[Guest post written by We Work Remotely]
Learning how to write the perfect job listing for remote workers makes all the difference in your team’s recruiting efforts.
As the first introduction job seekers have to your organization, your job ads must stand out and excite readers about the position and your company. But since the average job seeker spends just 15 to 30 seconds scanning a job ad before deciding whether to apply, you don’t have much time to sell your case.
Since 2013, We Work Remotely has been helping remote companies hire the best talent in the world. Every day, we see hundreds of job listings, and, from experience, we can tell which ones have the potential to stand out and attract qualified remote applicants around the globe.
In this guide, we’re sharing what your job listing needs to contain to make sure it helps you hire the right people. To start, it’s very important that you know the difference between a job listing and a job description.
The Power of Job Listings vs. Job Descriptions
A standard job description falls flat when you’re competing with the top companies around the world. Since job descriptions simply relay the daily tasks of the role, they don’t capture why a candidate should choose your company over another. Essentially, they’re good for your internal hiring notes but bad for your job listings.
On the other hand, a job listing sells. Like other ads, they’re designed to capture attention and inspire action. They highlight all the compelling reasons candidates should apply to your role ASAP.
So the best way to recruit and hire remote talent is to understand what work-from-home professionals are looking for in job listings.
How to Write the Perfect Job Listing for Remote Workers
Job seekers spend around 11 hours per week hunting for new opportunities. It takes the average applicant between one and two hours to update their resume and cover letter and apply to each position.
Translation: if your job listing doesn’t immediately catch their eye and convince them to apply, they’re not going to waste their time and effort to do so.
Use these seven steps to pique their interest and show them why it’s worth applying to your roles:
1. Optimize Job Titles for Search Engines
Google says people perform between 50 and 150 million job-related searches every month. Optimizing your job titles with the right keywords will help your listings rise to the top of those search results.
Think of your job listing title as the headline of an article. It must include specific keywords, be enticing enough to stand out in the sea of other search results, and compel people to click it.
So skip the creative titles like “Data Wizard” or “TikTok Guru.” No one’s searching for those jobs. Instead, use a job-specific keyword and add an informative one-liner to attract the right candidates, such as:
- Remote Product Manager for AR/VR Company
- Remote Software Developer ($110–$190/hr)
- Remote B2B Sales Manager at VC-Backed Startup
Each of those examples uses a search-friendly keyword and an interesting tidbit (industry, salary, etc.) to get applicants to bite.
2. Keep it Under 700 Words (or Less!)
Data shows the optimal length of the most effective job listings averages between 300 and 700 words. Posts erring on the shorter side of that range garner nearly 10% more applicants than those on the longer end.
Because long job listings are a chore to read and often overwhelm applicants with requirements the average candidate can’t meet. But shorter posts grab and empower candidates with everything they need to know before their attention spans wane.
To take a less-is-more approach:
- Place the most important information in the top third of your job listing: In an eye-tracking study conducted by The Ladders, candidates spent most of their time reading details at the top, then merely skimmed the bottom two-thirds of the posting.
- Use bullet points: Break down and summarize vital details candidates need to know with bullet points. These concise sentences are easier to read, remember, and act on.
3. Spotlight Employee Compensation and Benefits
Studies show that 67% of job seekers actively look for salary details in a job posting before applying — and 61% admit that compensation details matter most when considering roles.
In some places, iIt’s actually a legal requirement to disclose the salary range within a job posting, and that approach is becoming more and more popular. So make your employee compensation easy to spot and read at a glance. And if you’re hiring globally, be sure to comply with local regulations and benchmark your salary bandings appropriately. After all, there’s no sense waiting until your interview rounds to learn you can’t afford your top candidates.
It’s also worth remembering that most candidates are just as interested in your employee benefits, such as employer-paid health insurance, number of paid vacation days, ongoing learning stipends, stock options, and more.
By showcasing how much your organization values and takes care of its people, you’ll win over applicants.
4. Prove That You Value for Diversity and Inclusion
Fact: Remote teams can help you become a more diverse company. But to attract candidates from different countries, cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives, you must also show your commitment to inclusivity. Applicants must be confident that their differences will be valued and celebrated.
To embrace diversity and inclusion:
- Eliminate gender-coded language: Choose gender-neutral job titles (salesperson, not salesman) and get rid of gender-coded terms. Traditionally “masculine-coded” words, such as “aggressive,” “competitive,” and “rock star” prevent women from applying for roles they’re well-qualified for.
- Use an augmented writing app to remove language biases: Run your job listing through software like Textio. These AI-powered readers replace biased words and phrases with more inclusive ones to welcome more applicants.
- Focus on behaviors instead of degrees or a laundry list of requirements: Determined and driven self-taught candidates can easily pick up skills on the job if given a chance. Focus on previous experiences or behaviors like “growth mindset,” “ambitious,” or “curious.”
5. Briefly Describe Your Remote Work Situation
To build international hiring into your recruitment process, you must outline what working remotely looks like within your organization. Give applicants a clear understanding of what they can expect, and they’ll feel more confident applying.
Let them know your:
- Remote status: Is your company 100% remote with fully distributed global teams who meet for annual retreats? Or do you want hybrid employees who can work remotely and travel to the office every so often? Will transportation and lodging expenses be covered if you require traveling to HQ?
- Work schedule: Are you looking for candidates to work a set number of hours in a specific time zone? Or will new hires get to arrange their own flexible schedules?
- Hiring requirements: Can your company hire talent in all countries or just certain regions? Do you need candidates to speak a specific language? Will international candidates be employer through an Employer of Record or your own local entity?
- Remote office setup: Remote workers’ rights differ across regions. Some countries require employers to provide their teams with all the equipment and tools they need to work remotely. Other countries mandate employers compensate remote employees for their work-from-home expenses.
Check out these five tips for equipping remote workers compliantly before posting your listing.
6. Prioritize Value Alignment by Sharing Your Company Culture
Over 75% of job seekers only apply to companies that share their values. So spend three or four sentences expressing your organization’s mission, values, company culture, and future goals in your job listing.
If you want to save real estate in your job ad, create a quick video to run through all this intel and share the link in your post.
Remember to use the same tone and voice developed in your employer branding to give applicants an authentic feel for your organization. Doing so will help your team connect with like-minded candidates while filtering out those who don’t align with your philosophy.
Before tackling this step, use these five tips to build an attractive, honest employer brand.
7. Outline the Next Steps in the Application and Hiring Process
Show candidates what the finish line looks like and that light at the end of the tunnel will encourage them to start the application process. So take a few sentences to tell candidates exactly what happens after they submit their resumes.
Will they need to complete a skills-based assessment or personality test? How many interviews should they expect? And who will they meet at each stage?
It’s also helpful to let candidates know when you aim to fill the position and how long they should wait to hear back from someone.
Being transparent about your process leads to better candidate experience scores. Even if an applicant isn’t hired, a positive candidate experience means they may apply for another role in the future and recommend your company to others.
Use this Free Template to Write the Perfect Job Listing for Remote Workers
Follow the above tips, and your company will write engaging job listings that bring in more qualified applicants for your candidate pipeline. If you’re short on time, you can always take advantage of a premade template to ace this task.
After reviewing thousands of remote job listings, We Work Remotely created a template to take the guesswork out of hiring the best remote employees. Copy and edit the template with your role’s information and post your job listing on our remote job board.
About We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely is the original remote hiring site. With over 4.5 million visitors, it connects the best remote companies with the biggest community of remote talent in the world.
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