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The Candidate Experience

How To Create Job Postings That Attract Top Talent

Creating a job posting that produces great candidates is easy if you remember one thing: it’s an advertisement for your association, not a job description. Too often, job postings are developed from internal job descriptions, which result in messages that fail to promote an association’s unique value proposition as an employer or attract response from A-level players. By using the following simple steps, you can create a competitive advantage and succeed in hiring top talent.

Step 1: Make a list covering…
  1. The personality traits that fit your association’s culture.
  2. The education and experience required or preferred.
  3. The primary responsibilities of the position.
  4. The unique features of working at your association.

Step 2: Put yourself in the candidates’ shoes by answering these questions…
  1. What would compel you to make a job change?
  2. What would attract your attention in a job posting?
  3. What information would you want to glean from a job posting?

Step 3: Use your marketing skills…
  1. Create a compelling headline and subhead.
  2. Write a brief intro paragraph to express your association’s mission, vision and values.
  3. Tie the responsibilities of the position to your association’s overall direction and goals.
  4. Use bullet points to highlight required (or preferred) skills and characteristics.
  5. Describe your offer package to include any special benefits, incentives and professional development opportunities.

Keep in mind that the most talented people have many options available to them including search firms, direct access to competitors, and infinite networking opportunities. However, they do review recruitment ads and if your job posting is especially inspiring and interesting, you will attract high-caliber candidates who can make a difference for your association.

Sample Job Posting

Rare opportunity to use your leadership skills to make a global difference…

(ASSOCIATION) is a volunteer service organization with nearly 10,000 members around the world. Through our members’ generous donations of time, funding and goods, we improve the lives of thousands of people in need. Established in 1900 and headquartered in DC, (ASSOCIATION) now has a presence in North America, South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Europe. Globally acknowledged for our service to disadvantaged populations, we seek a visionary leader to guide our future.

Working in concert with our board of directors, the professional we select will have overall responsibility for (ASSOCIATION’s) performance in membership growth, operational efficiency, financial stability, market presence, affiliated partnerships, fundraising, and staff development/performance.

The collaborative team-builder we need will genuinely respect diverse points-of-view and strive for an environment in which inclusiveness drives productivity and results. Other requirements include:
  • Bachelor’s degree with MBA or CAE highly desirable
  • 8-10 years of increasingly responsible management experience in the not-for-profit sector that includes strategy development, positive membership results, and creative problem-solving
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to assess current operational effectiveness and needs
  • Engaging verbal/written communication skills and ability to comfortably interact with people from all kinds of backgrounds
  • Powerful professional network with ability to establish/nurture connections with influencers representing diverse backgrounds, professions and philanthropic interests
  • Successful background in fundraising, grant-writing and sponsorship development
  • Financial acumen to prepare/present budgets and reports and productively interact with external accounting professionals
  • Current branding/marketing skills including thorough knowledge of digital and social media
  • Proven ability to coach and motivate team members to reach new levels of accomplishment and professional fulfillment
  • Availability for some travel, domestic and international
Along with competitive base salary and 401k, there is potential for performance-based rewards. Committed to work/life balance, (ASSOCIATION) also provides generous paid time off including a two-week shutdown during December. For strictly confidential consideration, please send cover letter and resume to (contact name, email address) or call (phone number).
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