How to Attract Better Talent by Writing a Better Job Listing

Your job listing plays a big role in attracting applications from quality candidates.

Finding qualified workers is a constant struggle for cleaning and security contractors that operate in industries with high employee turnover. One of the best ways to improve your candidate quality is by improving your job listing. A job listing for potential employees is like the back of a book for potential readers. If the blurb on the back of a book is unclear, people won’t read it. If it isn’t representative of the actual content inside of the book, people will buy it, decide they don’t like it and stop reading it. The same is true for job listings. If your job listing is unclear, people won’t apply. If it misrepresents the type of work officers and cleaners would be responsible for, they will apply, decide the job isn’t right for them and turn over quickly.

Follow these tips to not only attract more applicants, but to also attract better talent by writing a better job listing.

Start with an Elevator Pitch

The typical job listing looks something like this: the title of the job being filled, a very high-level description of the company, a few job responsibilities, and a list of desired qualifications. What’s missing in all of that? None of that information tells candidates why they should apply for your job instead of a similar role at another company. None of it speaks to what’s unique about your company, what might make it a good fit for the right candidates, or why people should be excited about the opportunity.

If you want more applications, you have to sell applicants on your opportunity. You have to make them feel excited about applying. The best way to do that is to add an elevator pitch—a brief description of what makes your company a great place to work for—to the top of your job listing. Here’s a great example from one of the postings on

How to Attract Better Talent by Writing a Better Job Listing

Highlight Any Benefits Your Offer

Another effective way to sell candidates on your job is to provide an overview of any benefits you offer. If you offer insurance benefits, pay extra for less desirable shifts, offer set schedules, or provide employees with advancement opportunities, include those benefits somewhere in your listing. Listing your benefits helps your position stand out as a desirable role. Plus, if you can’t afford to pay rates as high as some of your competitors, describing the unique benefits you offer can attract candidates who might otherwise skip applying because your rates are lower than what your competitors are advertising in their listings.

Make Job Responsibilities Crystal Clear

One of the fastest ways to run new employees out the door is to surprise them with responsibilities they didn’t anticipate. For example, failing to mention that cleaners are responsible for moving heavy objects in your job listing may be a deal-breaker on day one for a new employee with a medical condition that prevents heavy lifting. If it’s very clear in your job listing what employees will be responsible for in the role, you can ensure that the applications you receive are from people who understand what they’ll be expected to do.

Include in your job description not only the high-level requirements of the job, but also the responsibilities that people may not anticipate. Are they expected to move heavy objects, work with harsh chemicals, or use a computer or mobile application daily? Are they expected to work with others, write reports, work various shifts, or be on call when you’re short-handed? All of these things can impact whether an employee stays with your company for a few weeks or a few years. Being upfront with your expectations in your job listing ensures that you’re only considering applicants who fully understand what they’re applying for. The listing below from provides a great example of making job responsibilities crystal clear:

How to Attract Better Talent by Writing a Better Job Listing

Format Your Job Listing to Make It Easy to Read

While the example above provides a great example of making job responsibilities clear, it’s not exactly easy to read. In particular, long paragraphs become walls of text on mobile devices, which can encourage candidates to skim your listing or skip it altogether.

Creating a clear job listing is about more than just listing important details. It also means your listing itself has to be easy to read—accessible and digestible. After all, if people don’t bother to read your listing, it won’t matter how clear your responsibilities are, how enticing your benefits are, or how compelling your elevator pitch is. A better approach is to use lists for things like job responsibilities, requirements and benefits. Lists put each piece of important information on its own line, making it easier for candidates to scan for key details. Lists are also less overwhelming to read and look better on mobile devices. Here’s a great example:

How to Attract Better Talent by Writing a Better Job Listing

Get Better Applicants with a Better Job Listing

It might be time-consuming to write a clear and compelling job listing, but, when done right, you’ll only have to do it once for each job you post regularly. And, if it helps you attract higher quality candidates long-term, it will actually save you a lot of time going forward because you’ll get more qualified applications from people who fully understand the job and who will be less likely to turn over and send you back to square one.