December 2021

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How to Make Your Job Post POP

So, you can reach 24% of your available talent pool

Skip Freeman Founder & President
of Smart Buildings Talent

Search firm focused on building companies
and careers in the Smart Buildings industry.


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The pandemic, climate change, the infrastructure bill, laws such as NYC’s Local Law 97, the economic opportunity that Building Owners have by providing modern comfortable facilities, and interest from Venture Capital has driven unprecedented growth in the Smart Buildings industry.

One example – the number of posted open jobs in the Smart Buildings industry has doubled in the last 12-months to a current record high of 58,666 (according to the Association of Controls Professionals.)

No one questions the fact that we are woefully short on talent in our industry. (And thankfully, there are several Smart Buildings industry influencers and academic institutions working on this.)

Since quality talent isn’t going to morph into existence overnight (nor over the next several years), you must compete to fill your open roles alongside all the other firms vying for the same talent.

Fortunately, the readers of will have a competitive advantage on attracting top talent versus those who choose not to take advantage of the vast resources that Ken Sinclair and his amazing team bring to us each month.

I have received a number of questions regarding job posts from my previous article, DIY (Do it Yourself) Recruiting-Part 1, in the October 2021 issue.

So, rather than continue with part 2, it is wise to pause and further build upon the one immediate tool at your disposal…the job posting!

In recruiting parlance, the job posting is reverently referred to as “spray and pray.” (And “post and hope.”) The reason? It’s a passive tool that must be in the right place at the right time to do you any

With that being said, let’s make sure that it is the most powerful tool it can be for you. In other words, let’s learn How to Make your Job Post POP!

But first, a word from our sponsor…your candidates.

  NOTE: Your candidates want four things when they make a career move. Here is what I am told on a consistent basis:


In today’s market, because candidates hold all the cards, no one takes a lateral move unless they are unemployed, desperate, hate their boss, or they are moving for personal reasons and the new job in the new location is the reward (if you help some with the relocation costs.)

Your job posting must contain these four ingredients to get the right talent to click on your posting and apply. (And always, you will have a lot of inappropriate people apply to your job.)

Whose eyeballs will land on your job post and read it? The active candidates.

The news media is constantly bombarding us with the “Great Resignation” theme. It’s actually nothing new. A shuffling takes place after every recession. In recruiting parlance, we call it “the churn.” The media has picked up on it this time around because the overall number is higher due to industries such as hospitality, transportation, retail, and a few others. But in most industries, the churn isn’t any higher than normal after a recession.

What this means to you, if you are a hiring manager, is that, at best, your job posting is only going to be seen by 10-15% of your talent market. Unlike what the news media makes us think, not everyone is looking for a job.

In recruiting, we break the talent market into 4 groups.

       Active – people who have decided to change jobs & are looking at job advertisements (postings), networking, etc.

       Semi-passive – those who might take a peak now and then at the job boards, and are open to talking if someone were to contact them and nudge them.

       Passive – not looking BUT that doesn’t mean they won’t talk. However, your job must be superior to what they are doing today or it’s “game over.”

       Permanent – won’t make a career move. Examples are owners of firms, those nearing retirement, the ones who have “golden handcuffs,” or maybe someone has just started a new role.

So, when you post your open position, your candidate pool is primarily composed of the people in the first category listed above; those who are actively looking. And you’re fortunate if your post is seen by a quarter of those folks.

Bottom line your job posting reaches only 4%-7% of your talent market.

Given these two facts:

1.    The Smart Buildings industry has a record number of job openings, and

2.    You will reach 4%-7% of your available market at best, then…

…your posting must definitely “pop” in order to:

       Attract the eyeballs of the right candidates,

       Motivate them to click on your job,

       Finish reading your job, and

       Actually apply.

Yes, there is a sequence of events a job posting must activate for you to have a candidate you can interview.

Initially, many hiring managers are skeptical when they hear that their posting reaches only 4%-7% of their available market. I’ll illustrate:


Around Labor Day we did a survey of Smart Buildings professionals.

43 people (24.2%) said they are actively looking.

The semi-passive and passive folks (60.7%) are the ones listed in the diagram below as “keeping one eye open” and “I’ll listen if you’ll contact me.”




In order for your job post to be potentially seen by the 24% who are actively looking, it must be in the right place at the right time and be “clickable.”

Right place + right time + clickable = 4%-7% of your available talent pool opening your post.

In other words, one-fourth to one-third of the 24% who are actively looking (and some of those who keep one eye open) will at least open your job post. How many read it to the end and apply…well, that’s another challenge that must be addressed.

How to Make Your Job Post POP

So, you can reach 24% of your available talent pool

1.    Before you post, what you must decide

2.    Job Title

3.    Beginning of the job post

4.    Content Sections

5.    CTA




1.     The Beginning of the Job Post


The majority of Active job seekers (as well as semi-active who occasionally “take a peek”) have alerts come to their email.

This is where the first two lines of your Job Post are critical.

In addition to the Title, it is the first two lines (generally) that a job seeker will see in their email.

Title + First 2 Lines = swipe left (delete) or click to view







2.     The Content of the Job Post


The content of your job post was covered indepth in the article DIY (Do it Yourself) Recruiting-Part 1, in the October 2021 issue.

Scroll to the bottom of the article for insight and examples.


3.     CTA – the Call to Action

Here is where you can make a difference. Yes, active candidates are ready to interview.

BUT semi-passive candidates and MOST DEFINITELY passive candidates are NOT.

If you are concerned about EEO and most definitely OFCCP, then this is where a recruiting firm can make a difference for you.

What we want to do is invite people into an exploratory conversation just to see if there might be a possible fit.

There is not a requirement that you must make people officially apply to your job posting.

I’ll share a recent example with a firm I WAS working with. After this, I decided they weren’t the type of firm that I wanted to work with, much less present candidates too.

I had a candidate that had the majority of the skills this client was looking for. I also had a 2-year relationship with this potential candidate. I called them up, described the opportunity to them, and invited them to have an exploratory conversation with the hiring manager to see if more formal next steps made sense or not.

Because the candidate was passive, they did not have an updated resume. And, if I had asked them to do the work necessary to update their resume when they aren’t looking for a job, well, you can guess the rest of the story. They would have told me “no thanks.”

But by being low key, they agreed that the job seemed interesting and as is generally the case, if the hiring company can position it as something that is stronger than what they are doing today, they can “create candidacy” where there was none.

But, alas, the hiring manager said, “If they are serious about this job, they will need to do a resume before I will speak with them.” I tried to gently explain to the hiring manager that this candidate is not looking and is buried in excellence where they are.

But if we can have a half hour exploratory conversation together, and they understand the vision that you have for the company and what you want a person to do in this job, I bet they will become a candidate and be not only willing to do a resume, but excited to do so.

The hiring manager wouldn’t budge.

And, of course, neither would the candidate. They said, “If that is the type of boss I would have, then I can already tell that is not the type of company I would want to work for.”

In 2022 there are two decision makers for every job.


  The Candidate

If you want to say yes to a candidate, you have to get them to want to say yes to you.


As a recruiting firm, our job is to get your job in front of the 60% who aren’t actively looking.

Maybe we can help you; maybe we can’t.

Just like with the candidate above, why don’t we have an exploratory conversation just to get to know each other and see if there may be a good fit now or at some time in the future.

Here’s to your success in 2022!


Connect with Skip and follow us at Smart Buildings Talent on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on the latest jobs, career advice, and insight into employment and talent within the world of Smart Buildings.


Skip can be reached at and 706-986-0833 (text/call).


Skip Freeman is the Founder and President of Smart Buildings Talent, the search firm building companies and careers in the Smart Buildings industry. Skip is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, and served in the US Army Corps of Engineers as a Combat Engineer. With both a BS degree, and later an MS from Georgia Tech, Skip has brought his technical expertise, leadership experience, and talent acquisition / team building system to the Smart Buildings industry.


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