“Diversity in the workforce.” If you’re an HR professional, you’ve surely heard this phrase. But…
If you’re looking to step up your recruiting game, it might surprise you that one of the most effective ways to boost your outreach is also one of the simplest: writing a better job description. It’s a step that doesn’t require a huge amount of resources or time, but it can help ensure that you’re reaching the best potential candidates and drawing them in.
1. Use a catchy (but informative) headline.
The headline of your job post is going to be the first thing candidates see. That means you need to convey enough information without making it too dry. There might be a temptation to go cute or informal (“Seeking marketing wizard”), or to try to cram too much information or jargon onto one line (“Level II Marketing Manager with 10+ Years’ Experience). The headline should be specific to the job itself, and straight to the point. For example, “Senior Marketing Manager” conveys more information than “Marketing position open for experienced candidates.”
2. Describe the position effectively.
Your job post should have a succinct (but accurate) description of the job. You should include two parts: a general overview of the job and its role and a list of responsibilities. This does not have to be an exhaustive list of everything the person would be doing on the job, but it should include the most important aspects of the role, as well as any responsibilities that require specialized skills or experience. If you go too vague, you run the risk of getting under-qualified candidates who think they meet the needs of the job. If you get overly specific, you run the risk of scaring away candidates who might otherwise be a great fit, except for some small areas where you might be willing to compromise.
The job overview should be just a few sentences; attention is limited in this digital world, and you need to be able to attract someone right off the bat. The responsibilities should be concise bullet points full of action verbs.
3. Include your requirements.
If the position calls for a certain level of education, skills, or experience, make sure you’re including that information clearly in the job description. If it’s entry-level, say so. The clearer you are in outlining the job, the more likely it is that you’ll get qualified applicants who feel like they could be a good fit. If you make the candidate guess as to what they’ll need, you may lose the attention of potentially great applicants.
4. Show off your employer brand.
Remember: You’re trying to appeal to the reader very quickly. That means including information about your company that conveys organizational culture and values, without writing a manifesto. For example, a few sentences about your company and its mission can be highly effective:
JobCorp is an award-winning marketing company committed to innovative, collaborative solutions. Our team is passionate about growth and constant improvement. If you are a team player interested in dynamic problem solving, we’d love to hear from you.
5. Make it easy to read.
This may be the most important upgrade you can make to your job description. Long blocks of text can be tedious to read, especially on smaller screens. Make sure your paragraphs are short and on-point, and that your lists of skills or responsibilities are bulleted and concise. You may not have much control over fonts or sizes (depending on where your post is appearing), but creating clear, easily digestible sections of text will make your job description readable (and appealing) in just about any format.
Improving your job posts is something you can do right now, without much hassle or investment of resources. The clearer you communicate what the job is, what applicants should have, and why they should work for you, the better the engagement you'll receive from potential applicants.