In a competitive market, it is often challenging to attract desirable candidates quickly. In fact, a recent study showed that excessive time to fill open positions as the top human capital risk for companies. Therefore, it is vital to understand how to increase the engagement of job seekers. Writing an appealing job description is one way to help attract skilled candidates.
Consider your target audience
While factors such as health insurance coverage are relevant to all employees, listing every benefit and opportunity offered by your company in detail can result in an overwhelming job description. What people prioritize in a job varies based on age, gender, and job level. Identifying what matters most to your target population will allow you to understand which aspects of the job to focus on in your description and which ones to reduce to a few words. For example, if you want to fill a senior position, it is unlikely that your candidates will be enticed by the opportunity to have paid education leave, so it is sensible not to focus on that benefit. Conversely, if you want to hire a recent graduate, it would be prudent to emphasise the potential for growth within the company. If you are unsure of what your target audience values, interview current employees in similar positions as the one you are recruiting for to learn why they chose to join your company. It is likely that you will find a consensus which you can draw attention to in your job description.
Just as the search to fill a job opening can be challenging for you, the task of applying for a job can be daunting to a candidate. Be encouraging about applying by avoiding words that show your company in a negative light. For example, using the term ‘results-driven’ to describe your ideal candidate may make readers think that you prioritize the company’s success over your employees’ well-being. If you instead say that you are looking for a candidate who is excited about carrying projects through, you show that you value your employees’ happiness, and entrust them with responsibility.
If you are flexible with certain factors, such as GPA or the number of years of work experience, be transparent about that. Job seekers are often discouraged from applying if they don’t meet every single demand. Having strict requirements may drive away desirable candidates because they only just missed a requirement.
Describe your workplace culture
Recent reports show that employees today feel the greatest sense of professional belonging to their company, not to their profession or industry. This could be because people today are quicker to publish their employment information online and associate their company with their personal identity. Therefore, it is important to highlight the company culture and mission in a job description. Doing so will attract candidates who resonate with your company’s goals and will likely be more engaged and productive in their job. Be honest about the pace of the role, the likelihood of collaboration, and the relationship between employees and managers. Since job security is the main reason people join and remain with a company, it is worth mentioning the average length of time an employee stays with your company, if it works in your favour. Lastly, if your company is involved in any form of corporate social responsibility (CSR), it is a good idea to convey this, as it shows potential candidates that they will be a part of an organization they can feel proud of.
Having a vague job description littered with clichés is a surefire way to make readers disinterested. Avoid overused terms, such as ‘synergy’ and ‘communicative’ and instead utilize the space in your description to overtly express the expectations of the position. Given that the majority of employees across regions and industries want a clearly defined role, having a clearly defined job description is the first step to attract candidates. Keeping your description coherent will also help reduce the number of queries you receive from candidates asking for clarification.
Clarity should pertain not only to the job description, but also to the instructions on how to apply. Make it easy to apply by being clear about how candidates should submit their application, what they should include, and when they should expect to hear back.
Applying these tips will allow you to attract desirable candidates and reduce the time taken to fill open positions. Be sure to respond to your candidates quickly in order to maintain their interest. Good luck!