Team Building: Crafting Effective Job Postings - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Team Building: Crafting Effective Job Postings

Whether you’re growing and need to bring on people to fill new roles or are looking for replacement hires for positions that have recently been vacated for various reasons, creating job postings is an integral part of the business.

While promoting internally or hiring from employee recommendations is ideal, you’ll still need to look outside your organization from time to time to bring on new team members. Without effective job postings, you’ll often find the challenging task of hiring even more difficult.

Profile Your Ideal Candidates

If you are in a phase of growth and are looking to find similar individuals to fill roles that already exist in your landscape business, talk to your current employee(s) in that position. Find out what their wants, needs, fears and aspirations are. This can help you formulate the job posting to attract more of these personalities, rather than starting off with a laundry list of your needs.  

If your current project managers enjoy how you are more of a coach than a boss and like the autonomy your company provides, use that to sell the job posting.

Instead of a job posting that says ‘Looking for a project manager to work with customers, drive a company truck, make X number of calls,’ try ‘Are you looking for a coach instead of a boss? Do you want the freedom and autonomy to drive your teams your way?’ Already the posting is more enticing and speaks to a specific personality.

Highlight Your Company Culture

If someone is out looking for a job, your posting is not the only one they’re looking at. Your company culture needs to be a compelling reason as to why the job seeker wants to choose your business over their other options.

Don’t be modest about the perks, benefits and other unique offerings your lawn or landscape company has to offer. Obviously, some benefits will be more important to some rather than others. Showcase your company’s vision and goals. More often employees are looking for companies who have the same values as themselves.

Make sure that the culture you highlight in the job posting is consistent on your own company website. Having a career page that is engaging and makes an individual want to join your team is the goal.

While you have a limited word count on most job boards, your career page allows you to include team member testimonials, videos and photos so take advantage of this opportunity.

If applicants are on your career page, they are often looking to see if your team looks like a place where they would fit in. A team photo can help job applicants get a feel for the size of your business.

Describe the Position

The important thing to remember is that a job posting is not the same as a job description. While job descriptions have a detailed list of all the responsibilities and requirements for a certain position, a job posting needs to paint a picture of what it’s like working for your company.

Don’t bog down your job posting with a redundant or obvious list of tasks like “must meet deadlines.” Instead, try to consolidate the position’s responsibilities to four or six bullet points. Give the applicant a general idea of what their day-to-day will look like. Once you’ve got a job seeker excited about the position, list the required skills you’re looking for to let them know if they’re eligible.

At the bottom of the posting, you could mention instructions for applying, your interview process, and your timeline for hiring applicants. Mentioning a quick turnaround can encourage more applications.

Make It Easy to Read

Attention spans are short and you don’t want to turn off applicants’ interest by filling a job post with buzzwords and clichés. Buzzwords like ‘self-starter,’ ‘detail-oriented’ and ‘outstanding growth potential’ don’t really tell the applicant what their life will be like at your company.

Keep in mind that common job post phrases like ‘fast-paced’ and ‘highly motivated’ can be interpreted differently. To some ‘fast-paced’ may sound like ‘too much work for too few people.’

Another thing to keep in mind is making sure your job posting is mobile-friendly. Stick to short paragraphs and short sentences so applicants don’t have to scroll a ton. Use bold text and bullet points to make the most important information easily scannable on phone screens.

Don’t let avoidable spelling or grammar mistakes keep quality candidates from applying. Have at least one other person proofread the job posting before publishing it. Applicants are less likely to take your job posting seriously if you have simple mistakes in it. Not only can it hurt your company’s reputation, but it will also make the posting more difficult to appear in search.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.