Job descriptions: the cornerstone of almost all recruitment-related activity, and yet, a piece of content that is all-too-often overlooked and underutilised.
When there's a position that needs filled, it's easy —too easy— to roll out and recycle the same job description that was used last time around. Those who do, operate not only on the assumption that "what worked before will work again," but that they're saving time, too, by avoiding the laborious approval process that's often required for new content.
But don't fall into the trap of thinking that recycling a previously-used JD is an exercise in recruiting efficiency. It's not.
While it may save time in the present, circulating a job description that has not been customised to target an up-to-date version of your ideal candidate will only hinder your organisation in the long-run.
Used in job ads and shared on aggregators, boards and across social, job descriptions have greater reach and visibility than any other single piece of recruitment marketing content. When a job description isn't targeted, you risk missing out on the right candidates for your organisation, and instead, filling up your ATS with those who are less than qualified for the role and your organisation, if they're qualified at all.
An effective job description will speak to those people who are best-suited to your company specifically.
How to craft a more compelling job description
When setting out to make more of your job descriptions, there's no need to scrap everything and start over from scratch. Dust off that old job description you used last time around, and, with just a few tweaks —such as those outlined below— see it transform from what was likely a flat and dull piece of content previously, into something that really catches the reader's attention —and holds it.
1. Go easy on the eye
Content can generate up to 94% more views when visual elements are added. With software like Clinch making it easy to add rich media including images, videos, and hyperlinks to your job descriptions, a few minutes is all it takes to implement simple changes that will lift your content considerably, making it more attractive to candidates and engaging them better.
Remember, a large percentage of those looking at your job descriptions will be "passive" candidates. They’re not necessarily in need of a new job, and will therefore have a low threshold for content that does not immediately grab their attention. An eye-catching image can really make your job description stand out amidst a sea of text-only competitors.
And while we're on the topic of text . . .
2. Focus on copy
On job description copy, keep it “lean.” Today's digital audience has a shorter average attention span than that of its predecessors (just eight seconds in 2015, down from 12 seconds in 2000). If the goal of a job description is to communicate the main functions and responsibilities of a role, you'll need to work on conveying yours in a way that's clear, concise, and brief.
In terms of the content itself, the one question a candidate will always ask themselves when looking at a job description is, “what’s in it for me?” Appeal to that by incorporating terms like “you, your,” and “yours.” Using these types of words will allow a reader to visualise him/herself in the role, therefore increasing your likelihood of a conversion.
3. Make it mobile-optimised
When you consider that half of all job searches carried out on Indeed.com are now done on mobile, it is clear that any and all recruiting content —job descriptions, included— must be optimised for that platform. If it's not, you risk missing out on up to 50% of your potential candidates.
4. Target your ideal candidate
Communicating with someone in a meaningful way is easy when you know who that person is and what they're about. It's the same with creating recruitment marketing content. When you know who your ideal candidate is and what makes them tick, it's much easier to create content that will resonate with them. This includes job descriptions. It's worth taking the time to write your job description so that it speaks to and excites your ideal candidate, as this increases the chances of conversion from those who come closest to that ideal in the real world.
For more information on how to visualise and create targeted content for your ideal candidate, check out our guide to creating a candidate persona.
When you succeed in driving more quality conversions, not only do you shorten your time to hire for that particular role, you also grow the pool of qualified candidates to whom you can market open positions in the future, too.
Be conscious of your content
With their visibility and reach, job descriptions are capable of becoming a recruitment marketeer’s best friend. So, next time you're tasked with building a JD for a position at your organisation, factor in the following and see the difference a little conscious content crafting can make — not just in how many candidates you attract, but the quality of those candidates, too.
Add images, videos, and hyperlinks to make your content more engaging
Keep the copy short, snappy, and focused on communicating “what’s in it for the candidate"
Make sure it's mobile optimised
Get to know your ideal candidate, and make sure that the job description is targeted at and relevant to that persona
For more on leveraging the power of the not-so-humble job description, check out our latest video lesson led by Lars Schmidt — available now, for free, on Clinch Academy.