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NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Human Resources


Writing Vacancy Announcements


Begin the planning process:

  • as soon as an employee submits a resignation,
  • when a new position is created, or
  • as soon as possible when you know that an employee is retiring.

Also, if you are trying to fill a position that must be released following a budget freeze, remember that this process is detailed and can take time. Work with Human Resources (HR) as necessary to help you get the position released quickly and appropriately through the required management approvals.

Work With HR

If you call on HR staff for help, you can create effective vacancy announcements to attract the best candidates and avoid some mistakes that can cause headaches. If you use outdated job descriptions or unclear "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities" (KSA's), for example, your applicant pool may be poor, and some good candidates may be screened out by mistake.

As you go through the process of getting ready to advertise a position, you should complete and submit the Job Posting Form to HR to document the information you want on the vacancy announcement. HR can help you with this as well.

Review the Position

If you don't think about the details when you get ready to advertise a position, you could face some equally frustrating problems -- applicants who don't really qualify or applicants who won't help your work unit grow, for example. So, take the time to review the position carefully before you get started.

Consult the position description and current work plan with the following in mind:

  • Have there been any changes in the duties or responsibilities since it was originally written, or would you like to make some changes?
  • Have the needs of your work unit changed? This would be a good time to expand the duties or make some changes to redistribute the workload with your current staff.
  • Do you need to add a new skill requirement to your work unit?
  • Has the working environment changed? Does your staff use more computer or technical skills than when the position description was originally written, for example?
  • Are there any new or revised licensing or certification requirements associated with the position?

After thinking about these possible changes to the job, work on a new or revised description, and be sure to consult with your HR contact for advice. You'll also need approval from your division or facility manager for the final changed position description, so send that through the appropriate management channels as soon as possible to avoid delays.

Advertising Options

Learning to emphasize the positive and knowing how and where to reach your best candidates relies on some good marketing tactics.

  • Clear Announcement: Avoid jargon that may not mean anything to people outside of DHHS. Use common descriptions instead so that applicants will really know what the job is. Make sure that your description is in "plain English".
  • Emphasize the Positive: If there are some "down sides" to the job you're trying to fill, emphasize the positive aspects as well.
  • Advertise in the Right Places: Beyond the online OSHR job listing, consider other appropriate places to advertise such as Professional Associations, University or college career centers, or other online or local job posting sites.
  • Use the Minority Recruitment Guide: If appropriate, you may use the Minority Recruitment Guide including information on colleges in North Carolina and other states, minority organizations, and publications where you can advertise your vacancy.

Be sure to consult with your HR contact for advice in this area also. Ready NC Connect NC