5 Tips to Writing Great Job Postings

We all know recruiting via the Internet in the Hort World is here to stay; so let’s have some fun with it and figure out how to best achieve success!

Isn't it true we are all attempting to achieve the same goals? Find the “golden candidate,” decrease the number of unqualified applicants, lower cost-per-hire and lower time-per-hire.


1.   Be Specific

     So often there are not clear job requirements; take the time to ask detailed questions of the hiring manager before you write your post. If the candidate must know Latin names of Perennials, say it!  If the candidate must be able to operate a Skid-Steer, be specific, don't write "operates machinery." Yes, it takes longer to write these, but it will save you time. 

2.   Be Clear

Make sure the job requirements and job duties are easy to understand by someone who does not already work for your company. In our industry we all tend to use the same basic titles, but there are deviations.   I love “Irrigation Crew Member”  to identify an employee that may have an essential function of watering plants; but make sure to spell it out in the job description so it’s clear to everyone who may read your ad.


3.   Be Up Front

We don’t just want our inboxes full…stop potential job seekers that might not be qualified by adding a statement such as “You will have to get up to speed quickly and therefore, we will only consider those who meet all the criteria listed above." It's a polite way of stopping some from applying that are unsure whether you're serious about your stated requirements.


4.   Let’s Talk SALARY!

No one wants to disclose salary on a job posting; and sometimes you just can’t. BUT, I can’t encourage you enough to PUT SOMETHING. It does 2 things; weeds out those that won’t/can’t work within your budget, and brings in those that are “passively” searching but would jump ship for an increase in their current salary. Research shows that postings that have SOMETHING, ANYTHING other than DOE get 85% more applicants. I’ve written thousands of ads, it works every time! We have to get over the fear of being open. Try putting a large salary band, $40k-70k. Its fine! If a candidate is currently earning $42k, they might apply to that posting with that band; they see potential room to grow. YES, I already hear you grumbling; “applicants only see the $80k.” While that can be true, ask candidates to put their salary HISTORY instead of salary REQUIREMENTS in their cover letter. Candidates overall might stretch the truth a tiny bit, but I’ve found most to be forthcoming over the last 25 years!


5.    Use Benefits To Offset Con’s

It’s the hort industry; there’s a lot of weekend work and OT associated with most positions. Right after it’s explained that Mother’s Day is an “all hands on deck” day, highlight what you can to offset. Talk about the free cool t-shirts, amazing employee discounts to feed their inner plant nerd, the awesome cook-outs and soccer games for team building, the flexible work hours during off-peak season etc.  Benefits don’t have to be compensatory; however, be sure to list those too!

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