Small Business

Why Your Job Postings Should Be More Detailed

3 Key Charts: candidates' information expectations, independent retailers' investments in e-commerce, and North American FDI

Written by PROFIT Staff

Welcome to 3 Key Charts, a weekly department in which we explain the graphs, maps, tables and diagrams that you must understand to guard and grow your business. The diagrams and graphics displayed below could help you discover a new opportunity, alert you to an impending risk, or teach you how to be a better manager.

In this instalment, we look at what job seekers expect to see in a position posting, why independent retailers are spending more on e-commerce, and foreign direct investment in North America.

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Posting positioning

Where it’s from: “2015 Candidate Behaviour Study” by CareerBuilder.

What it shows: The components of a job posting that make respondents more likely to apply. Clearly-defined duties and responsibilities was most effective at encouraging applications (85%), closely followed by a specified salary range. Least important to job-seekers was creative or unique wording (18%) and information about employee engagement events and junkets (11%).

Why it matters: Candidates will tolerate a boilerplate posting, as long as it includes details about the two things that every worker care most about: what they’ll be doing at the office every day, and what they’ll receive in return. It may seem reductive to describe the employer-employee relationship as a transaction, but the report’s findings suggest that candidates do value a certain frankness when they’re considering job openings. However, don’t interpret that as a license to ignore other factors. Advancement opportunities is one that might be worth emphasizing. Only 8% named it the decisive factor (rather than one of them) in determining whether to apply to a job, but 31% of respondents cited it as their reason for searching for a new job in the workplace. Show people that they can fulfill their ambitions at your company, and they’ll be more likely to join and stay.

MORE ENTICING OPENINGS: 3 Tips for Writing Must-Apply Job Postings »

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E-commerce investments

Where it’s from: Annual Independent Retail Technology Adoption Report 2016” by Lightspeed.

What it shows: The top reason why independent retailers with an online store were planning to expand their e-commerce budgets for 2016. Increasing visibility motivated nearly half (46%) of respondents, while 22% believed a budget boost was necessary to stay competitive and 21% were spending to meet customer demands. The report’s respondents were 1,500 small-to-midsize independent retailers, 69% of whom had only one location and 18% of whom were based in Canada.

Why it matters: The rationales for increased e-commerce budgets point to increasing competition for customer eyeballs and clicks online. Independents with smart, attractive platforms can best massive retailers in the e-commerce fight, but they have to be willing to invest in the necessary infrastructure. Simply setting up purchasing functionality on your website or accepting PayPal is no longer enough. As shopping online grows ever-more popular, a robust e-commerce platform is now practically mandatory for most consumer-facing retailers, regardless of size or industry. Half of the report’s respondents had online stores, a significant increase from the previous year (38%) but still surprisingly low. And though 46% of respondents claimed there was no demand from customers to go the e-commerce route, the real reasons for retail reluctance probably lie in the second- and third-most cited factors, time taken due to complexity (20%) and expense (8%). The missed opportunities from resisting e-commerce are clear from another report finding: 27% of those questioned believed that revenue from their online stores would increase over 20% by the end of next year, a growth rate that bricks-and-mortar outlets would be hard-pressed to match. If you’re not selling online already, you’re fast running out of time to start.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Problem With E-Commerce in Canada »

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Canada surprisingly competitive

Where it’s from: Adapted from “The fDi Report 2015: Global greenfield investment trends” by fDi Intelligence.

What it shows: The top destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) into North America in 2014. Ontario tops the list at $7 billion, for a 12% share of total FDI for last year. The only other Canadian jurisdiction in the top 10 is Quebec, with $2 billion and a 4% piece of the investment pie.

Why it matters: Canada’s status as a handy landing strip for companies looking to enter the U.S. market has lead to plenty of major projects flowing our way over the years. But the traditional economic heartland of Ontario and Quebec has become increasingly less attractive to investors looking to launch new factories or service bases. and the country’s manufacturing sector has declined accordingly. The report’s findings suggest there’s life in central Canada yet. In addition to their top-10 ranking, both Ontario (16%) and Quebec (10%) saw the number of projects receiving FDI grow by more than the North American average (7%) last year. Most of this FDI is flowing to large-scale manufacturing projects such as Chrysler’s $2.6 billion of its Windsor auto plant. But while SMEs aren’t seeing this money flow into their bank accounts directly, they stand to benefit from supplying these projects and the overall economic boost from job-creating investments.

VIDEO: Where Foreign Investors are Spending Today »

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What conclusions do you draw from these charts? Let us know using the comments section below.

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