Three Companies Who Are Killing It with Their Job Postings11 min read

February 25, 2019 Talent Acquisition

Discover three best-in-class job postings and stick around to steal all the ideas that make them great.

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When they’re at their best, your company’s job postings can inspire candidates to complete an application or to join your talent community. That’s why it’s so important to get them right. If you’re describing your roles in a way that feels too similar to how your competitors describe their roles, or if you’re filling your job postings with senseless jargon and tired clichés, you’re going to turn people off.

To help you recognize what makes a job posting really great, we’ve gone out into the wild to find some of the best examples around. We took screengrabs of three outstanding job postings and highlighted three great ideas that are present in each of them. We hope these examples along with our comments inspire you to take your job postings to the next level.

Who’s Killing It? Five Guys.

Wow, fast-casual restaurant chain Five Guys Enterprises sure knows how to make terrific job postings. It had better. Turnover in the fast food sector can happen at a rate of 123% per year, so smart employers in the space need to attract great candidates in order to keep their dining rooms running as smoothly as possible.

This posting we’re going to look at is for a food service crew member. To see a full version of the posting, click the thumbnail below.

Great Idea #1

The map at the top of the posting reflects a very strong understanding of the possible candidates. Do you think knowing the exact location of the hiring restaurant is important to the folks who will be considering a job at Five Guys? It absolutely is. According to a 2008 How to Find and Recruit the Best Hourly Employees whitepaper published by The Workforce Institute, more than 80% of hourly employees work within a five-mile radius of their homes. Knowing the exact location of the hiring restaurant lets candidate know whether the position is viable for them.

Great Idea #2

If the map at the top of the posting shows how Five Guys understands its candidates, then its job description reveals how it respects them. Instead of listing a dozen insipid bullets about what a food service crew member is going to be required to do, it trusts the intelligence of the candidate and summarizes everything quickly and concisely in two sentences:  

“We have a unique work environment where you’re trained to work every position in the restaurant. From the register, to the grill, to morning prep and evening close, our crew members become a team working in all aspects of the restaurant.”

A candidate reading this ad is going to know what’s expected of them. Also, because the summary is narrative in structure (it’s a sentence instead of a list), it’s super-easy to read. As a point of comparison, look at how another major fast-food chain has described the responsibilities for a similar role in one of its restaurants:

  • Greets guests with a smile, receives orders, processes payments, and responds appropriately to customer issues
  • Operates cash register or point of sale devices, as needed, and uses value-added suggestive-selling techniques to generate additional sales opportunities
  • Verifies the accuracy of guests’ orders
  • Prepares and packages food and drink products
  • Cleans kitchen area, counters, food preparation areas, and utensils
  • Cleans dining room, restrooms and exterior grounds
  • Maintains health and safety standards in work areas
  • Unloads and stocks inventory items as needed
  • Performs duties at multiple workstations (e.g., front counter, Drive-Thru, prep boards, expediter, etc.)
  • Prompt and regular attendance on assigned shifts
  • Follows uniform and grooming standards and policies
  • Works to resolve issues that may arise in the restaurant
  • Learns team effectiveness skills; works with others to achieve team goals
  • Responds to guests’ needs in a professional and polite manner
  • Communicates in a positive manner with customers, peers, and managers

See how much harder that is to read? That’s partly because there’s a diminishing return on the use of bullet points (five or six is about right, and 15 is way too many) but it’s also because the bullets themselves are entirely joyless. Candidates applying to hourly food service positions know they’re going to have to do food service position things—it’s not necessary to list every single conceivable task in the most boring way possible.

Great Idea #3

One of the things that makes this job posting stand out is its use of “we” and “you” language throughout. Instead of using sterile phrases like “The team member must…” or “The employee is expected to…”, Five Guys uses language that engenders a sense of warmth. Through the simple use of personal pronouns—we, our, you, your—the job posting becomes, well…more personal. It’s not just a posting about a food service gig—it’s an opportunity to become a part of something bigger. That’s hard to do, and Five Guys pulls it off with aplomb.

“Instead of a laundry list of skills, create a section called ‘A Day In The Life.’ Contextualize skills with everyday tasks to connect with the right candidate, not just any candidate with that skill,” says industry expert Katrina Kibben of Three Ears Media.

“Instead of a laundry list of skills, create a section called ‘A Day In The Life.’ Contextualize skills with everyday tasks to connect with the right candidate, not just any candidate with that skill.”

Who’s Killing It? Schneider.

Schneider, one of the largest trucking carriers and transportation and logistics companies in North America, can teach you a thing or two about making an attractive, concise job posting.

Schneider’s postings are good because they have to be. If you don’t follow the logistics space, you need to know that competition for talent is at an all-time high. A nationwide shortage of qualified drivers threatens the industry, and employers are stumbling over one another to offer candidates the most attractive sign-on bonuses and compensation and benefits packages possible.

This posting we’re going to look at is for an intermodal truck driver. To see a full version of the posting, click the thumbnail below.

Great Idea #1

Schneider doesn’t indulge in an overly florid description of its company or opportunity. Instead, it pulls off a perfect job description in the shortest space possible:  

“Chicago Intermodal truck drivers at Schneider earn up to $85,000 per year* and enjoy daily time at home. This CDL driving position hauls Intermodal containers within 250 miles of Chicago, Il. Staying that close to home means maximum home time.”  

In spite of being so brief—at 243 characters, it’s totally possible to tweet—the description captures all the essentials of the position.

Sentence 1 provides compensation-sensitive candidates with the brass tacks right away—you’re going to make up to $85,000 and you’ll get to go home at the end of every shift (in the trucking industry, some jobs require drivers to be away from home for days or weeks at a time, so this is critical information).

Sentence 2 outlines the job requirements and work—you need a CDL, and you’re going to be hauling intermodal containers around the Chicago metro area.

Sentence 3 reinforces the fact that this is a local driver (as opposed to a regional driver or an interstate driver) position.

Great Idea #2

It doesn’t take an English major to recognize the fact that Schneider’s ad is very easy to read. One of the ways it’s able to pull this off is by being smart with its bulleted content. Every bullet in this ad is concise—there are no wasted words to be found. Furthermore, the bullets all work together because no one section uses too many. Remember, as we mentioned in the Five Guys section above, there’s a diminishing return with the use of bullet points. When you keep yourself to around five or six, your content remains easy to scan. When you go over that amount, your content becomes progressively harder to read.

Great Idea #3

Including a brief testimonial from a happy employee is an elegant way to close a job posting for this kind of position. Seeing an endorsement from a peer can be just the thing to get a candidate to further engage with the employer brand or even start an application.

Who’s Killing It? Zapier.

Zapier is a mid-size technology company that makes software integration products. Although it’s headquartered in San Francisco, Zapier recruits from around the world and fully embraces having a workforce that’s mostly remote.

Before we get into the details of what makes Zapier’s job posts so strong, we should note that the company’s application process, which candidates can see integrated with the job posting, won’t make sense for most employers. That’s OK. Zapier knows its target candidate, and its lengthy writing requirement is something that works for them. We’re going to look beyond this particular aspect to concentrate on some other ideas that are worth stealing.

This posting we’re going to look at is for a backend engineer. To see a full version of the posting, click the thumbnail below.

Great Idea #1

A big part of the appeal of working for a company like Zapier is the chance to become a part of its culture. To make sure everyone knows what they’re getting into—and to sell the dickens out of what makes it special—Zapier takes the opportunity at the start of the posting to link off to (very well-made) content that goes into detail about its culture and values. The links prevent an already long posting from getting just too darned long and provide candidates with a way to learn more about the company if they want.

Great Idea #2

In its “The Whole Package” section, Zapier does a bang-up job of walking through its perks and benefits. It assures candidates that, yes, they can work from anywhere in the world (a major selling point for joining the team) and points out some other important considerations—two of which are especially well done.

The first item is the description of the unlimited vacation policy. Look at the careful language: “Unlimited vacation policy. Plus we require you to take at least 2 weeks off each year. We see most employees take 4-5 weeks off per year. This isn’t a vague policy where unlimited vacation means no vacation.” Zapier makes sure candidates know this benefit is something to get excited about and not some sort of trick.

The second item can be found in the last bullet: “Work with awesome companies around the world. We partner with great software companies all over the world and you’ll constantly get to interact with people from these great companies.” Getting the opportunity to do meaningful work is of the most attractive perks around, and providing candidates with an impressive list of partner companies is a brilliant move by Zapier.

Great Idea #3

OK, so Zapier has an unorthodox application process. That’s fine because they get right out in front of it by explaining what they’re after and why. The “How to Apply” section at the bottom of the post acknowledges the non-standard application, explains the thinking behind it, and promises candidates that all their extra work won’t be in vain because they’ll never go more than seven days without getting some communication.

We hope the job posting examples we shared today give you plenty of great ideas to steal, but if you’re looking for some additional advice on getting the most from your company’s job postings, you’ll want to check out Job Description Formula: A Tried-and-True Way to Attract Top Talent, which provides a useful, four-paragraph template for making the kind of content that will resonate with candidates.  And if you have more budget than skill, hit up Katrina Kibben at Three Ears Media to write them for you or to train your team on job post writing.

Finally, if you’re satisfied with your job postings but want to get more candidates to see them, you should check out Top Reasons Your Talent Community Isn’t Growing, 6 Ways to Cultivate an Engaged Talent Community, and Recruitment Marketing 101.

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