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How to Make Your Job Posting Go Viral

We’ve said time and again that hiring is about quality of candidates, not quantity. After all, what’s the use of 100 applicants if none of them are qualified?

On rare occasions, though, you need your job description to reach as many people as possible. When your listing absolutely has to go viral, here are five tactics that have worked for other employers.

1. Create an amazing job

It goes without saying that crazy jobs tend to go viral organically, without much effort on your part.

For example: A Dublin vet clinic posted an ad for a “Cat Cuddler,” an actual full-time, paying role for someone who wants to pet cats all day. Job seekers and cat lovers took notice, and the position was featured in news stories across the Internet.

(Beware: don’t get fooled into crafting a bizarre job title for a standard role. You may confuse qualified candidates and lose them before they apply.)

2. Make it funny

Job descriptions are sooo boring, sometimes you need humor to grab your audience’s attention.

This summer, some college students posted a Craigslist ad looking for a dad-type to barbecue with them on Father’s Day. The funny listing sought “minimum of 18 years as a father,” “minimum of 10 years grilling experience” an ideal name of “Bill, Randy or Dave,” and the ability to discuss fatherly topics including “lawnmowers, building your own deck” and “Jimmy Buffet.”

This isn’t a paying job, obviously, but the humor resonated with many local dads who sent in applications. HR and employers can take a page from the same book when editing job descriptions that need to stand out from the crowd.

3. Stuntify your job listing

Deep within their website, Apple hid a job listing for an infrastructure engineer. Only a talented coder would be able to find it… and one did. ZDNet editor Zach Whittaker discovered the hidden listing, which included a secret email address to begin the application process.

(The listing doesn’t exist in the same spot anymore, but there’s probably a new one hiding elsewhere, waiting for someone to uncover it.)

What’s a creative stunt you could use to attract applicants? Think about puzzles, scavenger hunts, hiding spots, or even posting your job on a billboard or flying it from behind a plane.

4. Be totally transparent

We like to put our best foot forward in our job listings. But sometimes, blatant honesty is more attention-getting.

Take this advertisement for a nanny in Scotland. It sounds like a well-paying gig with lots of perks. The only problem? You have to live in a haunted house.

Some employers might want to gloss over the fact that supernatural activity is commonplace in their Scottish estate. Not these folks! And that’s why the press picked up their ad and took it viral, leading to more than 2,000 (adventurous) applicants for the role.

5. Make it social

This summer, McDonald’s debuted “Snaplications,” a Snapchat-based job application process.

“With Snaplications, Snapchat users will see a 10-second video ad of McDonald’s employees talking about working at McDonald’s,” Business Insider reported. “They can then swipe up to visit McDonald’s career page in Snapchat and apply for a job at their local restaurant.”

How can you introduce social media into your application process?

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