I find that after a conference ends, and we all head toward the airport, that’s when the conversations begin.
Inevitably, a handful of us will end up in the same cab or bar once we arrive at the airport. The smaller the airport, the higher the likelihood of this incident. Depending on how well the conference went for people (read: how hungover they are), one of two things will happen.
Door #1: we pretend we’ve never met. Acceptable option because, introverting.
Door #2: We’re having dinner.
What I always find most interesting, and telling, are the questions they ask over that dinner. Those questions, and their answers to my own, give me a preview into what’s most important to a person. I often learn different lessons and hear stories that I’d never hear from them on a stage.
Every once in a while, I’m surprised by the questions. It happened just a few weeks ago at a meal. After my dinner companions boarded their flights, I found myself furiously writing. I was thinking differently. That’s what great questions do. They make you sit back and ponder, instead of jumping because you know the answer. The reality is that in most cases, the answer varies. There might not be the right one. But to even figure out what right is, you have to start with better questions.
Better job postings start with better CONVERSATIONS.
Asking one-dimensional questions is where I see most people get hiring manager kickoffs wrong. “What are you looking for,” will prompt someone to give you a list when you’re looking for a story that will convince the right person to apply.
That’s the thing. If you ask a hiring manager for a list of skills, you’ll get a list.
The catch here is that this job post q&a doesn’t mean anything. It’s more of a dictionary than a description of the work, rambling off $5 vocabulary words like a grad student trying to impress their professor. We do not need any more poorly written lists masquerading as job postings.
I believe that asking specific questions that help hiring managers picture the person they’re trying to hire can help you not only write a better job posting but ultimately identify and hire that person more quickly. That’s why I created my job post q&a, the latest new download for Three Ears Media.
These creative questions will help you write new job postings. In fact, this is the template I use to write postings all the time. Often I find that if I record and transcribe the hiring manager kickoff asking these questions, I can use that content verbatim in the job post and create a quality posting in under 30 minutes.*
*I do this a LOT so … let’s call it an hour or less? Don’t clock yourself. It’s faster than guessing, trust me on that.
Get your copy by filling out the form below or go to http://bit.ly/jobpostQA. If you like it, can I ask this favor? Share it. The more, the merrier.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.