How to make sure you attract enough applicants for your job post? Can an adequate job description make a difference?

Delia Pușcă

13 minutes read

Social media has become so much more than a means to socialize. The ever growing number of subscribers that these online communities like to boast about make them the ideal recruitment channel thus replacing the classic recruitment platforms. And it’s not only us saying it but also almost 45% of young people in Romania who state that they would like to find job postings on social media. According to a study conducted by SmartDreamers platform, in Romania, circa 60% of young people say they click on a job posting on social media.

In other words, we are witnessing an increase of competition in both directions, not only among candidates but also among employers.

Both parties, applicant and company, want to find the best match. And a simple search on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn will reveal a massive amount of information coming our way not only from human resources specialists but also from marketing, branding, and public relations consultants. When everybody is fighting to make the best first impression and convince, one question comes to mind: what is the detail that can make a difference? What could make it easier for young people to find a job and how can companies recruit the right people for the positions they are advertising? There is certainly no easy answer to that question but one starting point that HR people should consider is as simple as that: the job description.

A job posting is an advertisement for the company

Often times a job posting acts as a business card, as a presentation for a company and this is why it makes sense to want to make a strong first impression on the potential candidate.

An adequate job description can attract, or, on the contrary, deter many candidates. A job title that is unclear, vague, or contains too many acronyms or jargon can easily mislead. Do you often run into titles such as ”EMEA”, ”VMJ” or ”BMIS” that at first sight leave you with no idea about what they mean? If for a moment you felt guilty that you didn’t know their meaning or that you didn’t understand what exactly it is that they stand for, don’t: so many of us have been through the same situation. A situation that might have been avoided very easily. A job posting that clearly states the job name, that completes it with precise explanations and with as few acronyms as possible is the first obligation of a company or of the HR person in charge of publishing it.

But what is it that makes a job description stand out?

To make it easier to understand we could compare a job posting with an article or with a piece of news. The more attractive the title and the introduction, the more curious people will be to keep on reading the rest of the story.

This means that the employer must at all cost offer the candidate a context that is familiar, with terms that are specific for the position that is being offered but that are presented in a clear and concise manner. Jargon and acronyms have no place in the first part of the job posting text. In case you decide to use them you will have to include additional explanations.

Furthermore, keywords are necessary not only for SEO reasons but by using them you make sure that your intended message will reach as many candidates as possible, all the more important if you are recruiting for a less common position. Again, descriptive sentences are essential!

The best ambassadors of a company are often its employees. So take advantage of this fact and as you write your job posting consider including information about activities performed by your colleagues in the department for which you are recruiting and relevant information about the company.

The job context. The team and the responsibilities of each team member

Let’s consider the following situation: we have a job title that is an attention magnet for candidates. ”Project Manager” might be an example but depending on the industry it might mean a lot of different things. So, one of the first questions potential candidates might ask themselves is „What will my day look like at this job?”

Furthermore, in order for a job posting to really stand out and be attractive there are several strategies that can make a difference. Digital marketing and video content are just two of them.

For example, if until recently the norm was to write an entire page about the job opening presenting the day-to-day activities and responsibilities, offering details about the company and the work environment, the harsh reality is that nowadays nobody has the patience to read that much text. What you can do instead is combine the graphic and the video formats, and blend in information about the job, the company, the team and the work environment. You could for example produce a short video presenting the latest projects of the company and use it as a background while to one side you list the responsibilities of the position advertised. And you can apply the same technique when presenting the day-to-day activities, the collaboration among departments or even the availability to travel abroad. The advantage of using this format is that besides its inherent quality it can easily be posted on social media where video content is in high demand.

But pay great attention to the application method you offer to candidates. The SmartDreamers study mentioned earlier has also identified a list of impediments that young people mention as a reason for not applying to a position. Almost 60% of young people interviewed say that a major impediment that stops them from applying for a job is a long and unclear job description. At the same time, other reasons they cite are related to the length of the recruitment process and the large amount of information they have to provide when applying. A little over 20% of respondents say that a very important impediment is the lack of images and video content from the company presentation.

How important is the information about the company?

Changing jobs can be a very important and difficult decision especially if an employee has spent many years in a company. Generally, employees would change jobs for higher wages or for better benefits and compensation packages. The challenge would then be how to convince a candidate to join a company that is not as large, as well known or as developed as the one they are already working for?

Again, a well thought and attractive job posting could make the difference and lure even skeptical candidates who would normally be very difficult to convince to leave the comfort of their old company. And here comes into play the way in which you present the culture of the organization for which you are recruiting. Regardless of how happy you are with the company, try to leave aside your subjective view and instead focus on the efforts that the management is making towards building an adequate work environment. The salary, the benefits package and the company headquarters – they can all contribute to the emotion and the perception that usually candidates develop towards a company.

Do not forget to include in the job description information about the evolution of the company, especially if you are talking about a smaller company or a company that is less known both nationally and internationally. Make sure to present the opportunities for development and the prospects that lie ahead of the company. This will make it easier for candidates to understand why the company is hiring!

What about you? What are your focal points when writing a job posting?

Written by Delia Pușcă

Contributor

Journalist by profession for over 10 years, but converted to public relations and human resources. I appreciate good manners and the art of communication in all its forms. I consider that elegance in behavior is the most precious prerogative, a principle according to which I guide my entire activity.

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