Recruiting is a much different world than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Yet too many companies are still writing dry job descriptions that detail a job’s responsibilities and requirements without giving the candidate any compelling reason to take action. Times have changed; it’s time your job descriptions do too.
Sell your culture to attract the right peopleYes, your job descriptions need to share key facts about the job’s responsibilities and requirements. However, the way those are shared is wide open. It’s a candidate’s market and when they are reviewing dozens of job descriptions, you want yours to stand out. Think of your job description as your sales pitch to potential candidates. What makes you different? What do your employees love about their jobs? Those are the kinds of things to share in your job description to keep people reading and not clicking to the next job in their search results.
Before you start listing the must-have skills for the position, draft a short,interesting introduction that communicates your corporate culture in tone and style. Directly address the job candidate “You will have the opportunity to… “ is much more engaging than “The ideal candidate will have the opportunity to…” Help people picture themselves in your company by linking to your careers page to show off your corporate culture and then lead into how the candidate can use their skills to contribute and make an impact.
Incorporate your employment brandBrand colors, graphics, employee testimonials, on-the-job video stories… all of these enhance your job description and help you attract the right people. Some of those can be incorporated into the description itself, others belong on a careers site with links to them in the job description. Whether it’s selling the location of your office or sharing an inside perspective, a more well-rounded presentation will make your job opening stand out from the rest.
5 tips to improve your job descriptions
- Include keywords: Sure, for some companies creative job titles are both fun and share a sense of your culture but those don’t do you any good if job candidates can’t find your job opening to begin with. Optimize your postings by making sure the job title and introduction include key terms that job seekers are using to find your position.
- Share engaging details: After you draw in the candidate with a good intro, tell them what they’ll be doing, who they’ll be working with, how their role fits in your organization’s mission… in short, tell them about the working responsibilities and do so in an enticing way.
- Focus on the big picture: Share some of the plans for your department or organization so job seekers can see potential opportunities ahead of them. Opportunity is something in which they can be involved and that’s engaging.
- Play up your benefits: Both tangible and intangible – tell candidates what your company can do for them. If you’ve got some benefits that employees LOVE – share them! Those are the sorts of things that will attract more candidates.
- Don’t forget the call to action: Ask people to apply! Even if you have a link at the end of your job description – play it up in the copy too. A clear call to action makes the candidate feel wanted and entices more action than any “apply now” button. While you’re at it, include an invitation for prospective candidates to follow and engage with you on social media. Social media is a great way to nurture candidates and keep them interested in future openings.
Finally we have a few don’ts – here are 3 things to leave out of your job descriptions
- Bias: Job descriptions are often full of gender bias or unconscious bias. It can be hard to see it yourself so be sure to ask others to review your job description with bias in mind. You might also consider a program like Textio to help you remove bias and use more compelling terms.
- Passive tone: Leave the passive verbs at the door and focus on action words to help job seekers see themselves doing the job.
- Minor tasks: Keep the job description focused on your work culture, benefits and must-haves for the job. Leave the smaller tasks for the interview process. No one wants to read a laundry list.