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How to clarify your job posts to attract better talent


This article appeared in our newsletter The Construction Labor Weekly.

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This week we’re going to look at how to clarify job posts to attract the best talent.

Too many companies are unclear in their job posts. Lack of clarity is chasing off the best talent.

The goal of a job post is being clear with the level of talent you’re looking to attract.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t put much thought into how jobs posts attract talent.  

Over time the business results will suffer.

The good news is a few tweaks can have a huge positive impact on your recruiting.


The goal of your job post is clarity

Nobody is reading long winded job posts.

For example, cramming 6 trades into a job post is confusing.


To many job descriptions on one post is confusing


Maybe companies think this “saves money.”

Maybe it’s just the way they’ve always done it.

Whatever the reason, stop it.

Put one job for one trade with one pay rate in one post.

Be clear with who you’re looking for.



Commit to pay transparency

Jobs that post pay rates get 5.4X the applicants as jobs that don’t.

Pay transparency is a game changer. And it’s a trend that has a lot of momentum.



Apparently pay transparency in construction is NOT popular on Twitter


So, make life easier on yourself.

Commit to putting your pay rates in your job posts.

The recruiting benefits of this far outweigh any concerns of the competition seeing what you’re paying.

If the competition really wants to know what you’re paying it will take the time required to send 2 text messages.


You get what you advertise for

When you advertise for mediocre people, you’ll get mediocre people.



When you advertise for the best people, you’ll get the best people.

Pay rates are the number one signal to the job market about the quality of worker you’re looking for.

Unfortunately, many companies post pay ranges instead of a single pay rate for a job.

This is a bad idea because it muddies the water. Pay ranges make it harder to find the craft you’re really wanting on your jobsite.

Posting pay ranges is an advertisement for everybody to apply.

You don’t want everybody.

You want a certain skill set.

You want to build a team.

You want certain people to fill certain roles.

The other problem with pay ranges is it sets up competing expectations between a company and the job seeker.

Companies will want to steer hires toward the low end of the range.

Job seekers will want the higher end of the range.

There’s no need for this tension.

You want to be like Carmax and have no haggle pricing.

Because when someone’s offered the low end of the range, it’s a slap in the face.

Instead post one pay rate and establish the requirements for that rate.  


Instead of pay ranges, post multiple jobs instead

If you have a need to include lower pay rates on a project, then establish separate job for that lower rate.



Each job will attract the type of candidates that are more likely to be qualified for the position.

This method takes putting more thought. It takes more planning about the talent distribution that you want.

This up-front planning will deliver results.


If you still MUST post a pay range (ugh)

Alas, some companies will not budge from pay ranges.

So if you still must use a pay range, it should be no more than $2 per hour!


Let’s take for example an electrician job that lists a range of $26 - $34.

We’ve seen this one.

A $26 electrician and a $34 electrician are apples and oranges. They might as well be different craft altogether.

Yet we see this all the time.

“Now hiring electricians! $26 to $34 DOE!”

Might as well say “Hiring policemen and zookeepers! Yay!”

An $8 per hour range can be the difference between a complete amateur and a jamup construction hand.

Tighten up that range.

Better yet, get rid of it completely.