The first step in filling any open position in a company is creating the perfect job description. Only 17% of hiring managers say that all, or nearly all of job seekers have the necessary skills they are looking for. If less than one-quarter of hiring managers say that job seekers have necessary skills, how can they use a job description to attract the qualified candidates.
There’s a very specific recipe for a good job description: keywords, descriptions of duties, and effective titles. Job descriptions that are combinations of strategy and creativity get the most attention. When trying to reduce time-to-hire, the stronger the job description, the less time it takes to recruit the best candidates. So, the recipe for the ideal job description is as follows:
Using strategic keywords is one of the most important ingredients to the job description. Because the world is so dependent upon the internet, job descriptions have to be searchable. Without these keywords, candidates won’t be able to find the job posting… it may as well be null and void. So the question remains, what keywords are best to use?
Take a look at competitor job postings or use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Tool to ascertain the best keywords to sprinkle through the job description. The brainstorming tools will help to create specific keywords to place in the job description. For example, instead of using “sales,” use something more targeted such as “financial sales services.” This will heighten the chances of the posting not only getting viewed, but finding higher qualified candidates as well.
The job description is the gateway for candidates to get a glimpse of company culture. Using stale language and a curt tone will do nothing to boost your employer brand. Job descriptions have to be a unique combination of culture and strategy in order to attract both functionally and culturally qualified candidates.
The best job descriptions have a detailed catalogue of what the position actually entails. Give candidates a snapshot of what their day on the job would look like. Use percentages to delineate how much time various projects will take. It’s important to include an overall objective as well. Be concise because a lengthy job description could lose your audience. The amount of technology in the world today has dramatically shortened human attention spans. Rob Weatherhead, Digital Operations Director at MediaCom, said:
“Studies have show that 32% of consumers will start abandoning slow sites between one and five seconds. Bounce rate can be improved by up to 30% with the reduction of page size and resulting speed improvements. A one second delay in page load time can result in 11% fewer page views, 16% decreased customer satisfaction, and 7% lost conversions.”
Now, although this job description is wonderfully created, it won’t get a whole lot of attention if the title is lackluster. As with the description itself, specificity helps. It’s important to make sure it remains searchable so job seekers can find it in the first place. Indeed.com gives some suggestions for recruiters and hiring managers looking to fill open positions:
“Keep the job title concise, between five and 80 characters, and avoid all caps. If your title is too long or too short, it will not rank well. Also it’s important to not include special characters in your title. This makes it easier to read and more likely to match the search queries from job seekers.”
The quality of a job description can be indicative of the quality of candidates who apply for the open position. In order to write an attractive job description, hiring managers have to include the company culture, a thorough set of searchable keywords that will bring in traffic, and a title to draw job seekers in. Give your candidates the best window into the job as possible; you can do this with an effective job description.
Bio: Raj Sheth, CEO/Partner
Raj Sheth is the co-founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, he founded two other web startups -- a classifieds portal and an ecommerce site. He is a graduate of Babson College and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation in Boston. Learn more about Recruiterbox right now.
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