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Job Ad Architecture
(April 20, 2001) Job Ads have two basic faces, Content and Data. The data is the awful set of details that are a art of filling out a form to have the job entered into an online database. The content is the material that a prospective employee reads. Getting them both right is the key to effective job advertising.

We are constantly astonished by the errors and incompletions that constitute completed job "posting" submissions. The degree to which money is wasted by data entry professionals who do not take adequate time and attention to fill in the required data is simply amazing. There isn't a recruiting shop that uses online advertising that wouldn't benefit from a thorough review of the quality of the data submitted to the various job boards and other media outlets.

The simplest way to conduct this sort of internal audit is to create a master list of all of the data fields required by the various services and examine the data that is being submitted in each field. One of the extraordinary benefits of using a job distribution service like RecruitUSA or WhoToChoose is that their single form submission process allows for internal audits of full completion of the data. Job scraping services (like CareerCast or Zycus simply assume that all of the jobs are suitable for all locations and that the user somehow "knows" what a full and accurate submission looks like. Data quality is, of course, a user responsibility. The job distribution services simply make it easier to tell if you are getting it right.

Many customer service problems in a variety of services, from Applicant tracking systems to Job Boards could be easily improved with the addition of software that points out omission or errors and makes useful suggestions for correct completion. Years ago, Net-Temps pioneered this sort of customer service.

Beyond simple completion of the form (and, again, it is amazing how few companies take the time to make their investment payoff by ensuring that this is done), there are a number of decisions to be made in the completion of the data.

For example, the location of the job may well be different than the location of the person placing the ad. Careful attention to the zip code fields is required in this case. Unless you wish to relocate applicants from the place where posting is happening to the place where hiring is happening, don't use the zipcode of the main plant.

The careful use of keywords in the submission process should improve the chances that your job ad will be seen by a job hunter. After all, submitting a job ad to any large database is a lot like buying a lottery ticket. Their claim will be that your job will be seen. Your task is to improve those odds. Improving your chances is what the data entry component of the process is all about.

More than any trick or technique, the simplest way to ensure the optimal response to your ad is to make absolutely certain that all of the data is getting entered. We wouldn't be surprised to discover that some of the Job Distribution Services would help you in this regard by feeding back a completion audit.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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