Before you even start thinking about phone and in-person interviews, you need to develop a strong job posting that catches the attention of potential candidates, piques their interest, stirs their desire, and prompts them to action. Keep these tips in mind if you want to have a pool of top talent to choose from.

You might have an incredible job opening with the most amazing benefits and staff, but if the job description doesn’t do a good job of pitching the opportunity, it won’t matter one bit. Posting the vacancy is the first step of smart hiring. It’s your chance to make a great first impression, and will determine the caliber of applicants that you receive.

Keep the AIDA model in mind when crafting your listing:

  • Attention: First things first. Potential applicants need to actually see your listing. This means that it needs to be posted in the right places and, to the extent possible, be visually appealing and eye catching.
  • Interest: When it comes to job postings, you can’t expect potential candidates to read a book – so don’t write one! Keep the language clear and concise, and use bullet points and bolding to call out the main points of interest.
  • Desire: Remember, your listing is like an ad for a product – you need to sell it! Create desire by highlighting the major benefits of the position as well as your company culture. If it seems like you are just trying to fill the opening with a warm body, the top candidates will keep on scrolling.
  • Action: Make it easy for people to apply. The next steps for interested parties need to be clearly laid out. Is there a phone number they should call? An email address that they should contact? What materials should they submit? All of this info needs to be plainly stated.

Every hiring manager wants to fill the open position with the least amount of effort possible. And, sure, who wouldn’t? But if you are going to do things quickly, you can’t do them sloppily. Simple mistakes can greatly reduce the number or quality of candidates that your job posting receives.

For example, your posting needs to feel legitimate. When posting on external hiring sites, include your company’s website and a link to the opening on your Opportunities page. You should also make sure that the steps for applying are incredibly clear and transparent. No one wants to start the application process to discover that it actually will take 45 minutes and they also need to prepare X, Y, and Z. Remember, their time is precious too.

It also pays to be thoughtful and answer the questions that individuals are most likely to be looking for. Years of experience, for example, or potentially information about the pay rate. By providing this information up front, you’ll be more likely to receive applications from qualified candidates and cut down on the number of similar inquiries.

The job posting is arguably the most important part of the hiring process. It sets the stage for the type of candidates that you will receive: you’ll either have a number of qualified applicants to choose from, or you will have wasted your time. The choice is yours!