US Job Posting Trends for Attracting Top Talent

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If you’ve ever looked for a job, there is a good chance that it was a long, grueling process. The job hunt feels like a job within itself, so once you are finally hired for a position, it can feel like a huge weight is taken off of your shoulders as you start this new chapter. That’s why when you become the one doing the hiring, it’s easy to wonder how exactly you ended up in that seat.

Further, it can be hard to know what to do once you are on the other side of the hiring process. There are endless articles available to job hunters advising them on everything from the right buzzwords to include in their resumes to the must-ask questions for interviews, but far fewer advising companies on ways to make their job postings stand out. What are the buzzwords to include in a job posting to ensure you’re attracting top talent? Should you or should you not include salary in your job posting? These questions and more prompted us to take a deep dive into what job postings look like in today’s employment space.

Methodology

We reviewed and analyzed over 30,000 job postings for 5 common job fields: accounting, graphic design, marketing, sales, and software development in a variety of hiring hub cities across the U.S. We identified trends in job postings for each type of position such as the length of the post, the most frequently used words, the education required for the role, the benefits offered, and the most sought after skills. Read on to learn more about we discovered from our research.

Findings

We uncovered numerous interesting insights related to each position, along with trends in specific cities in our analysis. Read on to learn more about our research revealed about job postings.

The Most Commonly Sought After Skills

Graphic: Most commonly sought after skills by job position

Regardless of the type of job you’re hunting for, there are key skills that are important to any role. Communication skills and customer service skills were among the most sought after skills for each type of job that we looked at.

Graphic: most sought after sales skill in US hiring hub cities

In addition to the most sought after skills overall, we also determined the top skill listed in job postings for each of the U.S. hiring hubs included in the study. Sales experience was, of course, the most-listed skill for sales jobs in every city. If a sales career is what you’re after, it’s essential to get some experience under your belt early.

Graphic: most sought after marketing skills in US hiring hub cities

Of the jobs explored, marketing positions tend to have the widest variety of tasks and capabilities that candidates may be responsible for. Many marketing jobs have an account management or sales aspect, which is evident in the top sought after skills. Companies are looking for their marketers to be skilled in customer service, teamwork, and to have experience in sales.

Graphic: most sought after accounting skill in US hiring hub cities

We saw the widest variety of sought after skills in the accounting hub of our study. Among the top listed skills are CRM experience, customer service, sales experience, teamwork, and communication skills.

Graphic:most sought after graphic designer skill in US hiring hub cities

No surprise here, the most commonly listed skill for graphic designers in every city in the study was creativity. The ability to produce creative work is a requirement of most design jobs, so this makes perfect sense.

Graphic: most sought after software developer skill in US hiring hub cities

While it’s not surprising to see software knowledge as a top skill listed for developers, customer service is more of a surprise. Customer service was the top-listed skill for developers in the Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Tampa job markets.

To List a Salary or Not to List a Salary?

Graphic: how frequently starting salaries are included in job postings

As an employer, determining whether to list a salary can be a difficult decision. If you list a salary, you run the risk of losing out on high-quality prospects who don’t apply simply based on the starting salary. Apparently, most employers are willing to take that risk, as about 9 out of 10 postings for each of these position lists a starting salary within the job post.

Graphic: percentage of jobs with an annual salary offered in US hiring hub cities

We also looked at which cities list a starting salary in postings most often. We learned that Detroit has the most job postings with a salary listed at 95%. St. Louis has the lowest percentage of job postings with a starting salary with 78% of posts including salary information.

The Education Levels Required by Various Positions

Graphic: education level required by various job positions

Next, we looked at the percentage of times various education levels were listed as required in job postings. A Bachelor’s degree is listed as required in more than 80% of job postings in all 5 of the job positions. Master’s degrees were seldom listed as a requirement – the highest percentage of software developer jobs require a Master’s degree at only 5%.

Graphic: percentage of jobs requiring a bachelor degree or higher

Dallas had the highest percentage of jobs requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree with 42% of posting. Los Angeles has the lowest percentage with 28% of postings.

The Benefit to Including Benefits

Graphic: most common benefits offered by various job positions

Health insurance and a retirement plan are the two most commonly-offered benefits for each of the job positions that we examined. Surprisingly, paid vacation and paid holidays were the benefits mentioned the least in job postings.

The Right Length for a Job Posting

Graphic: the right length for a job posting

The average word count for every position was more than 400 words. Marketing positions have the longest job postings with an average of 432 words, followed closely by software developer jobs with 429 average words.

Whether you’re searching for a new job or looking for the perfect candidate for a position at your company, we hope this analysis will help you either vet out or draft job postings.

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