A lot of recruiters and hiring managers already have a good idea about how to write a job posting, but more often than not, it’s the job title that makes or breaks a job ad. Top-notch salary and great benefits won’t help fill your position if a poor job title keeps candidates from finding your job or turns off prospective applicants. Use these four tips to generate better response rates for your jobs and attract the best talent.
See what labels your competitors are using. Don’t forget, you’re not just competing with them for customers; you’re also competing with them for talent. Review postings for positions similar to your own and keep a list of job title examples you come across. In addition to keeping tabs on your rivals, you can also take advantage of resources like Google Trends to get an idea of more widespread job search and hiring trends.
The best job titles are clear and straightforward. A lot of recruiters and employers try to come up with unique titles to make their job postings distinctive, but this approach can often backfire. For one thing, titles like “Sales Ninja,” “Chief Happiness Officer,” and “Social Media Guru” have become a bit passé. The main reason to steer clear of overly creative job titles, however, comes down to basic SEO best practices: candidates are not searching for those titles. Job seekers are far more likely to look for traditional titles like “Account Executive,” “Office Manager,” and “Social Media Specialist.”
If you want to make your job title stand out, add a bit of additional detail after the title. Highlight a bit of your company culture (“Account Executive – Weekly Company-Sponsored Happy Hours”), unique benefits (“Office Manager – Unlimited PTO”), or location (“Social Media Specialist – Two Miles from the Beach”).
By using job titles that are outdated, you risk appearing behind the times or offending potential applicants. For instance, the title “Secretary” fell out of fashion years ago and was replaced by “Administrative Assistant.” Continuing to use “Secretary” as a title in your job postings will keep you from reaching job seekers who are searching for Administrative Assistant roles and may insult prospective candidates who view “Secretary” as a patronizing job title.
Similarly, including several different responsibility areas within one job title will immediately throw up a red flag for candidates. Avoid using bloated titles like “Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service Manager,” “Head of Software Development, Testing, and Quality Control,” or “Social Media Strategist, Event Planner, and Graphic Designer.” These types of job titles make it obvious that the employee will be expected to perform multiple jobs at once. A better strategy is to pick a primary focus like these job title examples: “Sales Manager,” “Technology Director,” or “Marketing Specialist.”
Knowing how to write a job ad is one thing, but figuring out how to write the best job title often requires experimenting with different approaches to find what works. Fortunately, it’s easy to test different job titles by posting the same exact position in multiple places with different titles. This will require a bit more administrative work to keep track of which variation performed best, but it can have a significant impact on your recruiting budget.
Already know how to write a job posting with a title that attracts top-performing talent? Post your job with iHire today! Or get started testing different job titles by adding Job Slots to your hiring strategy.