Whether you’re a recruiter or a candidate, you’ve read A LOT of job descriptions in your life. Chances are, they’ve all been pretty much the same.
In a candidate’s market, like we’re in now, it becomes increasingly important to make your job description stand out. Candidates are sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of job descriptions on a daily basis and if yours is just like the rest…it’s not going to be pretty.
As a recruiter, I like to write enticing job specs, but I often feel constrained by the client’s brief. Words like ‘proven ability’, ‘track record’, ‘Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required’ and ‘leadership qualities’ are nothing new.
Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report says 75% of HR managers are struggling to attract and recruit quality employees. Surely then it’s time to start considering what job seekers are looking for when they are searching for a new role? Plus it’s time to consider how you can set yourself apart from the competition. Everyone is looking for their unicorn, needle in a haystack, or left-handed astronaut – so some simple job spec tweaks can really help.
Last week I met a pretty cool digital agency and qualified the role with them face-to-face. Turns out they have an office dog (it’s a Jug who gave us a pretty friendly greeting upon arrival at reception). They also have a beer fridge for Fridays after those goals have been smashed and an amazing project has been delivered.
Not only that, the place is scattered in beanbags, they have day team trips out and have game consoles everywhere AND they were all tucking into ice cream when we arrived on the hottest day of the year! But they didn’t want to put it in the job spec in case they seemed unprofessional! I’m not really a dog person but even I want a job there.
Five top tips for writing a stand-out job description
1- Pull them in
Your description needs to grab their attention. Think, “If you were in their shoes, what would get you to want to apply right then and there?”
2 – Don’t just list requirements
Sure, the requirements are important. At the end of the day, the best candidates need to know how this position could potentially impact their lives. How is this role going to provide value to them? Will it challenge them? Is it truly the next best step to progress them through their career?
3- Make it easy to digest
You have less than a second to get their attention. Unfortunately, even once you have their attention, you don’t ge much more time. Make your job post easy to scan. Many people read job posts on the go, so the majority just skip through and see keywords. According to LinkedIn, 40% of users have its app, so ensure your description is concise and mobile-friendly.
4- Don’t hide the salary
Why waste time? At the end of the day, it’s better to be open and honest. We all know how terrible it is to be excited about a candidate only to find out they need more money and decline. Might as well just get it out there in the forefront.
5- Add a call to action
Why get them all excited to apply, but then leave them hanging?! It’s important to make it crystal clear on how you’d like that candidate to apply. There’s nothing worse than losing a great candidate to miscommunications and confusion.