Improve Your Job Descriptions for Higher Quality Applicants

Improve Your Job Descriptions for Higher Quality Applicants


Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about how talent acquisition professionals in all industries can benefit from adopting marketing best practices.

In fact, in part one of the series we covered how to apply marketing best practices to recruitment, which was followed by the do’s and don’ts of writing effective job titles.

In this post, we’re going to move away from best practices and job titles, and discuss the meat and potatoes of every job posting: the job description.

How to improve your job descriptions for better applications

The easiest way to improve your job descriptions doesn’t necessarily have to do with technique, or special buzzwords, but with one’s approach. While talent acquisition professionals often view job descriptions as just a hit list of requirements and a role overview, recruitment marketing professionals approach job descriptions as a content marketing opportunity, and ultimately, as a business driver because they know that quality hires drive business success.

Your job description, then, shouldn’t be a list of requirements, but rather a pitch to the ideal candidate; above all else, the ideal job description explains “why my company is the best place for you to spend 40-hours a week, 50 or so weeks out of the year.”

But, what exactly goes into this “pitch,” if not simply a list of requirements for the position? While every job description will, and should, look and feel a bit different from the last, each description should contain the following three elements:

  • Company Culture: Talent acquisition professionals should assume that the best candidates have a number of opportunities at their disposal--meaning your open position is no longer your deal maker. Workers today spend more time at the office addressing business tasks, than they do sleeping, eating or even caring for their families. Therefore, you company culture is important and can often determine if you make a hire or if they end up working for a competitor. The description of your company culture, then, should be transparent, authentic, detailed and should lead every strong job description.
  • A day in the life: Throw the list of requirements out the window. “Sufficient in Excel” means nothing to job seekers any more. Rather, they want to hear about their day-to-day responsibilities. Your job description, then, should be a detailed description of what can be expected of the candidate if they were to land a role and begin working at your organization. By dropping requirements in favor of responsibilities, candidates will inherently do a better job of self-selection (candidates who decide on their own whether or not their fit for a job by applying or not). Furthermore, a hiring company can help increase employee retention rates by being transparent in these positions, as hired employees will have their expectations set appropriately about the job and your company.
  • A strong call to action: If you’ve gone through the trouble of writing a detailed company culture description and left no stone unturned on day-to-day responsibilities, then chances are you’ve engaged high quality candidates throughout your post. So don’t miss a chance at quality conversions with a weak call to action (CTA). It’s easy to write a quick CTA, post your job and call it a day--however, it’s the CTAs that are well thought out, targeted and specific that lead to applications and, later on, hires. Take a moment to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes, and write with the goal of affecting behavior. Remember, the CTA might be just one line, but it’s potentially the most important line of your entire job description.

As recruitment marketing technologies become more advanced and allow hiring companies to more easily hit their target audience, the importance of well-written and transparent job descriptions will only increase. And as your job descriptions become more effective in producing higher quality applicants, you’ll get higher quality hires in the end.

To learn more about recruitment marketing and how it can help you drive applicants and hires for your organization, contact Recruitics today.

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