Why Bland Job Descriptions Attract Bland Candidates

July 22nd, 2016

You do everything you can to attract top talent; you hire the best recruiters, maintain a polished and far-reaching social media footprint, and make sure your current employees are properly rewarded for suggesting referrals that lead to great hires. But there are a few simple, inexpensive moves you may be overlooking. For example, your job descriptions. Paying a little bit of extra attention to a one-page ad can mean the difference between hiring a star and settling for an uninspiring pool of applicants. Here are some tips that can help you shine a spotlight on your post.

Start with the positive.

Begin your post by selling your company. Emphasize the value of your business model and describe the qualities that separate you from other similar organizations. Feel free to summarize the history of your company and list some of your proudest accomplishments. If you launch right into a list of aggressive demands, the best candidates may quickly lose interest.

Describe the job accurately.

Of course you’re looking for a “true go-getter” and a “passionate, creative winner” and of course this person will be joining a team of “world-class experts” and “industry disruptors.” But these aren’t jobs. And they tell the applicant absolutely nothing about what you’ll actually want her to do in this role and what you’re looking for in a new employee. Provide a description of her daily activities and who she’ll be reporting to.

List meaningful metrics.

What are some of the personal traits, skills and qualifications that suggest a mutually compatible match? If you won’t accept a candidate without a bachelor’s degree, make this clear upfront. If the candidate will need a professional certification, bilingual fluency, a social media following of at least 500 or a local address, say so. Don’t be vague, and keep your list logical. For example, don’t require ten years of experience with a software platform that appeared on the market three years ago. And don’t insist on advanced degrees or more than five years of experience for an entry-level job.

Don’t ramble.

You probably prefer to hear from applicants who get to the point and keep their pitches tight, so show them the same courtesy. If your job post takes an hour to read, don’t expect candidates to remember every detail, absorb every word or follow your instructions to the letter. Keep it short.

Share the post with stakeholders.

Make sure the managers who will ultimately work with this candidate have a say in this process. Don’t create confusion between eager, prepared interviewees and interviewers who haven’t read the post. Even better, allow team members and co-workers to look over the post before it’s published. Everyone involved should know exactly what you’re asking of your candidates.

For more on how to hire and attract the best applicants in the marketplace, reach out to the Cleveland County staffing team at PSU.

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