For reasons best known to themselves, many recruiters bemoan the absence of a decent job description and person spec from a client. I agree it’s frustrating when what you get is a series of seemingly unrelated one liners in terms of a job description and just the basic facts about the skills and experience you need in order to do the role, but, the emphasis should be on you, the recruiter to eke out the information from your client that will sell the job, not to cut and paste the bare bones of a dull and uninspiring JD and person spec onto a job board entry template. In short – the job description is not a sales tool, it’s merely a checklist of duties.
I know that some of them can be pretty dire (but often memorable), but imagine if every commercial break on television was filled with hideously dull advertising. For instance, instead of seeing Papa and Nicole prancing around the French countryside, you were faced with Sid, a mechanic in scruffy overalls, droning on about the technical specification of the latest Renault. Indeed, imagine that no decent tv ads had ever been made. No ‘vorsprung durch technik’. No meerkats, no Smash robots, no Boddingtons top bombing - just dull offering after dull offering after dull offering, every day and every night.
Now think about all too typical job board content. A lot of it is recruitment’s equivalent to listening to Sid and his monotonous tones. It seems that just as most product advertisers go to great lengths and expense to bring allure and memorability to their commercial offerings, so many recruiters pay little or no regard to the need to actually sell the vacancy they are trying to fill.
There is, of course, an argument that says what does it matter what you post? After all, people don’t read the ads anyway. Apparently they just scan them for job title, salary and location and then hit the ‘apply’ button. But what kind of candidate doesn’t actually read about the job they are applying for? The desperate? The ones with no eye for detail? The ones devoid of decent listening skills? Certainly not the good quality ones I would wager. But then so many recruiters make it difficult to want to read their job advertisements in the first place because they are just so deathly dull and boring. Particularly the ones that seem to think that a job description IS a sales tool.
I firmly believe that when it comes to advertising, any advertising, you get out what you put in. If recruiters let their people blindly cut and paste job descriptions and fire them scatter gun style then yes, they will get a response, but it will invariably be of extremely poor quality – and that will apply whether you put it on a job board or a link to it on a social media site.
Allure, intrigue, excitement, opportunity, challenge and reward, the feeling that the ad is talking to the job seeker, personally - all are essential ingredients to anyone who wants to get a good response from their recruitment advertising. Unless, of course, you’d rather see recruitment’s answer to Sid reading from his manual littering the job boards and social media sites? But if you would, I wouldn’t hold your breath for a decent response.
Some say the job board is dying. I don't believe it is, despite many recruiters doing their level best to kill them off by posting up really bad job ads. So, here it is, one last time - a job description is not a sales tool (so don't cut and paste them anymore, please)