Can A Website Decide If Your Job Posting Sucks? HireScore (Could) Help

© Sharpshot - Fotolia.com
© Sharpshot - Fotolia.com

Although it isn’t talked about a lot these days, job boards are still a major source of candidates. And in order to post on a job board, you need a job posting.

I can still remember toiling away at my computer into the early evening trying to craft the perfect job posting to attract the right people to the job I was filling. While we had a content team at one of the companies I worked for to help me spice up my copy, it has often been something that has fallen onto my shoulders.

But what if you could get a second opinion? From a website?

The HireScore factor

That’s where HireScore hopes to help. I was able to get a few minutes with Co-Founder Sean Weinberg to talk about what HireScore hopes to achieve. HireScore was developed by the same folks who brought RezScore (the service where one can upload a resume and get a letter grade) so it may seem like a simple twist in their technology for analyzing and parsing text but we all know that job postings have a lot of nuance to them.

That’s one thing off the bat that Weinberg mentioned to me. HireScore is still in a beta phase and there is still major work to be done. So he knows there could be some wonky results.

He encouraged me to try it out to see how on (or off it may be). I found a few interesting things and some things that could use some improvement.

The tale of two job descriptions

I tried out a few different iterations of the same job (and several others), but thought that two represented some of the positives and some of the challenges faced with any automated system. The first job description I used was for a head of HRIS at an online Seattle retailer you’ve probably heard of. I dropped it into the system thinking it was a pretty good job description but fairly long. Out popped a HireScore: B+. One of the issues? Length.

I tried several other job descriptions but received similar results even though I thought they were not great in comparison. Then I decided to check the one place where I knew I could find less than ideal job postings: Craigslist. And I found one from a local seafood processor for a payroll manager that I didn’t think was that bad, just fairly basic and plain.

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I used the HireScore system and checked it and the grade dropped to a C+. I tried dropping almost all of the text other than summary and it still graded it a C+. That was unexpected, but I was assured the team at HireScore will be evaluating results, especially early on, to get the feel for those kind of quirks.

Of course, the sample job description Weinberg sent me gave me an A+ rating. I don’t know if that job description exists in the real world but it seemed pretty good. But the description seemed to match the criteria HireRight set as well.

What counts in a job posting?

One of the reasons why RezScore worked for me was it helped job seekers understand how their resume was parsed by automated applicant tracking systems. While job searches may be getting more dynamic and technologically advanced, most people are still reading through job descriptions manually. That makes it less important that a piece of software can parse your job posting, but not completely irrelevant, either.

Of course, a great job posting can be a matter of opinion. One that is properly descriptive by parsing software may be setting the wrong tone or sending the wrong message to candidates. Certainly nothing would replace a human set of eyes, especially with the emotive factors of capturing your audience’s attention.

Still, I am fascinated by the idea that something could help me write better job postings. Even if it only pulled out some of the right data consistently and gave me a more dynamic letter grade score, that could be helpful for the often thankless task of writing a decent job post. HireScore isn’t there yet but it could be a nice tool down the road, especially if technology starts becoming more prevalent in the way people start looking for a job.

And if you can find a job posting out in the wild that gets an A+ or F, let me know. I don’t have any special prize for you, but I’d love to see how close it is to the real deal.

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