How to write job descriptions that attract great candidates

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Today two-thirds of hiring managers say that attracting quality candidates is their number one recruiting challenge.

Here are the top 5 tips to help every recruiter and hiring manager create job ads that deliver quality candidates.

1. Choose a straightforward job title

Search algorithms pick up significant keywords, so keep them relevant; weak or meaningless descriptions, such as ‘Hero’ or ‘Ninja’, get passed over. Search tools don’t like shortenings or abbreviations, so write out ‘Senior’, not ‘Sr.’

Keep in mind that an internal job title may not be what the market calls it or how candidates search for it, so think more widely. And targeted titles are more effective than generic ones: spot the difference between ‘Marketing Manager’ and ‘Marketing Events Manager’.

2. Sell the job

Want to land your company’s next star employee? Open the role description with an attention-grabbing first paragraph that speaks directly to the job seeker. What’s in it for them? This is your sales pitch to potential candidates; don’t fall into the trap of putting the ‘about us’ description first.

Your opener should include three to five things that applicants will find exciting about the role (team, culture, challenges, goals) to hook them in, make them want to read the whole ad – then apply! Your company story can sit neatly on the end.

3. Be specific with the role description

If your description is too broad, everyone in the market will apply and you’ll be sifting through hundreds of the wrong kinds of CVs. However, a description that’s too prescriptive may deter great candidates from applying.

It’s a fact that men apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the criteria, but women apply only if they meet 100%. Clearly differentiate ‘must-have’ (minimum) and ‘nice-to-have’ (preferred) skills and qualifications and keep them short and simple.

Tips for writing job descriptions

4. Let them know what you offer

According to a 2017 Glassdoor survey, job seekers take these five considerations into account:

  1. Salary and remuneration
  2. Location and commute
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Benefits
  5. Career advancement opportunities

Over 40% of millennials say they select an employer based on their health and wellness benefits. As well as the gym membership, be upfront about the pay (check if it’s competitive on Glassdoor), office hours, training opportunities, working from home policy and anything else you offer that piques applicants’ interest and makes you stand out from other employers.

5. Use analytics to understand what candidates search for

Are you an evidence-based recruiter? When you use comprehensive data analytics to understand the demographics of people engaging with your profile, see how you perform against competitors, track changes and watch improvements over time, you’ll then be able to focus resources on what drives the most ideal candidates.

Certain platforms, such as Glassdoor, allow you to  monitor which of your jobs generate the most interest and which need more help to get noticed, who you’re attracting and how well these job searchers meet your hiring criteria.

To get more practical tips, download the full guide: How to create a job ad that attracts ideal candidates

 

About Ramune Rubinaite

Ramune Rubinaite

Ramune is a globally-connected marketing manager, specializing in the technology field. Currently, she is running B2B demand generation marketing programs at Glassdoor to help with the company's expansion in the EMEA region. Ramune earned a post-graduate Strategic Management diploma from Harvard University. In 2016, Business & Finance magazine named her among top 100 marketing professionals in Ireland (CMO 100).

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