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Writing a Self-Storage Job Posting That Pre-Screens Candidates and Entices the Right Hires

When it comes time to write a job posting for your self-storage business, you want to create an inquiry that not only attracts the right candidates but weeds out the wrong ones. Writing a post that screens applicants as much as it recruits them is easier than you think. These pointers will help lure potential employees who are excited and qualified to work for you.

July 9, 2014

5 Min Read
Writing a Self-Storage Job Posting That Pre-Screens Candidates and Entices the Right Hires

By Shelly Anderson

You’ve seen the postings on craigslist and Monster.com … Employer after employer, listing job after job, saying basically the same things in the same ways. And what happens when candidates read what amounts to a help-wanted sign taped to a storefront window? The poster gets flooded with résumés and cover letters, forcing him to invest hours searching for the one applicant in the proverbial haystack who’s right for the job.

But what if a job posting was more than just an ad for an available position? What if it actually steered the right candidate into responding while politely sending others on their way? Believe it or not, writing a job posting that screens applicants as much as it recruits them is easier than you think. Consider the following pointers when writing your next wanted ad for a self-storage manager or support staff.

Write With Personality

Your company has a culture, so put it in your posting! I’m not talking about a mindless listing of culture clichés. Instead, your ad should sound the way people talk and act at your self-storage facilities (within reason, of course).

Start with the post title and go from there. Don’t just list a generic position; add some flair. “Marketing director” is about as generic as “salt.” To write that you’re seeking a “marketing director for rapidly expanding storage business” says a lot more and will attract much more attention. If your facilities are casual, say so. If you’re not into titles, let candidates know it. Personality is vital, so find your voice and use it.

Be Specific About the Job

Nothing screens faster than good old-fashioned requirements, but don’t get too carried away. List the things your candidate must have to be considered for the job and only those criteria. For example, if a candidate could be successful without “knowledge of Excel,” then don’t list it.

Candidates see requirements as deal-breakers, and rightfully so. If you list every last skill the job might require, you’ll create a boring posting—and you just might screen out the perfect candidate for a less-than-perfect reason. Job requirements should consist of the absolute essentials, not a laundry list describing a contender who doesn’t actually exist.

Talk About Your Company

Why should a person want to work at your company? Really think about it and describe the two or three reasons why working for you is better than working for anyone else. This is where personality can really help. Be casual and conversational. If things aren’t perfect—like maybe you’re growing at a chaotic pace—then say so. There’s no need to sugarcoat it.

The right candidate will be attracted to the job for the right reasons, and those who wouldn’t fit into a culture like yours will simply move on now rather than two weeks into the job. Let applicants get a better understanding of what it’s really like to work with you. They’ll quickly self-screen themselves into or out of the job.

It’s a Career, But Fun Is Still Allowed

You want candidates to be excited about your job posting. If you have big news—for example, the company won an award, grew faster than expected, opened a new location—share it and don’t be shy about it. The more candidates get a feeling for who you are and where your company is going, the more they’ll want to be a part of it. If you have photos that show your people or facility, show them.

Anther smart thing to include? A link to your website, which will allow candidates to explore and decide if your opportunity is right for them. They’re going to visit your site whether or not you want them to, so you might as well make it easy for them to find you.

Read It Out Loud a Few Times

Yes, read it out loud. You may get some strange looks from colleagues, but it’s the only way to know that you’ve really created a posting that’s interesting, easy to read and loaded with personality. When you read, you actually “hear” the words. You’re doing it right now, in fact! That’s why you should always read postings out loud: to make sure they sound right. If they don’t, start at the top of this list and edit away. Then read them out loud all over again.

So now that you know the basics, give it a try. The next time you write a job post, follow these tips and see how the way you write can help attract the right candidate. If you do it correctly, you’ll create a posting that won’t appeal to everyone, which is exactly the idea.

You don’t want to attract the person who’s just looking for a job. You want the potential employee who’s excited about what you have to say, who thinks he would be a perfect fit in your culture. It’s much smarter to get 10 résumés from 10 perfect candidates than to get a 100 résumés from whoever happens to be reading Monster.com that day. It’s a much better use of your time, too.

Shelly Anderson, CEO of Michaels Wilder, has more than 20 years of experience across multiple human resources disciplines. She has worked within Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 organizations as well as overseas in Australia and Venezuela. Michaels Wilder is a full-service, marketing-communications agency specializing in online marketing, local search advertising, social media marketing, mobile media, brand development, research and consulting, media planning and talent management, with more than 20 years of experience in the self-storage industry. For more information, call 800.423.6468; visit www.michaelswilder.com or its sister division www.s2esolutions.com.

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