On average, 118 people apply for any given job. Having trouble getting that many candidates to apply for open roles at your company? The job itself may not be the problem; rather, the requirements and job description may be driving candidates away. Framing the job in a way that is relatable, realistic, and true to your company can turn a vacant position into a position worth clamoring for.
You Have a Brand Responsibility
A job description is a reflection of your company’s employer brand. If a job advertisement is bland, uniform, and uses the same buzzwords over and over, then candidates won’t think much of the role it advertises or the company advertising the role. If the posting is creative, personal, and honest, candidates will see your employer brand in a more positive light and be more drawn to apply for the role.
Choose your words carefully. Don’t add fluff where it is not needed. Be persona. Don’t write like a computer. Give real examples of the specific things a person would do in the role on a daily basis.
Careful on the Job Reqs
There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. If you are having trouble getting people to apply for an open job, try changing the requirements into preferences instead.
Both women and men admit to not applying to jobs when they feel they don’t meet the requirements. Women apply for jobs only when they feel 100 percent qualified, while men are willing to apply when they feel they meet 60 percent of the qualifications. The lesson is that everyone seems to be taking job requirements too seriously.
Perhaps we can learn from Facebook. According to Facebook executive Serkan Piantino, the tech giant takes a fairly lax approach to job requirements. Piantino told a writer at Quartz that, even though many ads for jobs at Facebook say they require a B.A. or M.A., the company aims to be “pretty agnostic to the things that don’t matter. Things like somebody’s prior background, whether they went to a top [computer science] program or never graduated high school, if they’re a good fit for Facebook, we just try to focus on that.”
If a requirement isn’t truly required — just preferred — then let people know that in the job description. Otherwise, you may turn away the candidate who would have fit perfectly in the role.
Craft the Content
Candidates only spend about 50 seconds looking at job ads they will ultimately pass over; they spend another 22 seconds reading the ones they actually plan to apply for. You have got to jam-pack as much oomph as possible into your job descriptions in order to make an impact on candidates.
If the average U.S. adult reads at the ninth grade level, then why are job descriptions often written like mechanics manuals? Ditch the jargon and get to the meat of the message. For examples of what great job descriptions should look like, check out this post from the LinkedIn Talent Blog.
Dare to Be Different
Ultimately, job descriptions should tell candidates what they need to know in a language they can understand. You have to show your audience who you are as a company in the shortest amount of time possible. Attract more candidates to each job ad by appealing to the personal and human sides of applicants. Don’t write for the perfect candidate: write for someone who can learn and grow into who you need for that role. Be real, honest, and open to achieve the best conversion rates on each job posting.