In today’s competitive market, sourcing the very best engineering talent is more difficult than ever. Although there are several factors which may play a part in this, one of the reasons may be down to your job ad. The first step in attracting a good engineer is your advertising and grabbing the attention of the right people. These top performers don’t just want another job; they want a better job.
It’s common that most job ads are written and generalized towards engineers who just need a job, aiming to get as many applicants as possible. These ads are overloaded with skills, responsibilities, and lists of every duty involved which most likely won’t inspire the best to apply.
So, let’s see how to write a job posting that will attract quality engineers. ✍🏽
Get the basics right ✔
Top talent can only be attracted to a top job ad. If your ad looks and reads like everything else out there, you are probably going to attract candidates that might not be as suitable for the position. 👎🏽
Spelling, punctuation, and grammar
One of the most important factors to always remember is your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Top-tier employees won’t be impressed if your sentences aren’t put together well, or you have a bunch of spelling mistakes in there. Put in the extra few minutes to run the ad through a spell checker or run it past a colleague to read and check. Downloading tools like Grammarly can review your spelling, grammar, and punctuation all at once. 📝
Language and tone
No matter how engaging the role you’re advertising is, it could be let down by bad language and tonality. Your advert needs to upsell the role and the company in the most neutral and persuasive way possible to avoid gender bias or dull tones. Excessive use of superlatives such as "expert," "superior," "world class" can turn off female candidates who are more collaborative than competitive in nature. Try running your ad through a tool like Textio or the free Gender Decoder to identify problem spots in your word choices. 💬
Keywords (especially in the job title)
When candidates are searching for jobs, they'll typically search for keywords — for instance, "software engineer job in San Francisco." There are two main keywords here:
· Software engineer job
· San Francisco
Make sure these keywords are repeated at least 3 to 5 times in your description. There’s no need to include irrelevant words in your job titles such as ‘motivated software engineer’ – you can use these fancy words in your description rather than titles. 🔑
The content 🎨
What does the engineer want to know?
According to the results of a new psychological study carried out by Psychological scientist Joseph A. Schmidt and his colleagues, job ads have a better chance of drawing excellent candidates when they emphasize what the job offers, rather than what it requires. So, it’s best to include the essentials but always make sure you’re putting the engineers ‘wants’ at the forefront of your description. 👨🏽💻
According to an eye-tracking study done by researchers at TheLadders, most job seekers only spend about 49 seconds on a job description, with 23 seconds being on the company overview, which is quite a lot of time. One of the most attractive parts of the overview is painting the picture of the company culture. Some common things software engineers look for in a company are it’s code quality, passion for coding, ownership opportunities, and unique responsibilities. 💻
Outlining what the role involves and the techstack is what engineers usually spend most of their time reading. Developers are not expected to know and work with all of the technologies, and you could leave it short by only including the required skills. Alternatively, you could list the required and the preferred. That way, it shows there is also opportunity for learning new technologies for those who have never worked with the ‘preferred’ before. It’s also good to bullet point this part of your description to make it clear and concise for the engineer who’s reading. It’s good to be elaborate, but short bullet points are better at grabbing attention.
According to Glassdoor's 2015 Employment Survey, 57% of people reported that benefits and perks are a major deciding factor for whether they’ll accept a job offer. Moreover, 4 out of 5 employees value benefits or perks more than a pay raise. 🎁
A few attractive benefits may include:
· Competitive salary
· Generous health benefits
· Remote working
If possible, it may be beneficial to include interesting visuals within your advertisement. An eye-catching layout with visuals can make all the difference. Include a picture if you can or even a couple of emojis to make the text a bit more exciting. 🔥
The competition for good engineers is very high. With that said, by using these tactics we've outlined, we're confident that you'll be able to communicate your requirements better and attract the right applicants. 💙