From the technology we use, to how we approach candidate engagement, so much around the recruiting and hiring process has evolved and improved over the years. But one thing sure hasn’t changed and–in today’s “candidate-driven” labor market–continues to stick out like a sore thumb. I’m talking about job descriptions.
Most job ads are still dry, boring, and lack any semblance of life or soul. They stack bullet points on bullet points (so many bullet points) of required skills, alongside unrealistic years of working experience. Tell me, how can an entry-level worker possess 1-3 years of experience?
Thanks to practices like these, less than half of American workers believe that job descriptions reflect actual job responsibilities, according to Jobvite’s latest survey. Even worse, bad postings can some times drive good candidates away by peddling unintended biases, such as ageism.
Bottom-line: the way most of us do job descriptions today has gotta go. Like your careers page, they should be a fun, engaging place where candidates can evaluate your company and get excited about a potential career there. So, do everyone a favor, and retire postings that bore candidates to tears. Instead, treat job descriptions like your new landing page.
Introducing the new and improved job description
So, how do you bring those job ads into the 21st century? For starters, you need to cut the crap, hone in on what really matters, and streamline the application process. If education or years of experience aren’t the most important factors, then don’t start a job description with them! Steer away from credentials in favor of actual experience and the qualities that will move the needle for the company.
Also, don’t bombard candidates with a wall of text around job responsibilities right away either. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to grab their attention, so focus on why your company is a great place to work or how the role might be intriguing to them. Once they’re on the hook, then dive into the more nuanced details surrounding the role.
Level up with the latest techniques
The next way to take your job descriptions to new heights requires embracing the new technology at your fingertips and getting a bit more creative. Here are two strategies I’m seeing right now:
Video job descriptions
I’ve said before that video is a “must have” today as candidates keep shopping jobs more frequently than ever. That said, company brand videos, employee experience montages, and leadership insight clips are just the tip of the iceberg. Today’s most recruiting-savvy companies are also using video job ads to quickly help candidates understand who they are and why it’d be cool to work there.
Let’s face it, reading even a well-written 100% text requisition can be painfully dull. Video job descriptions can be consumed faster, more enjoyed on-the-go and shared across social media. They might be just what you need to stand out from the crowd in this challenging market.
“Interactive” job descriptions
Adding interactive elements to your job ads is certainly cutting-edge and radical, but could provide a major boon to your recruiting efforts (if pulled off correctly). Consider something like a two-minute quiz or game for candidates to answer questions and see how well they’d fit the role. While you’ll need some technical prowess and finesse to pull this off, there are so many benefits, such as:
- Ensuring they’re a strong candidate for the position (or re-directing them to a more suited role, if not);
- Confirming their interest in the company so you can engage them even if they’re a passive candidate;
- Save candidates the time of applying for a position they’re ill-suited for, and in turn, save recruiters some time of parsing unqualified resumes.
But also, say what you need to say
All the creative (and more fun) elements aside, there still needs to be a balance between attracting candidates and laying out the real responsibilities of the job. Candidates understand this, and would rather know exactly what they’re getting into versus finding out once they’ve already accepted the role.
In fact, workers who leave a job in the first 90 days are most likely to say they did so because the day-to-day role was not what they expected. This underscores the need to remain authentic and transparent when approaching job descriptions. After all, it’s an awful feeling when someone leaves in the first three months of being hired, and everyone is back at square one.
There’s definitely a nice sweet spot between “bores candidate to death” and “full-on marketing fluffery” when it comes to job ads today. Find it, and you can improve them in a way that should pay big dividends down the road.