Expert Interview with Michael Rosner on Writing Better Job Ads for Social-Hire

By Cheryl Morgan

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HIRING A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER?

Don't hire someone without first tuning in for this essential advice.



Undoubtedly, one of the biggest trends to hit recruiting recently is social media, says Michael "Srulie" Rosner, the international director of The OU Job Board. But just because job searches have gone digital doesn't mean they have to sacrifice engagement and personality.

"We believe online recruiting does not have to be a cold experience," Michael says. "We adjusted our responses as if we are live and in front of the applicant or employers to make the Job Board as user friendly as possible."

Here Michael tells us more about what sets The OU Job Board apart from other online job sites and offers best practices for writing effective job ads and improving the search experience for job seekers.
 

Tell us about The OU Job Board ... when did you start your site?

The OU Job Board started seven years ago. When we first began, we were just a basic job board blog, with listings mostly in the New York Tristate area. Any events we did, like job fairs, were on a very small scale, with maybe a handful of employers. Now I am proud to say we have grown into a full service 501c3 nonprofit organization. We have thousands of job listings spanning across the U.S., Canada and Israel with about 20,000 unique visitors a month. Our job fairs, which we run not only locally but also internationally, average 600 participants and have among the highest success rates in the country. In addition, we have many programs and services designed to help people take the job market on by storm. This includes resume checkups, career counseling, and online re-tooling courses, which range from office basics like Word and Excel for Beginners to subjects like project management and web apps.

 

Who should be visiting The OU Job Board? What sets you apart from other job boards?

Although we are an offshoot of the Orthodox Union, due to our 501c3 status we are non-sectarian and are here for anyone and everyone looking for a job. Our site has job listings in all fields and levels, from mailroom workers to CEOs and everything in between. However, we concentrate on posting more upscale livable wages jobs (average jobs are $65K and up) that serve the local economy and our community together. Also, we are truly a full-service site, as we are not only about posting jobs but run the programs I just mentioned, helping ensure people are fully prepared to join the workforce or advance their careers. Also, this is part of our mission statement, that we are here to "help YOU, and let you know that there is someone out there that cares and wants to provide you with strength and guidance when you need it." How many other job boards do that?

 

What do recruiters tell you they like about posting job ads to your site?

All the qualified candidates they get on our job board. To date, approximately 7,500 have been hired from OUJobs.org. Although the number is likely even larger, as not all employers have necessarily reported their hires to us.

 

What are the components of a great job ad?

To make sure you get the best possible candidates, be as specific as possible in the requirements for the position. Also, before you write out your ad, it would be good to distinguish what qualities might be a "plus" in a candidate vs. required. And then write the ad out accordingly. Salary ranges are also important so people can know what they are replying to.

 

What should employers/recruiters avoid doing when writing and posting ads?

Although being concise is good, writing a job description that is too short and not specific enough in the requirements is a sure way to get slammed with lots of unqualified resumes.

 

What are the biggest complaints or frustrations you hear from job seekers when it comes to reading and responding to job ads posted on your site? What do they wish job posters would do differently?

We rarely get complaints about specific job listings. It is more general frustration with the job search process, which is why we have all these various programs to help. However, one problem we do recognize is lack of salary information and not enough feedback from the employers as to the status of their applications. This is why the OUJB sends reminder letters to employers after 10 days requesting an update on all applicants.

 

How do you or the employers/recruiters who post to your site use social media to help advertise positions and find potential hires?

Social media is a great way to get the word out about jobs. Each posting has the potential to catch on and have other people spread the word through their own social media, getting the word out to hundreds if not thousands more people that may not even know about our site. We have "Level Up" program(s) where we target jobs to a 50-mile wide vicinity of the jobs' location on social media to maximize our service and get the employers the right job seekers.

 

What are the most interesting or exciting ways you've seen social media being used for recruitment?

The OUJB was the first to implement Virtual Job Fairs to maximize the job seekers' time and the employers' time in hiring. And we are using SMO now as part of the special enhanced "Level Up" services I just mentioned that we offer to employers. Although all our basic services (both for employers and job seekers) are free, our Level Up programs allows more concise and targeted resumes to flow the employer's way.

We will both post the employer's job and do a full social media campaign to help get the word out, expanding the reach for potential qualified candidates far beyond just our job board. The job seekers also can benefit from a Level Up social media program as we anonymously post their resumes with employer "groups" which respond to us with the jobs they're looking to fill.

 

What are some of the dangers or pitfalls of using social media for job searches or candidate searches?

The same problem I mentioned about job postings. You don't want to be too wordy in a social media posting, but at the same time if you're not specific enough about what you need, you run the risk of getting unqualified applicants. Also, we try to avoid spamming, but that's the internet for you!

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