Creating Job Postings for the Weatherization Assistance Program

Community-Based Organization
Employer
Energy Efficiency
Recruitment and Outreach
Weatherization Assistance Program
Workforce Development
This resource is a guide to writing accurate and compelling postings for home weatherization jobs.

Job Postings Versus Job Descriptions

Job postings are not the same as  job descriptions. Job descriptions are internal documents that organizations develop for their staff. They are used to help staff clearly understand their roles and responsibilities, and also to evaluate workers for raises and promotions. Visit this page to download job description templates for key weatherization roles.

A job posting, on the other hand, should be a compelling message for people who likely are not familiar with what weatherization is. It is more general, concise, and persuasive. It is used to attract top candidates and focuses on the role’s most important and attractive aspects. It is also likely to be the first time a candidate is introduced to your organization, so first impressions are important.

You can use the job description as a starting point, but always keep in mind that a job posting should be different from a job description. A compelling job posting will boost your recruitment efforts and expand your outreach to entry-level candidates, underrepresented populations, young people, and members of underserved communities. 

General Tips for Job Postings

Word Choice

As you craft the job posting, always be mindful of the words you use. Your language has the power to make people feel welcome and eager, or unwelcome and hesitant to apply. The goal is to make the job sound like an exciting opportunity that’s also accessible to diverse populations.

Use the First or Second Person

When possible, using “we/our” or “you/your” helps individuals get engaged. This helps candidates understand the impact they will make and the personal and professional growth they can achieve. 

Engage the Audience

You can make your job posting more inviting with a conversational and positive voice that allows readers to see themselves in the experience of this job role. This approach is particularly helpful for young candidates. Ask questions such as, “Are you interested in helping your community while also reducing the impacts of climate change?”

Keep It Short

Shorter postings can be more effective in the current recruitment market. According to LinkedIn, postings of 300 words or less receive higher application rates than longer postings. Highlight the most essential aspects of your job posting and avoid unnecessary details. Once again, your objective is to make the job description compelling and invite candidates to apply. A simple, straightforward writing style is also helpful. For example, consider leaving out adverbs that can be omitted without affecting the meaning (for example: properly, potentially, primarily, closely, preferable, and creatively).

Understanding the Impact of the Words You Choose

Your job posting may be the first time that many people ever learn about weatherization and the work your organization does. Consider these tips to ensure that your job posting reaches the most people and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Be mindful of how easy your job posting is to read. Avoid complicated language or advanced reading levels that could exclude people without higher levels of education when it is not required for a job.

Avoid using acronyms or industry jargon that may not make sense to people new to the industry. Instead, focus on the skills and traits that are necessary for someone to be successful in the job.

Avoid gendered language, which may directly or indirectly indicate to certain candidates that they are not welcome. This includes not referring to the successful candidate as “he” or “she.” Try to avoid describing job requirements in language commonly associated with the characteristics of a certain gender (such as ninja, rock star, competitive, nurturing, collaborative, fearless). 

Consider using tools such as this open source gender decoder to identify potential issues in your current job postings.

Avoid using terms that imply you are looking for someone from a particular background or community. For example, avoid saying “native speaker” to describe a language requirement, when what you are actually looking for is fluency. 

Avoid language or policies that could exclude members of certain religious groups, such as prohibiting head coverings or facial hair.

Avoid specific requirements about an individual’s physical strength or ability. (For example, avoid language such as “must be able to lift 50 pounds or fit into a crawl space.”) People new to the industry or workforce may not have a sense of what that means and may exclude themselves unnecessarily. Instead of focusing on an individual, focus on the role. (For example: “Physical exertion including heavy lifting (up to 50+ lbs.), bending, and climbing will be required while utilizing tools and equipment.”) Similarly, you should be clear and honest about the physical nature of field positions, but you don’t need to describe all the nitty-gritty details about, for example, what it is like to spend a summer afternoon working in an attic.

Finally, you may also want to get input on your job posting from people of different demographics to vet whether your language is clear and welcoming, or if there are things you may want to change. 

For more resources about promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at your organization, refer to the resources listed in this fact sheet.

Key Elements of Job Postings

Here are the main elements you will want to address in your job posting.

The title is the first thing a job seeker will see, so you want it to capture the role. However, it is important to note that the job title for a job posting can be different than the title in a job description. For example, many people have difficulty understanding and connecting to the term “weatherization.” Consider using terms such as “home energy professional, “carpenter’s helper,” or “energy specialist” instead. 

Look at other jobs advertised in your area to see what might resonate with entry-level job seekers. You can also try out more than one version of a job title to see which gets you the best response.

Job seekers today look at a lot of job postings. After the title, it can be helpful to start your posting with a “headline”—one or two sentences that grab people’s attention. This should include a clear and concise statement of what you are looking for in the role. The headline should be compelling enough to entice a potential applicant to learn more. For example, “Address climate change while helping your community,” or “On-the-job training with nationally recognized certifications.”

Provide a few sentences about your organization’s mission, values, and some history (such as how long you have been doing weatherization in your area, or how many homes you have weatherized). This is your opportunity to sell people on the bigger picture of why you do what you do. Lean in on the impact of your work on the community, and the qualities your organization values (such as inclusivity, thorough and detailed work, or safety). You can also give applicants a sense of the organizational culture.

Using general terms and categories, list the key elements for which this position will be responsible. Make the list in bullet form. Start with items that are most relevant at the top, as people may not read everything the first time through. The tasks associated with a particular role can be pulled from the job description or job task analysis, but avoid using industry-specific terminology that job seekers may not understand.

This should be the focus of your posting. Knowledge is about the basic understanding needed to perform a job; for example, knowledge of construction methods or building science. Skills are abilities that apply to the role; for example, the ability to use basic power tools or to conduct energy audits. Competencies are traits, attitudes, or behaviors that make a worker successful.

It’s important to remember that many great candidates will not be a perfect match with your desired qualifications. Be careful not to make these requirements too specific (for example, “experience with home repair” is more inclusive than “experience with home weatherization”). Make sure to note which aspects are required and which are only preferred.

Weatherization employees will have many opportunities for training and education after they get the job. Therefore, consider focusing less on education and experience. Once again, differentiate between what is required and what is preferred. This can also be a place to give examples of non-weatherization experience that may be relevant (such as general construction, home repair or renovation, home inspections, and lead or asbestos abatement).

List the compensation range and pay schedule that you are prepared to offer. If compensation is based on the level of experience, state that clearly, especially if your agency has standard information about what level of pay correlates to what level of education or experience. Also, describe any formal benefits or any additional “perks” that may be unique to your organization. In addition, note any paid training and credentialing that will be included. For field staff, address transportation needs and whether work vehicles or gas mileage reimbursement are provided.

Describe the expected work hours, highlighting any flexibility options (e.g., a four-day work week). List any travel that may be required and your policy on payment for travel time and expenses. Describe the work environment or examples of what a typical workday might look like. You can also describe the team/crew that this person will be joining. For field positions, be honest about the challenges inherent to the work—but don’t forget to mention the positive and exciting elements as well.

Deadlines can drive increased urgency around submitting an application. You can always extend/add rolling applications if needed past your intended date. 

Include a statement on your organization’s commitment to diversity and equal employment opportunity. This is not only a general best practice, but also a way to encourage more candidates to apply.

As an example, below is a sample text that is included in IREC job postings. If you are a Weatherization Assistance Program subgrantee and need additional support, please reach out to the project team.

IREC Foundational Values

  • We value diversity of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and thoughts and believe they result in better outcomes and greater organizational impact.
  • We value the uniqueness and dignity of each individual and their right to be their true and complete self.
  • We believe in the potential of the clean energy transition to advance equity in our nation.
  • IREC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and embracing a workplace with diverse voices and perspectives. We strongly encourage and seek applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds. Applicants are not discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical conditions, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

 

Finally, be clear about application instructions, including how to submit an application (for example, through an online form or an email). Describe what applicants should expect about the hiring process and timeline. Encourage people to contact your HR representatives with questions (and provide a name and direct contact information).

Lastly, it is always a good idea to have someone else read through your job posting to ensure it captures the information you need. Don’t forget to proofread the text, as postings with errors typically receive fewer applications. 

Once you’ve finished writing a concise, engaging job posting, you’re one step closer to hiring the perfect fit for the job!

The information on this page is derived from a review of general best practices, as market research conducted in development of the Green Workforce Connect website. Thanks to all contributors to this resource including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), National Community Action Partnership (NCAP), Service Year Alliance, and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).