can also add your questions in the comments.