Hiring great people is tough, and the best candidates are in high demand. One easy way to showcase your organization’s unique culture (and what value you’ll bring to the table) is by crafting a standout job posting. A well written, thoughtful post can save you time by covering a candidate’s top questions in advance, land you better applicants, and show them that you care about their experience, too.
Ready to craft your own? Here’s how to get started. To illustrate, we’ll create a job posting as we go along. Our sample company, MerryGoRound, is a startup disrupting the ice cream space. MerryGoRound has a casual working culture and values fun, teamwork, personal care and growth, customer obsession and transparency.
Start with a good introduction.
What does your organization do (in layperson’s terms)? What makes it exciting? Are you growing a lot? Changing the world? About to launch a rocket ship? Forget your user or investor pitch and think of what would be interesting from a candidate’s viewpoint. Beyond the company’s products and history, this is a great place to talk about your values and working culture.
Nice to meet you! We’re MerryGoRound, and we’re disrupting Big Ice Cream. No longer satisfied with freezer burn and disappointing pints, we’re bringing top quality, subscription-based treats with custom mix-ins and bottomless scoops to every Canadian. If you believe no Canadian should be without ice cream and wish you could start your day with a scoop of sunshine, you might be a fit for our team. The scoop on us? While our product may be cold, our workplace is warm. We believe in transparency (from our salary ranges to our strategy), teamwork, personal growth for your self and your career, and fun. After all, we’re in the business of happiness.
We are a remote-friendly team when non-production work allows. To stay connected we start our day with friendly virtual coffees and enjoy coming together for celebrations and collaboration days throughout the year. Our production facility is state of the art, built with environmentally friendly design and health and safety in mind. It has an onsite cafe, collaboration space, and is fully accessible. MerryGoRound is a certified Top Employer and is working towards B-Corp Certification.
Next, a conversational overview of the role.
Why should an applicant be interested in the position? At a high level, what are some interesting things they’d be responsible for or get to own? Is it a newly created position with a ton of autonomy, or a growth opportunity with the potential to be mentored and coached? Again, we’re talking value proposition here. Our goal is to get people to keep reading.
We’re looking for a Mix-In Master to join and lead our flavour testing and production team. This individual will love working with people and building teams. This is a great opportunity for someone with experience in testing, production and creation of new flavour bases to build a new team from scratch. You’ll be responsible for hiring and managing a production team, and creating, iterating on and owning the testing process. This position has a high amount of autonomy, and while we are a small team, there is a large opportunity to grow and scale with us as this team expands. Right away, you’ll have major ownership and impact, and the opportunity to work with one of our most supportive and engaged teams.
While an intimate knowledge of ice cream production would be an asset, we also welcome someone from outside the frozen desserts category who wants to grow their career, work with a values-oriented organization, and immerse themselves in a new sector.
List out the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of the job.
Don’t just copy and paste from your last job posting, or one you found on the internet. Try to be specific here and research your (real) needs. What are the duties and expectations? Consider gathering the input of someone currently in a similar role, or shadow that person as they complete a typical day.
Here are the things you’ll own day to day:
- Hiring, leading, coaching and managing a highly engaged team. You’ll go through our internal management training program and be paired with a leadership coach to help you succeed.
- Ensuring we have best-in-industry production processes in place, including quality control, health and safety, and line management.
- Running our flavour testing program, including process creation and management, managing a flavour research squad, gathering customer feedback, and iterating on existing flavour profiles.
List out your desired skills and job requirements.
Again, try to be thoughtful here and use the intel you gathered in your role research, above. What are the actual skill or experience requirements to complete the tasks you laid out above?
Avoid listing “nice to haves” as “must haves”. If you would be flexible enough to hire someone without a certain skill or degree, if they were excellent in other areas, it shouldn’t be on the “must have” list. Many job seekers read descriptions very carefully and may choose not to apply if they don’t meet every criteria. One nice way to encourage folks to not self-select out is to make a direct statement encouraging those who may not have every single skill or experience on the list to still apply. Speaking of education, consider your biases here. Is a degree really necessary for the role? If so, include the reasoning.
Don’t forget about other skills. Of course you want someone competent and experienced in the field, but you shouldn’t hire for these at the expense of more human skills. Consider which personal attributes lead to success on your team. Someone warm and personable? Diplomatic and logical? Consider how you can work your values and working norms into your posting and evaluation process.
Our ideal candidate*:
- Has experience in (or a desire to learn) people management.
- Is health and safety certified, as per bylaw requirement.
- Has experience creating flavour testing processes in a food lab.
- Has experience managing customer feedback sessions.
- Is familiar with ice cream production equipment.
- Values coaching-oriented leadership.
- Values diversity and inclusion in their management practices.
- Is interested in and curious about the latest trends in ice cream.
- Is conscientious and thorough, tactful in tough situations, collaborative and values a transparent working style.
*If you meet some, but not all of these requirements, we still encourage you to apply!
List what you’re offering in return.
This is where you have an opportunity to stand out. We recommend going into painstaking detail. Do you offer parental leave? How much is the top up, and for how long? Do you offer RRSP matching? How much? What do “generous” health benefits, or vacation, mean?
What we offer:
- Health benefits, including a $1000 annual HSA, 80% drug and dental coverage, an EAP, career coaching services, and 16 hours of fully paid-for therapy.
- A parent-friendly and flexible workplace with flexible hours and a 75% top up plan for 4 months of parental leave.
- 4 weeks of vacation across the company.
- A $2000 annual learning and development budget.
- Twice annual reviews of your role level and salary, with corresponding market and cost of living increases.
- 100% RRSP matching up to $20,000 annually.
- Free ice cream.
Outline the process.
Another standout technique (that should become standard, in our opinion), is to provide transparent information about the interview and selection process. List out what is involved in the process, how long it is expected to take, who the role reports to, and any other relevant information.
- Step 1: A video/phone call with one of our team members. In this call, we will cover the basics of the role and our company, and discuss a high level overview of your past experiences, goals, and interest in this role.
- Step 2: A quiz activity, completed in Typeform, that enables us to get to know your style and experience as a flavour creator. It's designed to be fun and takes well under an hour to complete.
- Step 3: A call with your potential manager, Ralph, to dive deeper into your experiences, goals, and style, and review the quiz activity results.
- Step 4: Offer.
The process from start to finish takes about 2 weeks.
Include a pay range.
While this is not mandated everywhere, it’s just about the number one thing candidates appreciate being included.
$80-89k annually, plus benefits.
Include an accommodations statement.
To the best of your abilities, you must provide accommodations to candidates who require them. For example, candidates may have mobility, hearing, or vision needs. If a candidate indicates that they will require accommodations for their interview process, work with them and listen to their needs. In Ontario, you must provide a statement on accommodations, as well as a contact for applicants to reach out to about it.
Accommodations and Accessibility:
MerryGoRound provides accommodation during the recruitment process. Should you require any accommodation, please indicate this on your application and we will work with you to meet your accessibility needs. For any questions, suggestions or required documents regarding accessibility in a different format, please contact us at at accessibility @ merrygoround dot com.
Make your commitment to Diversity and Inclusion known from the very beginning by including a mission or values statement at the end of each job posting. Give specific examples of initiatives, committees, statistics tracked or awards to show that your organization really walks the walk. You may also want to consider a land acknowledgement.
At MerryGoRound, we are committed to building an environment where everyone feels included, valued, and heard. Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are an important part of our everyday working culture. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people with disabilities, people from gender and sexually diverse communities and/or people with intersectional identities.
MerryGoRound was founded on land that is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples from across Turtle Island. We acknowledge that we are all treaty people and accept our responsibility to honour all our relations.
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is current and ongoing, and we need to centre reconciliation in our actions and in our work. We encourage our team, partners, and clients to learn about the lands in which they live and to work towards reconciliation.*
*Note: This sample land acknowledgement is specific to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Consult local Indigenous organizations and consultants for help crafting and understanding land acknowledgements in your region.
- Avoid corporate-speak and long-winded jargon. You want to make your job posting clear and concise. What does “align strategic organizational objectives” really mean? You’ll not only confuse applicants, you’ll get less of them.
- Consider your tone. Try to use language that is both clear and positive. Explain the role using words that are not aggressive or intimidating (such as “competitive” or “the best of the best”), and describe the type of candidate you want rather than the type of candidate who will not be considered. Statistically, some words and phrases are considered gendered and you may wish to use a third-party tone meter to help ensure your overall posting is well balanced.
- Consider accessibility. Your post will be accessed by job seekers of varying visual, auditory, cognitive, literacy, motor, and speech abilities. It might seem daunting, but it can actually be simple and cost-effective to invest the effort into designing for accessibility.
- Use media. Videos are a great way to add that extra “something” to a job post. At Bright + Early, we include videos from our founder describing the company’s vision and culture, as well as informational videos from people currently in the role being posted and/or the role’s manager. Don’t forget to caption or include alt text for accessibility.
- Be humble. Bright + Early client Nest Wealth includes a section on their job postings outlining what their organization is not good at. This helps candidates self-select out if needed, and they get great feedback on the transparency!
- Go totally rogue. As long as you’re creating an accessible, inclusive job post that meets legal requirements and provides the information you need to get across, you don’t need to follow this exact format. Some attention-getters we’ve come across have simply posted slack conversations of a team discussing what they need from a role, or even a fun quiz or video game.
- Be yourself. As an organization, that is. If you’re informal, write informally. If you’re a highly technical culture, showcase that. Try to use the same voice and tone that you use internally for existing employees. After all, you’re hoping to attract one more to join you.