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.
The best people in the business know their worth, and are willing to take a leap. We know that the recruitment process takes time: careful planning, screening methods, budget, internal politics. But your candidates don’t care about that! Here’s why it’s in your interest to cut to the chase and get the best talent on […]
‘Tis the season for colds and flu, and with that double threat on the horizon, it’s time to take care of your health and wellbeing in the workplace! Who’s got time to be unwell? Nobody. So follow our top tips for staying healthy this winter as the temperature drops… Clean that desk! Did you know […]
As a wise woman once said: “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’”, and decades on those words still resonate – they’re the standard core hours for most. But how do other countries stack up against the UK for time clocked up? Who works the most – and the least? Research […]
So you’ve landed that job offer… and another one, too. Well done – now, how do you make your choice between two (or more) tempting deals? Accepting an offer is a decision you have to make quickly; it’s a real leap of faith. These questions will help you cut through the noise of vested professional, […]
We spend most of our daily lives day in and day out with colleagues, so is it any wonder team building is so important? We look at the four main ways it can benefit your business – and we give you seven ways to do it without walking on hot coals… Four ways team-building can […]
Fed up with the daily grind of traffic jams and overcrowded buses or trains? Cycle to Work Day (yes, that’s a thing) is just around the corner, and we’re looking at reasons to don the Lycra and hit the road with the Cycle to Work scheme. The rise of ‘pedal power’ across the UK is […]
The summer holidays are over and the new school term has begun. If there are mothers and fathers in your team or department – maybe you have a family yourself? – then you’ll know the challenge of juggling work and family all too well. How can you make flexible working work for you? Looking into […]
So, you’ve passed the initial CV stage – next up is that all-important phone or Skype interview. Even if it’s just ten or fifteen minutes, what you say and how you project yourself over the phone determines whether you get to the next level. How should you prepare for that initial conversation? We give you […]
Every company wants the best talent; finding and hiring top-notch recruits can be like the proverbial needle in a haystack. How do you train your eye to see the brilliance in your midst? Not everyone can fall back on decades of experience or the gift of intuition, and we know you’re expected to have these […]
Successful interviews are all about the basics: preparation and attitude. Seems obvious, but errors are easy to make when the pressure is on. We’ve got 7 quick and effective job interview tips and strategies for getting you from shortlist to offer… BEFORE THE INTERVIEW 1. Get an information pack together Have a good look at […]