7 ways to improve your job descriptions & attract top talent

If you’re struggling to find the right candidates and if your business goes through endless hiring cycles, this post is for you. Many organisations sabotage their hiring strategy by using job descriptions which prevent them from reaching the right talent. To make sure you are attracting a wide range of qualified candidates you must write effective job descriptions.

Here are few tips to help you do that:

  1. Don’t confuse with your job titles

Despite the new trend to make job titles sound fun, don’t make a job title too vague or ‘creative’. The job title needs to be a true reflection of the role. When you stick to more traditional job titles, they’re easier to find, as you are using keywords typically used in your industry.  Job boards and search engines use algorithms to select most relevant results prioritising most searched terms.

Instead of calling your web developer a “Web Wizard” use a frequently searched term such as “Web Developer”. It’s also a good idea to include their main skill in the title – like JavaScript or Ruby. You can specify the level of your job, adding phrases like ‘junior’ or ‘senior’ if appropriate.

If you are unclear as to what title to use, do the research to find out which job title best fits your opening, and use that title to help bring in the best candidates.

  1. Figure out your keywords

Similarly, the words you use in your job description should be aligned with the keywords candidates use to find that type of position.

To do this think like a jobseeker – if you were to search for this role, what words would you use?  If your post doesn’t include these common keywords, job seekers won’t be able to find it.

For example, if you’re looking for a JavaScript expert, be specific, indicate task runners, which frameworks, and collaborative tools they should be familiar with to apply for the position. Be sure to include the most relevant keywords in the description so that search engines find it quickly.

For more advice read “How to boost Your Job Post’s SEO”

  1. Attract the right type of candidate

Before writing a job description decide on 3-4 critical qualities that your new hire would need to have. Doing this will help you to specify who you are looking for, it will also help you determine where to post your job.

Emphasise the impact of the role on the organisation and help candidates understand how their daily activities will contribute to the company’s goals. Make the role feel important, as talent won’t be interested in opportunities which are generic or could be filled with just anyone.

  1. Stand out from the crowd

Check job postings for similar positions to determine how you can stand out and attract talent attention. Refrain from using clichés and the same old expressions you see in most of the other descriptions. Including salary range in your job description is one sure way to get right candidates’ attention.

  1. Optimise for mobile

Keep your job description short and to the point and format it in a way that it can be easily scanned through on mobile. Divide information into short, digestible bits by using bullet points where appropriate and breaking text into paragraphs.

  1. Remove gender-biased language

Unconscious bias in job descriptions could mean your organisation is losing out on top talent and furthering the gender imbalance in certain roles and departments.

– Use ‘she/he’ or ‘you’ when describing the tasks of the ideal candidate

– Use gender-neutral titles as male-oriented titles can prevent women from applying. Avoid including words in your titles like “hacker,” or “ninja”, instead use neutral titles like “engineer,” “project manager,” or “developer.”

-Avoid gender-charged words. Words like: “analyse”, “determine, “competitive”, “crush it” and “dominate” attract men, while “collaborative”, “supportive” and even “committed” are widely associated with femininity.

For more read “Are you using gender-biased job descriptions?

  1. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes

Would you apply for a job seeking someone “capable of ruining an office”? Spelling and grammar mistakes discredit your job descriptions and decrease their readability. Mistakes not only keep quality candidates from applying for your opening, but they can also harm your company’s reputation.

Apply these tips when writing your job descriptions and you’ll be on your way to attracting and engaging the best talent!

Job Description Template