Trying to recruit outside talent to fill a job position can be difficult. There may be a lot of people out there looking for jobs, but that doesn’t mean they are qualified to fill the positions they apply for. Those who are qualified for the job in question may not even see the relevant posting.
Job boards are a great way to advertise open positions to the public and help funnel qualified, relevant talent to the position that needs filling. While some people believe job boards are becoming less relevant or useful in the workplace of today, Statistic Brain shows that 35% of jobs are still being filled through online job boards and corporate job sites.
Here are a few things that should never be included when writing a job description in order to attract the right kind of applicant and bring in enough applications that there are some choices to work with when it comes to selecting a person for the open position.
1. Unique Job Titles
A few years ago it became the popular practice to use unique descriptors in job titles to help specific positions stand out in the over-crowded job boards. Examples of these types of unusual terms include “brand ambassador” “customer service ninja” and words like “superhero”, “guru” or “rock star”. The idea was that these types of descriptors would make the work environment seem fun, unique, and friendly.
In reality, job applicants are less inclined to take postings with words like “rock star” and “ninja” seriously, and are acutely aware that these titles won’t look good on their resume when it comes time to apply for the next position. The fact that they are currently going through the job hunting process means they are probably thinking about what moves they have made corporately in the past that have helped or hurt their current position, and what they should keep in mind as they look for a new job now.
Another reason these overly-creative titles don’t work well is that most job boards are run through keyword searches. If an applicant is looking for a customer service position, that is what they are going to put in the search bar. Anything with the title “Rock Star Relations Ambassador” isn’t likely to show up in their results, and if it does, it will probably be at the bottom of the pile.
Keyword searches are another reason to leave out abbreviations as job hunters aren’t likely to use them in their searches. Make sure the job title is relevant to the position; don’t call a sales job a “media coordinator position”. Also be sure to leave out any jargon specific to the business such as “level 2 clerk” that the applicant won’t understand.
2. Lengthy Descriptions
When it comes to the body of the job position it’s important to keep descriptions short and to the point. Applicants look through hundreds of jobs, and want the highest return for their time invested in the job hunt.
If a description goes on too long or gets too technical, the applicant is likely to stop halfway through and move on to something more accessible. Ideally, position descriptions should be kept to a page and contain a brief descriptive section talking about the job and environment along with a bullet point list of qualifications and/or benefits. Leave the extra information for the actual interview.
3. Unrealistic Expectations
One mistake often see in job postings is when a wish-list is presented as a list of requirements. For example, if it would be ideal to have someone with a masters in media marketing for the social media position, but is not required, then it’s not a good ideal to include this. When applicants look through postings they are likely to skip past the ones that they are not qualified for. This seems intuitive, but often an applicant may be a good fit for a job but may not fit the entire list of ideal qualifications, or may have an unusual back ground that makes them ideal for the position even if they don’t have the specific degree listed in the job posting.
Keep in mind that one year of experience at some companies may be worth more than three years of experience at another company. Saying a minimum of three years experience is required can keep candidates with a better skill set from sending in an application just because they don’t meet a minimum that might not actually apply, but rather represents what the job poster thinks is ideal.
It is also important to not expect applicants to be well-versed in technology, programs, or systems that are unique to an individual company. If candidates meet the base qualifications that indicate they have the skills to learn the company-specific systems they should be considered for hire and trained on the job. Don’t scare away talent by requesting skills they have no way of knowing.
4. Incomplete Job Postings
Many job descriptions focus on what they want from the candidate. While this is a good idea to a certain extent it can be counter-productive if the position description focuses entirely on what the company needs or wants. Instead, it is a good idea to include a short section on why someone would want to work in this position. Things that can be added to this section include benefits, work environment, how the job itself may be an enriching experience, and potential advancement opportunities or on-the-job training.
It’s also important to include the salary, or at least a salary range. Applicants are more likely to respond to a job posting if it lists a pay rate they are looking for. This also avoids a scenario where a candidate has a great interview, then finds out the pay at the end and says they need something with a higher salary than the company can provide for that position. A scenario like this wastes everyone’s time and can be frustrating for both the recruiter and the applicant, so it’s best to just include the pay rate on the job description whenever possible.
The same goes for if the position is part-time of full-time. It’s a waste of time for an applicant looking for full-time work to go through the interview process just to find out at the end it’s a part time job. In the same way, applicants looking for part-time positions may pass over a job posting because they assume it’s for full-time work when the part-time qualifier simply wasn’t included in the description.