If you hire employees and need to recruit candidates, there is a free job listing service that reaches thousands of qualified job seekers in your area, that you may not be aware of: your state job bank. Learn the advantages of state job banks and use our expert tips to find the best candidates.
Posting job openings on online state job banks can get your open positions in front of thousands of job seekers. Once you create an account—usually a simple process of providing organization and position information—you can search for qualified candidates and candidates can search your job postings.
All employers can post jobs free to their own state job bank, but registration, validation, and posting times vary by state. Find your state job bank to learn their process to post your job for free.
It’s a time-saving recruiting process, but can flood an employer with applications. Some strategic thinking up front will ensure you get more targeted results while minimizing time wasted by inappropriate applications.
Steps to write your strongest job posting
- Think like the job seeker so the right candidate can find your job. Create a job seeker account and search for your own job listing so you can see whether it’s easy to find and how it looks. Does the job posting display the way you expect it to? If not, edit it.
- Use as specific and meaningful a job title as possible. Rather than the generic “inside sales”, try “auto sales and service” “industrial real estate sales” to generate more targeted candidates.
- Titling is also critical to finding candidates with the appropriate credential. Try to include a required credential in the title, such as “licensed engineer” or “certified nurse practitioner”.
- Create separate postings for jobs with different requirements. Job seekers will typically search for their own license or credential in a job posting. For example, posting a job for “RNs or LPNs” will often be overlooked by both RNs and LPNs. Instead, if it’s a job that can be performed by either, just list the lowest level of qualification, in this case, LPN.
- Avoid posting a single opening in multiple locations. For example, a trucking job could require a driver to travel across the state. However, it should be posted where the work is – in this example, where routes begin and end, rather than posting multiple openings in each area traveled to. This avoids creating duplicate job openings, which can frustrate both employers and job seekers.
- The job description should include physical demands, key skills needed and specific numbers to give a clear idea of expectations i.e. “You will weld auto body frames” and, “Travel to 10 training events per month and train 100 people at each event,” “Lift 80 lbs throughout the day.”
- You might include points in the job description to attract candidates like, “job will allow you to be home every weekend.” Note any perks available such as stock options, fitness club membership, parking, education reimbursement. The more detailed the posting, the better results you will get.
- Include characteristics that will be deal breakers for many people, such as amount of travel, people contact, helping others with daily life skills, and public speaking. Be accurate about drug testing practices and background checks to give job seekers a chance to opt out.
- The expected work schedule is a key factor for some job seekers, so specify any unusual schedule expectations. If your company has PT and FT positions with set hours, state the hours accurately rather than saying “flexible schedule,” which implies hours can be set around an employee’s preferences.
Advantages of your state job bank
- It’s a free resource to advertise your jobs
- Help is available to complete your postings
- You can search for candidates’ experience and qualifications, and reach more qualified candidates than through many other job banks
- Provides a vital recruiting strategy for businesses that have small HR budgets
- Federal contractors are required to list jobs with their state’s job bank or labor exchange system
- If you have positions for which you get an H2A or B federal designation (approval to hire foreign workers), you have to post on a state job bank to open jobs to domestic candidates first
A few limitations for state job banks: most will not accept listings for contractor positions (i.e. those for which you do not pay employer taxes but file 1099 forms). Some states may require that commission based work guarantees a minimum wage.
Resources to help
Want some assistance with using job banks or with other workforce issues? Contact your local American Job Center to connect with a Business Services Representative. And see CareerOneStop’s Business Center for more ideas on recruiting and hiring.