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Hiring: How to use the internet to find a candidate


Here’s what you need to know.

There are three parts to posting positions on the Internet.  One part is writing an ad that a job seeker will read and respond to, another part is where you post the ad, and the last part is the number of sites to which you post.

First off, it is important to ensure that what is posted will attract candidates. The most common complaint I hear from companies that are hiring is, “I placed an ad on this site and the responses were awful”. So what to write? No cutting and pasting from the job description, please.  A job posting is an advertisement and should be treated as such.  Here are five points for creating a great Help Wanted ad:

1. Decide the position 'carrot' and emphasize this in the ad, preferably in the headline. Your ad must answer the question, "why does someone want this job?"

2.Talk about your company – how long have you been in business, what is your key line of business, where are you located, what makes your company great? 

3. Tell about the job. A good rule is the less technical the job, the less technical the advertisement.  A short paragraph and bulleted list of duties not to exceed nine or so bullets in clear and simplified language. Keep to the highlights of the position - the core function of the job.

4. Put pay in the headline to recieve better results. For two similar positions that we posted on Sales Gravy, the hits to review the ads were double (400 vs. 200) for the one that included specific pay information.

5. If you want the job to be found, the job title should be similar to other positions in your industry. Search online for similar jobs, and go with the most used titile. To spice up the title, add a carrot or benefit of the position. Administrative Assistant - support our CEO - to 45K. This carrot along with a generic title that the job seeker will easily find will seperate you from the rest of the advertisers.

Now that you have written your best Help Wanted ad ever, make sure the type of people you want will find it. In deciding where to post ads our rule of thumb is that we want our ads to be among other ‘like’ positions

The best way to determine if the job board you are considering is ‘right’ for your position is to look at the other postings already on the site. In looking at the major job boards, CareerBuilder and Monster, determine which site has the most relevant jobs in your category.  Another way, is to look at the local newspaper.  For example, in Sioux Falls South Dakota the local paper uses CareerBuilder in their job board but in Mankato, the newspaper is affiliated with Monster.com We find that in locations where a dominant newspaper uses a major job board we attract more users to the job by using the site affiliated with the newspaper. 

Craigslist, even with its poor reputation, is still a leading source for our recruiting efforts. We had a project recently for a company that felt that Craigslist was ‘below’ their target.  The top two finalists and eventual successful hire for that highly paid position both came from a site that the client had eschewed.  Indeed.com produces the highest traffic for our jobs. Employers cannot ‘post’ to indeed.com, rather indeed.com pulls jobs from monster.com, and other job boards or your website.  There is some red tape involved, and to keep postings at the top of a search, employers need to frequently update ads to ensure the postings stay at the top of Indeed’s searches.  Indeed recently added a free searchable resume database.  It is still light on resumes, but worth a look if you want a quick peek at what is available. 

Our final favorite free site is LinkedIn. Many employers tell us they ‘post’ their ads on LinkedIn and have not had strong response.  Our tracking of job seekers shows that LinkedIn’s job board is not frequented but their groups are.  To post to LinkedIn groups, search for the Groups in LinkedIn that the job seekers you are interested in might belong to.  There are literally thousands of groups on LinkedIn –some are job searching specific, others such as the Linked sites, like LinkedMinnesota are excellent general groups that have an active job page.  In deciding which groups to join and ultimately post to – look for location specific (i.e. Electrical engineers of MN) and groups with a critical mass of members (more than 2).  Once you have joined, start a discussion or post to jobs/discussions.  We typically put in a blurb about the position we are working on with a link (to our website that pushes to indeed.com) for a more detailed description. 

There are very niche boards key to an industry-specific or skill/certification-specific hire.  Review the associations your company is involved in and seek out industry or certification-specific organizations to help you market your opening. When hiring for positions in manufacturing companies we have the most targeted responses from the Manufacturer’s Alliance.  When hiring construction people in Detroit, there is a tiny association that has the lock on Construction Manager job seekers.

When it comes to choosing the number of sites, we find a blanket approach brings the best results – job seekers often tell us that they did not respond to the first advertisement they saw for a particular job.  It was only after seeing the job multiple times that they decided to apply. 

Other items to keep in mind when posting are to ensure the job seeker reviewing your ad has clear instructions how to apply to the opening.  If including an email address, consider creating a specific email for the opening.  This will allow you to 'turn off' the email when the position is filled.  We include a contact phone number in job as this presents an open communicative style and we rarely get bombarded with calls.

Red Seat provides hiring assistance to businesses and we are happy to speak with you about your open positions and provide a no-obligation consultation on companies hiring needs.  Contact Talley Flora at (952) 893-0020 or email talley@redseat.com



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