Guide to a Winning Job Posting Strategy: How to Find the Right Candidates

Editorial Team

6 min read
professional headshots of job candidates

Approximately 82% of small business owners say fewer than half of their job applicants are qualified.2 To attract skilled talent, business owners are offering better perks like more flexible hours and retirement benefits. However, spreading the word about open positions is still a challenge.


Optimizing job descriptions and utilizing a multichannel recruitment strategy can help SMBs identify, attract and onboard skilled professionals. In addition, the ability to scale hiring efforts with an automated applicant tracking system (ATS) supports business growth and mission success.

Review of job posting best practices

In a previous eBook, “The SMB Guide to Posting Jobs,” JazzHR helped you lay the groundwork for a successful hiring path. They discussed how to develop a hiring strategy that doesn’t just bring in candidates, but the right candidates.

Here’s a recap:

  • Define your job requirements: Up-to-date job responsibilities ensure you’re looking for the right qualities in your candidates.
  • Develop your ideal candidate profile: Hire for performance by weighing candidates’ skill sets against your ideal worker.
  • Create a solid careers page: Clear, easy-to-understand pages with engaging content will keep passive and active job seekers interested in your open positions.
  • Encourage employee applications and referrals: Hiring from within ensures new hires are a great cultural fit – and some of the best hires come from referrals.

With the planning stage complete, it’s time to execute on your strategy and attract the best candidates.

How to optimize job descriptions

A well-written job description gives candidates a clear and accurate idea of what they can expect their responsibilities to look like if hired. Be sure to optimize them to eliminate bias, improve their visibility and make them appealing to job seekers.

Eliminate unconscious bias

Use gender-neutral language wherever possible. In traditionally male-dominated industries, it’s important to look out for words that convey male connotations, such as “dominant,” “rockstar” or “ninja.”

In addition, consider removing names from resumes during the evaluation phase to avoid unconscious sexism, racism and ageism.

Improve visibility on the web

A little search engine optimization (SEO) goes a long way. Use accurate job titles people are likely to search for, and sprinkle a few keywords throughout the description. For example, it might be fun to call your employees “Service Ninjas,” but someone searching for customer service jobs isn’t likely to find your post.

How to continually improve your job descriptions and postings

Record-low unemployment numbers don’t mean that all employees are working their dream jobs. In fact, one in three U.S. workers seriously considered quitting their job in 2019.3

For SMBs, that means many of the people viewing your job postings are passive job seekers: They’re gainfully employed and at least somewhat satisfied with their current job, but may be willing to make a change for the right opportunity.

Update your job descriptions as the business and roles evolve

Passive job seekers usually aren’t in a rush to leave their current position. If your job posts look outdated or lack important information, passive job seekers will move on without a second thought.

Make a plan to update your job descriptions periodically, and speak with people currently in those positions to understand how their responsibilities have evolved with the company.

Multichannel recruiting best practices

Before the internet, small business owners could place an ad for help in the local newspaper and expect replies to pour in. In the early days of wide-spread internet use, employers would create a posting on an online job board and call it a day.

Job boards are still relevant, but they’re far from the only way job seekers look for work. Now they use many channels, such as:

  • Social media
  • Professional networking sites
  • Company career pages
  • Recruiters
  • Word of mouth

The time and resource costs of spreading your open positions across each of these channels is significant. But ignoring a channel could cause you to miss out on qualified candidates.

Luckily, there’s a solution: Modern ATSs enable you to write one job description and post it everywhere with a single click.

Top recruiting metrics to track

Meaningful business improvements are difficult to achieve without benchmarks to measure your progress against.

Use these metrics to find opportunities to improve your hiring efforts:

  • Application completion rate: The number of total applications divided by the number of people who started to apply, but didn’t complete the application.
  • Vacancy rate / fill rate: The total number of positions filled divided by the total number of job openings.
  • Applicants per hire: The number of applicants divided by the number of hires, for a given position.
  • Time to hire: The average number of days between applying for a position and accepting an offer.
  • Quality of hire: The number of satisfactory new hires divided by the total number of new hires.

Optimizing your internal processes

It can take between 30 and 60 days to fill a job, depending on the industry.4 Job seekers don’t like waiting that long, and managers often can’t afford to leave positions open indefinitely.

For SMBs, many internal processes are slow, but the problem isn’t a lack of effort. It’s a lack of time. Managers may not have enough hours in the day to satisfy their own job responsibilities let alone make new hires.

Once again, a modern ATS solves this challenge by making it easier for stakeholders to review applications, share feedback and make decisions, allowing for collaboration from a centralized location.

Aligning each stage of the recruitment process

Approximately 40% of job seekers say a poor first impression will cause them to pull out of the application process.5

Considering your job posts are frequently the first place someone learns about your organization, it is a good place to start is by aligning your job posts with your company mission statement and branding.

For example, if your brand promotes equality, job seekers should be able to see that in your postings. Your brand messaging needs to be consistent, from the first moment job seekers read about your company, through the onboarding process and beyond.

Using recruitment automation

Small business owners never have enough time in the day to accomplish all of their pending tasks. Considering the average job opening receives 36 applications or more,6 the likelihood of responding to every applicant in a timely manner is almost nonexistent.

To improve the candidate experience and save time, use automation tools to send personalized messages as candidates move through the recruitment pipeline.

Automation can empower you to invest more in real-time communication as you narrow down your candidate list. In addition, this will keep candidates engaged and active in the process while they’re waiting to hear from you.


In a tight job market, an effective job posting strategy can help SMBs compete.

A great SMB recruitment strategy includes:

  • Up-to-date job descriptions optimized for the web
  • Multichannel distribution
  • Measurable KPIs that relate to the business’s hiring goals
  • Automated internal and external processes

By following these best practices, SMBs can succeed in sourcing, attracting and hiring qualified talent.

Get started with JazzHR’s Recruiting Solution

To learn how to get the best candidate for a job, visit JazzHR in the Clover App Market today.

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