Talent Circles

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Are Your Job Descriptions Compelling Enough to Recruit College Grads?

Compelling job descriptions

Consider that your job posting might be the first impression a person has of your company. If you look at your current listings, do they convey the image you want? Does yours stand out among other job postings? Today’s college graduates are looking for exciting opportunities with a company they can feel good about. As an employer or recruiter, it’s up to you to “wow” your audience—or at the very least, intrigue them.

Obviously you need to be honest and realistic about what someone can expect from the job, but there are ways you can keep it real while also making it compelling. Here are some ideas to help you get noticed.

Grab the reader’s attention immediately. Treat your job description as an ad, because it is one. And just like with any ad, you need a great headline. Rather than the job title being the first thing people read, think about some ways you can draw people in. Try something like, “Want a job that has you looking forward to Monday mornings?” Or, open with something fun and unexpected about the company. Give people a reason to want to get to know more about your company and the job you’re hiring for.

Give your job descriptions a personality. Even if you’re able to capture attention with a great headline, your audience will lose interest if the actual description of the job is dull. A dull, uninspired job description equates to a dull, uninspired job. Convey your company culture and use a voice that sounds inviting. Sell people on why it’s a good job and why the company is a great place to work. And stay away from tired language like, the qualified candidate will possess… Try something with more flavor like, Looking for someone with a passion for design or with a powerful intellectual curiosity.

Don’t go overboard on the details. Keep the job posting on the short side. Around 600 words is a good length, although a more complex job might require something a bit longer and an entry level or very straight forward position can be a little shorter. The goal is to cover the key points so potential candidates are informed, but you don’t cause strong applicants to glaze over and lose interest.

Know your “Must have’s” versus your “Would be nice to have’s.” It’s important to list the top four or five critical qualifications of the job. What skills or qualifications (any licenses or degrees, for example) are you absolutely unwilling to compromise on. List these as non-negotiable. This will weed out the truly unqualified individuals. Then, think through what other qualities or skills you would want someone to bring to the table and why. Do they play a major role in doing the job successfully? Perhaps there are things that really aren’t all that essential. You need a good balance between enough and not too many when it comes to required and preferred qualifications. You don’t want to risk pushing away talented individuals because of too many unnecessary restrictions.

Include graphics/pictures – Make it visually appealing. No one wants to wade through tons of text to decipher what the job and the company are all about. Here is a fun example of a job listing that combines personality and visual appeal quite nicely: Job Description - Be Awesome

Include videoYouTube has over a billion users (almost one-third of all people on the Internet) and every day they watch hundreds of millions of hours of video on YouTube. Additionally, growth in watch time on YouTube is up at least 50% year over year for three straight years. In other words, YouTube is somewhere you want to be. Here are some ways to incorporate video with your job listings.

  • Use candid interviews with employees about why they love working for your company.
  • Show the unique benefits your company offers.
  • Show the diversity of the people who are employed at your company.
  • Talk about exciting projects employees get to work on.
  • Do your employees get to make a difference in the world? Let them talk about it.
  • Define the qualities of the types of people who are successful in your company.
  • Talk specifically about the work potential employees would be doing.
  • Create a fun video that emphasizes your company culture so you can attract other employees with similar attitudes.
  • “How-to videos” on a technical topic posted on YouTube can be a great way to introduce your company to potential job candidates

Make it easy to apply. Think Amazon’s “Buy now with 1-click” option. It’s clear, direct and super simple. Don’t turn people away by requiring them to complete excessive forms and jump through hoops in order to apply for the job.  And make the call to action inviting. You could use something like, Click here to join the crew! Using video to conduct interviews after people apply (with Skype, for example) is also an appealing option. Mention that in your ad if it’s an option for you.

And, just a reminder, don’t forget the essentials. While it’s important to give your job listings personality and pizzazz, don’t get so caught up in the creative side that you neglect to include the necessities in your posting: Job title, job summary, main responsibilities, mandatory qualifications and skills, preferred qualifications and skills, location (including if travel will be involved), instructions for applying and contact information.

Call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com for more information on successful recruiting strategies.

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