The Wall Street Journal reported this week on an interesting new study about recruiting top candidates for a job opening. David Jones, Joseph Schmidt, and Derek Chapman have conducted a study that focuses on how employers write job ads. They compared ads that emphasized the skills and abilities required by the organization for the position (employer-centered) vs. ads that focused on what opportunities the organization can provide for the prospective employee (candidate-centered). They worked with an engineering-consulting firm to test the impact of these two different types of job postings. What did they find? The "candidate centered" postings attracted more candidates than the "employer-centered" ads. Moreover, the applicants to the "candidate-centered" postings tended to be of higher quality. In sum, the best applicants want to know: "What's in it for me? What can you do for me?" If you don't begin to answer that question in the job ad itself, you won't get as many qualified applicants.