Top 10 ways to make postings more visible

by Amanda Hurley 

Post and pray. We all do it. At times, we are so desperate that we even make up research opportunity titles to attract that one candidate we need. You know the titles I’m referring to… GURU, ROCKSTAR, or CHALLENGE-ACCEPTER. We’re also guilty of using internal, organizational titles that don’t make sense to anyone except us (I’m looking at you SP-145-Accounts Rec). Trust me, I get it. It is hard to keep track of it all, but when posting a research participation program opportunity, there is only one thing we should consider and that is how potential candidates think. I know it sounds overly simplistic, but it works.  

Not sure how candidates think? You have a couple of resources handy! Go to an employment website, such as or, and do a search for that position. You will get an idea of how the competition is wording their opportunities. In fact, ask your representative at the employment website you use. They have their top 100 lists of most searched titles and they are there to help you get the best return on your investment.  

So, here is my top ten list to make sure your research participation program posting is found when you are praying for that right candidate: 

  1. Post multiple places: The average candidate today uses 16 different sources in his or her search. Distribution is key. Today you have to post on more places than just your website. Also, when utilizing employment websites ask about their distribution; where else will your posting be searchable?
  2. Position title, position title, position title! Make it simple and relevant to the candidate. If you are looking for a “Senior Manager,” then say it. Don’t use “Sr. Mgr” or “Magical Manager.” Use standard grammar and don’t get creative with the title.
  3. Keywords: Sure there is more than one way to refer to a Registered Nurse (R.N., Charge Nurse, RN, etc). Use any variations throughout your research participation program posting. It will help you rank higher for the candidates that may search using those variations.
  4. Post one-to-one: You are busy and you want to just post the lab tech position and the data visualization position in the same posting to save time. Candidates will find it, right? WRONG. One position = one posting.
  5. Be specific. Candidates often want to see every opportunity that is available in their industry so you will see candidates searching for “healthcare” and “manager.” The body of your research participation program posting is where industry titles should go. Be specific in the title, however. If you are looking for an engineer, then a candidate needs to know if you are looking for a mechanical engineer vs. a civil engineer.
  6. Be short. You know the average recruiter spends less than 10 seconds on a resume. Candidates are probably spending less time on your posting. Provide information about your organization, your culture and the opportunity; but be short and concise. Keep formatting simple (no paragraphs).
  7. Search engine marketing: So you just posted your opportunity on your website. You are excited. You go to Google and search for that position in your area and you discover that you rank on page 482. If your website is not optimized for search engines, then you will not be found. You can purchase search engine marketing services to help with this effort. If that is out of budget, check out who is on page #1 of that Google search. I bet it is an employment website! Now go re-read #1 on this list.
  8. Social media: Be on it! Make sure your opportunities are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And be ready to talk to candidates via these channels. Your potential participants are already on these platforms. Don’t believe me? Go to Twitter and do a search for #HireMe. P.S. Hashtags are very important!
  9. Employment brand: If you are investing to post your opportunity in multiple places, take advantage of the great branding opportunity it provides for your organization. Make an emotional connection. Create transparency into your culture. Share (sell) the best aspects of your organization.
  10. Who knows you best? Share a current participant testimonial. Help the candidate see themselves in your organization.
About the Author
Amanda Hurley is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Previously, she worked for, where she recruited top talent, managed various projects and developed retention strategies for companies across the United States. Hurley has a background in recruitment, marketing, sales and organizational communication. As an ORISE project manager, she recruits for and manages the relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Research and Development Office. She is the subject matter expert for recruiting trends and technology. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.