Writing Good Job Descriptions to Attract More Talent

As candidates, we’re very familiar with the sparsely worded job ads that pop up in our inbox every now and again. These are quick copy and paste attempts, without a structured job description and an urgent plea to find the ideal candidate but often, this puts candidates off.

Recruiters need to invest time in job postings, from knowing where to find the best candidates to having punchy job descriptions that are engaging. What recruiters (in the rush to churn out job ads) forget are that job ads are just that – ads. They need the care and attention of Don Draper staring out the window on his 10th cigarette for the day (okay, maybe scrap that last part)!

So, what can you do to make your job description stand out?

Understand your client’s requirements

It is important to understand clients’ requirements and tone of voice. If the expectation is for the recruitment consultant to write the job description, understand what the client’s brand is and what their selling point is. With the aim of attracting the best talent, highlight the USPs and that will engross your candidates.

Don’t use one template over and over

Repeating the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, right? Job descriptions can be something similar!

Writing the job description must be an exercise in marketing to attract the attention of suitable candidates, making them want to apply and selling them the opportunity.

Whilst structure is important, avoid using the same generic templates for every job you post. Candidates seeing the same wording repeatedly, will undoubtedly result in applicants skimming through and end up attracting unsuitable candidates to the role.

Application percentage per job advert length in characters
Application percentage per job advert length in characters. Source WaveTrackR Annual Report

Structure, structure, structure

Advert length is important – no one wants to read too much copy or too little.

Job descriptions are usually very detailed and formal. This can work in the recruiter’s favour when it is a technical job description, but needs to be structured so that the key points are highlighted in the first few paragraphs of the job copy. These should be bulleted and use of headings for key paragraphs is encouraged. This is not only to engage the candidate quickly, but also from an SEO point of view where Google will pick up on the keywords and headings, and boost search results.

Choosing the right keywords for the advert title is essential to capture the candidate’s attention. This can even influence the overall chances of how this job is performing online and whether it is going to be found by search engines and jobseekers.

Along with the actual day to day responsibilities, the structure of your job copy should include the job title, salary, location and the key benefits to the applicant, with clear call to actions of where they are applying. The user journey for the candidates needs to be as seamless as possible.

Be creative, but not that creative

Communicating your client’s employer brand and company culture in your wording is vital. After all, that is the environment the potential hire will be joining, so it needs to resonate with them.

If the client has a more formal or corporate tone of voice, it is preferable to use words such as “professional, ambitious, sophisticated, etc.” to describe the working environment.  If your client is more informal and creative (usually marketing and design agencies), words such as “creative, dynamic, exciting, etc.” are more suitable.

It is important to avoid using wording like “data rockstar or social media ninja” as that can alienate candidates as those are not common search terms. It may be funky to have these as internal company job titles but for the purposes of digital platforms, best to keep it simple.

With the right approach, recruiters can curate engaging job descriptions that will appeal to the best talent they want to attract for each vacancy and for their clients. Investing the time and energy in perfecting a job description to market your client’s job, inevitably results in quality applications, improved placements and increased revenue.

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