How To Write Job Descriptions That Attract Candidates

Traditional sourcing is a battle for the attention of applicants. When it comes to reeling in the best talent, recruiters have a lot of competition. Job description quality is often a differentiating factor. It’s the first introduction applicants get to your organization, and it needs to be enticing to separate itself from the rest of the job ads they’ll be scrolling through. 

There are a number of characteristics that make up a great job description. In this piece, we’ll be going over the basics, and how your organization can break through the monotony and attract a large talent pool.

Create an Outline

Before your job description is drafted in full, make an outline containing your company’s needs and what an ideal candidate would look like. Meet with your team and communicate with your superiors until a consensus is reached. This may seem unnecessary but is important in order to create internal cohesion and a smooth recruitment process later down the line. Outlining helps focus the final job description, and keeps you on track.

Be Clear and Concise

After an applicant clicks on your description, they should immediately comprehend it and relate to it. If they don’t, they’ll quickly move on. Outline the duties that they’ll have to perform, and the experience or relevant skills they’ll need to succeed near the top of the post. Keep sentences short and informative to improve comprehension, and use bulleted lists when applicable.

Avoid Gendered Language

Unconscious bias like gendered language often drives away potential applicants and should be avoided at all costs. Stereotypical feminine words like “caring, nurturing, and collaborative,” and masculine words such as “competitive” or “grind” cause people to be quickly disillusioned. Also, avoid the use of gendered pronouns like “he” or “she”. 

Convey Why the Position is Meaningful

If an applicant feels like your open job makes a difference, they’ll feel more motivated to apply. Alongside the description of duties, describe how the position impacts the company, and why their work is valuable. Additionally, providing insight into your organization’s mission is important for building a connection with candidates and showing how their work will contribute to the larger mission.

Double Check Your SEO

Most job ads are found online, and most online job searches are made through Google or a job aggregator. To get an adequate number of clicks, it’s vital to understand what terms will push your ad to the top of the feed. 

Research what related terms are most often searched, and include them naturally in your job description. Don’t include job description keywords in abundance, as while that worked in the past, current search engines get suspicious of overuse. Avoid abbreviations as well, as they don’t perform as well. 

Advertise Salary and Benefits

While this isn’t relevant for every position, you should always include salary and benefits in your job description when possible. According to a recent study conducted by SHRM, a whopping 70% of professionals want to hear about salary as soon as possible. For 59% of respondents, salary is THE most important aspect of a job. Many HR departments refuse to acknowledge this, even rejecting candidates who ask about compensation. As a result, they often struggle to attract experienced applicants. 

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