Attracting top talent today is a challenge. Job seekers are exposed to job descriptions everywhere on the internet – major job boards, niche sites, social media channels, corporate career sites, Google Ads, and more. However, top talent rarely spends much time sifting through job listings – you have a limited opportunity to capture their attention. Below are five best practices to ensure your job description captures their attention, and motivates them to apply.
The job title is the headline of the job description and should clearly communicate the exact title of the position – Senior Product Manager. Even though “Product Ninja” sounds fun, what does that mean? A non-standard job title may not come up in search results. Or candidates may bypass your job description altogether if the title doesn’t describe the role.
This part of the description should be concise and in priority order with “mandatories” at the top, and “nice to haves” towards the bottom. With clearly defined requirements, job seekers can easily self-evaluate their level of qualification, and ultimately save your time screening.
If you have a process, explain it to your candidate. Do not leave them wondering when they’ll receive a response, or unclear of how many rounds of interviews to expect, or how long they should plan to be onsite, and who they’re going to meet with and why. These are basic insights that job seekers appreciate, and it helps to make their job seeking experience more enjoyable.
Did you know that Gen-Y consider company culture above most attributes of a job? More are even willing to sacrifice some amount of salary for an environment that they love. So, if yours is unique, describe it! If you’ve already built an active talent community, then link to it with pictures and profiles of existing employees. Job seekers also want to know things like: can you work from home? are there flex hours? what is the dress code? By describing the environment, it will allow them to imagine what it would be like to work at your company and they’re more likely to apply.
Don’t forget to include why candidates should choose your company over others. Are your top clients memorable? Have you won any awards? Pick out one or two things that make your company unique and give your job posting a competitive edge.
Remember, it takes some additional time to construct a more compelling job description, but it is worth the investment in the quality of candidates who will apply. Ask the marketing department for some help. If you’ve had success in the past, repurpose an old listing. Or search job boards for inspiration. You’ll know when you’ve written a great description if you see it being organically shared among social networks.