How to Develop Job Descriptions That Attract the Right Candidates
Developing effective and compelling job descriptions can be tedious. Unfortunately, many hiring managers don’t give job postings the time and attention it takes to attract the best candidates. Generic or poorly written job descriptions can be completely ineffective and fail to generate a viable pool of candidates.
Writing job descriptions is an art within itself – one that requires a strategy. As you develop job descriptions for your company, consider implementing these practices to attract the right candidates to your openings.
Write clearly and creatively.
While you don’t want to write a book, it’s important to make your job post interesting and informative. Generic job descriptions can get lost in the online sphere, blending in with the hundreds of other job postings.
Rather than only writing about the job’s responsibilities and requirements, it’s important to go beyond the basics and give candidates a reason to be excited. Remember, the job description is often the first thing a candidate will read about your company. You’ll need to use some creativity to describe the role and the many benefits of being part of your team.
For example, will the candidate have an opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing or forward-thinking department? Do you offer unique benefits, such as flexible schedules or remote work options? Are there professional development opportunities available to your employees? Elements of your workplace culture are often just as important to candidates as the job itself.
In addition to taking a creative approach, you’ll want to avoid lengthy lists or paragraphs that can make the descriptions seem unfocused or overwhelming. Instead, highlight the job’s main responsibilities – preferably in a bulleted format – so that the candidate can easily read the list and understand the expectations of the role. This approach also works well with listing qualifications, such as degree and experience requirements.
Incorporating these elements into your job postings will help you intrigue candidates and drive them to apply.
Avoid gender-biased language.
Using gender-biased language in your job descriptions can turn off qualified candidates. There are certain masculine words, such as “strong” or “aggressive” that may keep female candidates from applying, while words like “sensitive” or “nurturing” may turn away males.
While gender-biased language may appear subtle on the surface, it can deter highly qualified candidates from applying. A perceived gender bias can automatically make a candidate feel as though they won’t fit in at the company or won’t be a good match for the job.
According to an article by CIO magazine, sticking with gender neutral language will help you reach a wider talent pool and acquire a greater diversity of applicants.
Optimize for search engines.
With the vast majority of job-seekers looking for employment opportunities online, you need to have your job descriptions optimized for search engine rankings. If your goal is to attract the best and brightest talent, you’ll want to implement search engine optimization (SEO) practices when designing your job descriptions. Tips SEO include the following:
- Clearly state job title and location
- Include common words and phrases that people would use as search terms
- Include links to your website
- Share postings on your company’s social media channels
- Focus on quality and delivering informative, authentic information to the reader
The key to effective optimization is to avoid content that is gimmicky or too sales-driven. Using the tactics above will help you produce high-quality postings that rank highly and provide value to your candidates. It’s also important to make sure your job descriptions are optimized for mobile devices, since a high percentage of candidates search for jobs on their cell phones.
By implementing the practices above, your hiring team can create job descriptions that are specifically designed to target your ideal candidate pool. Making this process a priority can help you increase your applicant numbers while opening more doors to top industry talent.