June 27

5 Things Job Seekers Hate About Your Job Post


If you have any of these in your job post, you might want to reconsider how you’re advertising your open jobs.

With the labor market as competitive as it is right now, finding and keeping talent can be difficult. That’s why taking the time to produce attention-grabbing content for your job post is so important — you’ve really got to sell yourself! We spoke with some restaurant industry workers to find out what common things they see in job posts that make them less likely to apply to a position. So, the next time you post a job, consider avoiding some of these key features.

“Competitive Pay”
Listing income for a specific job is a huge bonus when trying to attract applicants, but avoid vague statements. Ingrid L. told us, “I hate things like ‘Competitive Pay’, especially for a service job. Just say minimum wage plus tips.” The point is, ‘Competitive Pay’ doesn’t mean much to most restaurant industry workers. People working a front of house position expect to make minimum wage plus tips; if you’re offering more than minimum then say so — you might get more applicants. Also, providing an estimate of what your tipped employees make on average allows you to be more clear than just saying ‘Competitive Pay’ while still being honest that income fluctuates.

“I hate when they make you go to their own website to apply.”

Same Day, Different Cliches
Describing what requirements you are looking for is a great way to attract more applicants! We highly encourage being descriptive, but you can give yourself a leg up by being creative and avoiding cliches that service industry folks consider a given. For instance, Justin R. told us he dislikes, “Cliches. Like ‘looking for someone enthusiastic’.” While you might think, ‘but I do want someone enthusiastic!’ the real issue comes down to the fact that this requirement has been worded exactly this way over and over — to the point that it’s more likely the job seeker skims right over it. Try being creative when writing common job requirements. (I’d give you an example, but if you all use it we’re right back where we started.)

Using your own ATS (AKA The Dreaded Applicant Tracking System.)
When you use your own ATS, you might find yourself in between a rock and a hard place. Sometimes you don’t have a choice on whether or not you use your own ATS because of company policy. If you do have a choice, you might want to reconsider using it. Sarah W. says, “I hate when they make you go to their own website to apply.” She explains, “It adds way more steps, because usually their website is complicated and long.” On the internet, whenever more steps are added to a task, you’re more likely to lose people’s attention. While we don’t want to boost ourselves too much (wink wink) Poached BackOffice is a great way to organize and track applicants. On top of that, you’re likely to get more applications when using our ATS because it’s a one-stop shop for job hunters.

Lack of Description
We can’t stress this enough — you’ve got to sell yourself when posting a job. It’s a job hunter’s market out there, so adding more detail can be enough to make your job post stand out against your competition. Tyron C. states, “If a job wasn’t descriptive enough or didn’t provide enough information, I would tend to not really be interested.” He continues, “I think if an establishment expects an applicant to provide ample information about themselves, the least an employer can do is the same.”  Consider adding things like: information on company culture, why someone would want to work for you, benefits, pay, and expected requirements.

Another industry worker, Eugene O. told us he looks for descriptions like, “Is it an early morning job, or a late night job? Am I a prep cook, line cook, or both? — will be a big decision on the job.” The more detail you use to describe expectations of a job will not only get you more applicants, but you might receive better fitting applicants for the open job.

Drop pretense and get to the point
Lastly, it’s important to remember that your tone of voice carries over in your writing. You want your job post to sound friendly and welcoming so that people want to apply to your job. Tyron C. gave us another aspect he dislikes in job posts. He states, “I’ve definitely read some where they seem pretentious in their verbiage in which case I would disregard their post.” A good way to avoid sounding pretentious is to make sure you are using positive rather than negative phrases to describe what type of person you are looking for. For example, saying “Do not apply if you don’t have wine or spirits knowledge” is not only negative, but also vague. Consider rephrasing to say something like, “Bonus points if you enjoy learning about wine and growing your palate.” A more positive phrase makes you sound open and willing to teach the right person — which encourages a more diverse applicant pool.

These are just some examples of what job seekers see when looking through job posts and why they might apply to one job over another. The best way to write a successful job post is to read it over, place yourself in the mindset of a job seeker and ask yourself, Would you apply to this job?

About the author


Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.


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