3 Reasons Your Tech Job Postings Aren’t Working and How to Fix It

3 Reasons Your Tech Job Postings Aren’t Working and How to Fix It

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USD 28.68 billion. That’s how much the online recruitment market was valued at last year. And while there’s no arguing COVID-19 has impacted the labour market in significant ways (employment levels, on the whole, decreased by 15% between February and April 2020), the software & tech sectors have remained resilient with 96% of technology leaders in Canada expecting to maintain or increase their team headcount.

More tech jobs mean more tech job postings. But are hiring managers reaping the rewards of all those postings? Well, to be honest… no. Here are three ways your job postings hold you back, plus some suggestions for what you can do to fix it.

Why tech job postings alone don’t work

1. They tap into a limited talent pool

If I had to use an analogy for my advice, it would be something like, “don’t jump into the shallow end of the pool headfirst,” because that’s exactly what you’re doing by relying on job postings alone to attract top tech talent. 

What’s so bad about job postings? Nothing, except that almost 80% of developers are open to hearing about new career options, yet only 17% of developer job seekers are actively applying. So, when you rely on job postings for your recruitment push, you’re tapping into a minuscule subset of the tech talent pool. 

How to fix it

My advice? Start hustling. If the right tech candidates aren’t coming to you, you need to get out there and find them. LinkedIn, Indeed and other readily accessible talent databases have changed the game in recruitment. Complete candidate profiles are available across the web—oftentimes for free. Talent acquisition professionals should be familiar with search techniques that turn up niche talent, and it’s easier than ever to immerse yourself in an online community for recruitment. 

Are you looking for top talent in software development, specifically? Join Github, explore trending topics and find out who has the talent to join your team or check out virtual tech event listings and meet with them there. The potential to connect with top talent is greater than ever before.

2. They waste a TON of time (yours and your candidates)

On average, it takes 128 applicants to fill a role. That’s a lot of time spent dealing with unqualified candidates, not to mention all the time-sucking administrative duties hiring managers get tasked with. When you cost out internal employee wages, companies on average spend approximately $4,000 per candidate on interviewing, scheduling, and assessment to decide if someone is right for a job. 

The candidate’s experience can be equally frustrating. The average open position receives more than 150 resumes, while over 45% of candidates never hear anything from the employer after applying. Not even a “Thanks for taking the time to apply.” This should not be the case, and can hurt your employer brand. In an uber competitive hiring landscape, you need every advantage you can get.

How to fix it

Job postings and job descriptions are still useful in almost any search, and candidates will expect to read about what the tech stack is and what the duties of the role are. 

So what’s the solution? The focus falls on distribution. Posting in niche community groups, deliberately sending through your company’s professional networks OR good, old-fashioned headhunting. When you cut out the white noise, build your referral network and engage in direct outreach as a part of your recruitment strategy, you’ll deal with fewer overall candidates but more who are a better fit. In turn, they receive more attention during the process and will come out of it feeling more optimistic about their experience and your brand. The tech community is more interconnected than you may think, and turning applicants into advocates for your company can make a measurable impact on your future recruitment success. 

3. They don’t paint a realistic picture

Job postings, at their best, can outline distinctive qualities about a job, a company, and it’s culture. But more often than not, the job titles are vague or unclear, the post is a laundry list of credentials or certifications which may or may not be relevant to the job, and doesn’t offer candidates a clear sense of who they will be working with or what they will be doing. As a result, the average conversion rate of career website visitors to applicants last year was 18%

How to fix it

Live dialogue can get to the heart of the matter much faster. It gives you the ability to say, “Here’s what we’re really looking for,” and to have an honest conversation about the role, its benefits and compensation, the wider team and what makes your company a great place to work. 

The long list of generic “nice to haves” in your job posting probably doesn’t help your recruitment unless you are fielding hundreds of qualified applicants. And this just isn’t the case in the competitive tech hiring landscape. Your postings should reflect your company’s culture and identity. Ask your current employees or top performers, why did you come work for us? Why did you stay? Use this data to create an employee value proposition and use it to sell the job and the company, but recognize that the most valuable part of the process arises from engaging candidates in conversation.

Does this mean that the traditional job posting is dead? No, but organizations are refocusing their hiring process and moving away from a reactive “post and pray” approach. Facilitating constructive dialogue with select candidates about the role and organization will be the standard moving forward. 

To sum things all up

If you want to attract top tech talent, assessing your current recruiting strategy from start to finish and closing any gaps that pose challenges for potential candidates is key. Doing so will help strengthen the way applicants navigate your recruitment process and offer a positive candidate experience, resulting in better hires. That sounds like a win-win for companies and candidates alike.

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