Why your job descriptions aren’t attracting the best candidates

Finding and keeping a great candidate shouldn’t be hard, but employers often shoot themselves in the foot with vague job descriptions and briefs. Research by the Hay Group suggests nearly sixty per cent of HR departments blame terrible interviews and high turnover on weak job descriptions. A well-written description gives candidates a clear idea of what to expect, and recruiters an invaluable insight into which candidates to source. That means a lot less wasted time for you.

In a recent LinkedIn article, recruitment industry stalwart James Beacham shed some light on why writing good job descriptions are more important than ever: “In recent years we have seen a power shift from the recruiter to the candidate, the more quality and sought-after talent has much more option and they are shopping around for the perfect company.”

It may be time to sharpen that pen. Here are a few of the common pitfalls we’ve noticed in in-house job descriptions, which may very well apply to you too.

1. You’re not highlighting your company culture

Cultural fit is a hugely important factor in keeping employees happy and loyal, not to mention getting the right people through the door in the first place. Make your impact straight away and give your job descriptions a sense of personality that’s in line with your company’s culture. Formal, stuffy waffle won’t cut it for an edgy start-up, or for a household brand with a distinctive outlook and way of working. You should aim to give potential employees a sense of what it’s like to work for you, your company’s goals and values, and what you’re looking for in the people you hire.

2. You, HR and marketing aren’t working together efficiently

In the same research, nearly eight per cent of HR managers said they found getting a good job description from hiring managers to be ‘time-consuming’ – and nearly half felt that companies described their open vacancies badly. A HR professional’s eye is essential for making sure your job description covers the skills, competencies and behaviours you’re looking for. What candidates will also be looking for is a clear idea of where they’ll fit in, so be sure to include reporting lines and all the teams and departments they’ll be working with. Giving your marketing team (or person) some input makes sense when you consider that it’s their job to persuade, to sell stuff. Why not get them to help you sell your vacancies?

3. You’re hiding your goodies

There’s research to suggest that young professionals want to have a clear idea of their career path – and they want to scale the ladder quickly. According to Robert Walters, nine in tenMillennials put career progression at the top of their recruitment wish lists. So if your company can offer that, put it front and centre. There’s also nothing to be gained by hiding your company benefits and perks, either. If you pay less than your competitors, show all the attractive incentives and training you have available, and highlight the number of internal promotions that have been made. That will add significant weight to claims that candidates can rise quickly through the ranks.

4. You’re waffling

Be clear, specific, and to the point. Unsurprisingly, Twitter’s job descriptions meet these criteria – which brings us neatly back to the first point about being true to your company’s ethos! Take a leaf out of GOV.UK’s style guide and use succinct but informative headings, bullet points, and plain English. Avoid wishy-washy words like ‘might’, ‘sometimes’ or ‘should’. This saves recruiters and candidates from wondering about what you’re looking for, and makes it easier for candidates to imagine themselves doing the job.

 

 

17Jan

New Year New Career

Xmas is over, dry January is in, everyone’s hitting the gym and you’re not sure whether to restart your job search or not; Brexit is looming, the media is crazed, the uncertainty of 2018 doesn’t seem to have cleared yet and we’ve all eaten too much cheese – what to do? Let’s look at the […]

10Jan

New Year Hiring Plans

Xmas is over, dry January is in, everyone’s hitting the gym and you’re not sure whether to restart the search for that elusive person you need; Brexit is looming, the media is crazed, the uncertainty of 2018 doesn’t seem to have cleared yet and we’ve all eaten too much cheese – what to do? Let’s […]

20Dec

How can you tell if a candidate is being truthful?

As an employer, you will no doubt have an idea of what you’re looking for in a candidate, whether it’s a particular qualification or a certain level of experience. But finding the right person for the job isn’t always easy, and sifting through dozens of applications can be overwhelming when there’s so much to consider. […]

20Dec

How Today’s Top CEOs Invest in Their Workforce

It’s no secret that providing your employees with perks in the workplace often creates a happier and more fulfilled team. Though numerous studies have been conducted regarding the benefits of workplace happiness, the message seems clear. If you treat your employees well, they will work harder, tend to be more efficient and generally strive to […]

12Dec

Wage rises accelerate to fastest pace since 2008

  Wages are continuing to rise at their highest level for nearly a decade, the latest official Office for National Statistics figures show. Compared with a year earlier, wages excluding bonuses, were up by 3.3% for the three months to October, the biggest rise since November 2008. Average weekly wages are £495 – the highest […]

28Nov

How Self Driving Cars will disrupt Retail

Self Driving Cars may impact physical retail stores, especially if they are combined with other new advancing technology such as automated warehouses, drones and 3D printing. This will allow products to be delivered to wherever you want, whenever you want and much quicker and cheaper than currently possible, creating a new level of convenience that […]

21Nov

Black Friday madness

The biggest sales day of the year is fast approaching – and although Black Friday doesn’t officially start until the end of the week, many retailers have started to release early deals. The annual event, which gained popularity in the UK after it was borrowed from the US a decade ago, heralds the start of the Christmas shopping […]

07Nov

Does pedigree really matter when applying for jobs?

One of Donald Trump’s loudest–and likely most impossible to fulfill – promises is to bring back coal jobs. He has made this appeal to people whose factory skills aren’t in demand anymore and likely don’t have the secondary education necessary to enter into other industries. Whether or not more coal jobs are created, this need has […]

31Oct

Which personality firework are you?

It’s that time of year…. Bonfire Night is just around the corner! So the question is, are you the office firecracker? We take a look at the mixed bag of personalities you find in the office. From the rowdy ‘rockets’ to the shy ‘sparklers’. How do you manage them? The Roman Candle If you didn’t […]

17Oct

Is the office booze-up a thing of Christmas past?

It’s that time of year when we’re starting to think about the office Christmas party. It gives companies a chance to reward their hard-working employees, but are some people taking it too far and letting their behaviour ruin the festivities? We have created a culture here in the UK whereby the ‘Office Christmas party’ is […]

Leaders in Marketing, eCommerce and Product Management Recruitment

Intelligent People - Marketing, Ecommerce and Product Management Recruitment
REC

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

Crafted by FL1 Digital

We may monitor or record any communication between you and Intelligent People Limited, including telephone calls, for quality control and training purposes.