Struggling to find applicants?
We get it. You work hard, create the entire recruitment plan for that amazing Developer vacancy your firm has. You have everything in order, from the application phase down to the particulars of the offer when you have to make it. Everything is perfect, except you aren’t getting a lot of high-quality applicants.
Why is that? In our experience, more often than not the culprit is the Job Description. Yes, that one thing where you just copy paste your details into an age-old template.
Question: Are you too busy and just want to see how an amazing Job Description looks like? Well then, here are a few links to offer you a temporary fix:
Think you have the time to actually make a Job Description your own? In that case, read along.
How can something as primitive as a Job Description be so vital to the quality of applications? The answer is that unless you are someone like a Google or Microsoft, where the name speaks leaps and bounds, the Job Description is the only way for applicants to get an understanding of who you are. What you actually do and how much you care for your employees, current and future.
So how do we do it? Is there something like a perfect “Job Description” that will get me 100% quality applicants? The answer to the latter question is a clear NO, but you can try to get close and work on each one. Reason? Because each Job is as different as the company and the position it offers. Because the Jobs are different, we need to tailor the Job Descriptions to explain the role and the company better. The answer to the first question is the reason we are writing this blog post. To help you do it.
1. gather your ingredients
You know the drill. Put everything on the drawing board. Except for the particular skill-sets that are endemic to each of those roles, most parts of the Job Description and the format will be same.
The first thing to do for creating our perfect Job Description is gathering all the information. Get only the essentials, whether we put it on the actual posting is something we will decide later.
Now that you have the skills, location, seniority and the stack for the vacant position, let’s start. We suggest going through phases to address each and every aspect of the Job Description.
2. visibility- your job description title
Captain Obvious, eh? Well, talk about the most overlooked factor. What is it that people see when they come across your Job Description? The Title. Yet, we do not pay enough attention to it.
So what changes can we make to see that it is more impactful? We say start simple. Ensure that we address the title of the position, and add the location of the opening as well. We have seen many people show interest only to back out later because the location was not suitable for them.
The Title is important because you want to identify what is the role of potential applicants immediately. Adding words like Ninja and Wizard may attract the trendier crowd, but you have to keep it classy too. So what do we do? We compromise. For SEO and visibility purposes, we suggest using at least 60% of the title to add regular searchable terms and keywords. The remaining 40%? Let your imagination run wild (as long as it is acceptable and sensible).
Finally, keep in mind what is the position you are hiring for. Think in the shoes of a person in that role, and modify it so that it catches their eye best.
3. differentiate between preferred and required
There’s an age-old saying that goes:
What you need is but a few things,
But what you want is a list never ending like the abyss.
Same goes for our potential recruits. We all want Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to come work for us, but we also need to be realistic about our expectations. Each job has a certain set of skills that make up the daily routine and hence is indispensable. On top of that, managers always put up a list of 5-10 skills that “would” be amazing if the recruit possesses them. But you need to think what makes sense and what you can do away with. So even though your manager thinks your next salesperson having a degree in rocket science is preferred, try to not include that in the Job Description maybe?
4. keep it short and sweet
It is what it looks like. Nobody likes to read an essay about what a person in xyz position does. They are reading it because they qualify to be in that role. Giving them a benefit of doubt shouldn’t be so hard on this one. We want everything important to be as clear as possible with as little deviation as possible.
Like we said, differentiate the preferred and required skills. Then use as little as possible to convey as much as possible. Try to be interesting as we don’t want to end up being a cliched Job Description. Those only get a minute’s worth of attention and off potential applicants go.
Given the age of social media, be trendy, add a few images or GIFs if they are suitable. Ask people to share the listing with their circles. Someone who isn’t suitable may share it within their circles and that can lead to good opportunities.
5. speak! don’t write
Now you might ask us, how do you speak in a text? Are we supposed to do a video? No. Unless you can, in which case it would be great. But coming back to the point, when we say speak, we refer to the voice. Do not be an insensitive regular boring Job Posting. Make your Job Description about your company, your culture and your opening. That is what people connect to. And that is what will help you get passionate applicants on top of qualified ones.[ctt template=”9″ link=”H8wa7″ via=”no” nofollow=”yes”]Be the voice of your company. Try new things and show how working at your company is fun. As a fun thought, you can try showing potential applicants who they will be working with. Most firms only end up showing the work and company culture, you can go one further with this. [/ctt]This can be a big factor for a lot of people when they see they can work with some amazing individuals. It is small things like these that can tip the scales in your favour.
Yes, that’s exactly what we are suggesting. Just as long as you are not overdoing it, it is perfectly fine. After all, you want to give people a reason to come work for you. Hand to heart, there is also the factor that you aren’t the only one trying to get the attention of these people. You want to stand out, and that means you have to show why working for you makes sense. What makes you better as an employer?
7. be clear
What we intend to tell you here is to ensure you leave no ambiguity anywhere. If a person is interested, make sure that you have clearly specified the next steps for every stage. Do not let anyone refrain from applying just because they did not understand what to do?
Once we have our perfect Job Description ready, only one thing remains. Getting it out there, to the people that matter. There’s always the usual suspects in the old and trusty job boards. But the time has come to move it up a notch. Everyone you are looking for is on Social Media. So leverage that fact. Apart from your regular Job Posting websites, put up exciting posts on Social Media. Not only will this give your site a good few Backlinks and SEO value, it will also help increase visibility.
Social Media works for the sole reason that even if someone who has no use spots the post, they can still tag or share it with their friends who have the requirement.
in the end, it does
n’t even matter
Now that we have put in all the hard work, just sit back and relax while you see the results pop up. But should you? Just because you manage to get better applicants, doesn’t mean the entire problem is fixed. This is only the first part of it. What you do with these high-quality applicants is all that matters now.
For you to understand things better, we even went through 100+ job descriptions, analyzed and pulled out the following ones for concluding thoughts.
Here is how a good job description looks like, with everything that we need and nothing of what we don’t.
Well, no marks for guessing what this one is about. We did not red flag this because we wanted you to be able to see something in the Job Description.
For aesthetic reasons, we thought listing what is wrong with this JD would be better than marking on the image.
- Bad Title- Should mention what stack under which the Back-End Developer will work. Ideal example would be: Back-End Developer (Java/NodeJs)
- Too much text- We would happily snooze before completely reading this Job Description
- No clarity- There is no clear cut description of what the company is looking for. This Job Description is as Vague as it can get and will only confuse someone rather than help.
- No human touch- It addresses the reader directly, but it feels more like the ten commandments rather than a company or someone with a personality speaking.
Every firm needs to have a standard hiring plan based on the domain for which hiring happens. Directly Interviewing an applicant by screening based on a resume will only have a negative impact on the company’s hiring image. One way to tackle that is by ensuring every applicant that meets the criteria gets a fair chance. This can be done using Pre-Employment Assessments. If you aren’t already using one such platform, read here to know why you should be. You can sign up to Xobin Interact to experience one of the smartest and most secure platforms at a price you can afford.
After you have assessed them, you can proceed to interview them and progress based on merit. You can follow our series on Interview Questions to get a hint of what you can do to improve the interview experience for your applicants.