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I am an engineer, but I also have experience in hiring potential candidates. And as of now, I will be wearing a hat with an “MBA” printed on it.

I often come across people complaining about recruitment procedures. For instance, they are pretty long, they seem to be completely irrelevant, and to top it all recruiters aren’t engaging enough. Which sometimes turns out to be right because as an employer’s many of you have no idea what needs to be done or does it really have to be in that particular way or not?

So here I am offering you a blog post featuring a good grounding for you.

I assure you that after reading the post, you will feel a profound sense of clarity—like you knew exactly what you needed to do instead of finding yourself feeling paralyzed by the same old struggles hours or days later. Let’s begin, though!

More responsibilities, tighter deadlines, bigger targets, and working back till late- this is what getting a job is all about. Sorry burst your bubble, but someone had to do it! Lucky me! Now coming back to the point, how to make people want to press that button?

Words play a vital role here.

You need to come up with content that excites them about the prospect of being in the role they are reading about; be it an engineer, journalist, writer, director, and so forth. But we delve into these kinds of details, let’s take a detour seeking around for possibilities that might go wrong with the hiring process.

Firstly, hiring is a people process. It is often quoted as “don’t put your candidates through rings of fire.” Right from screening to selecting, resume parsing, making background checks, and what not!

Secondly, responding to each candidate application ensures positive sentiments regarding your organization. Whereas in the actual scenario, 52% of companies say they respond to less than half of the candidates that apply!

Thirdly, any PR is good PR, which is definitely not true!

Lastly, candidates can easily vent out their frustration- all thanks to Glassdoor and Quora. Whereas 46% of Glassdoor members are reading reviews when they have just started their job search.

Significance of Social Media

Do you believe that reputations or brand images are just mere splashy scandals that make headlines? Which is not true; its way beyond! The moment you start corroborating with someone’s social media mentions. It carries more weight.

I am talking about recommendations received from your social media networks, industry peers, employees, or personal friends and family. It more like referrals that work out for you when seeking around for quality candidates.

Why Most Job Descriptions Suck?

One of the prime reasons for this is they are bad when talking in terms of sense, archaeologically. Generally speaking, Job postings tend to be compliance-driven retreads from the last time that position was filled, and the time before that, and the time before that.

Unfortunately, many of them are text-dense fossils of the same language used by an employer to advertise an opening back when candidates still faxed in their resumes. It’s about doing little to inform or compel the best job seekers to apply. And you know what, bringing your job posting into the modern era isn’t that hard. Let me show you how?

Make Your Candidate Hit That Apply Button

Every business wants qualified applicants- people that meet your requirements. In order to grab their attention, it is very crucial for you to come up with a description that exactly matches what they are looking for. I mean come on, before you buy any product you do a scan. Similarly, your potential candidates have the right to do some window surfing when looking for an employer. And if your ad is not as essential as formatted using big, bold, clear, and concise subheads to make the scanning process effortless, they’ll simply move on.

person searching on Google

Further below I would like to shed some light on certain interesting ways through which you can attract the right people to your open position.

1. Do Your Homework Well

Have you heard about this; people often buy on emotion first and then rationalize their purchases using logic?

In this scenario, applying for a job is more like making a purchase where candidates will press the “APPLY NOW” button only when they feel they are emotionally charged.

So while writing a description, make sure you tap into those emotions by learning everything you can regarding your target audience. Research well on his or her professional goals and aspirations, or what makes him or her happy.

For instance, create a target candidate persona of your ideal employee.

Jot down all the details that your target wishes to hear and more often, something that you can keep up to. If you are hiring a content marketer, you consider the existing marketing team as a reference.

Ask your existing employees regarding their goals, what do they enjoy at the most, which areas of expertise do they lack in which can be filled by your potential candidate.

2. Keep it Concise  

According to sources, job posts with minimum words like 150 or less are more likely to get candidates to apply in comparison to job posts with 450 to 600 words. Precise, conciseness, less is more, whatever you call it- it works!

Even if you check the LinkedIn behavioral data, you will find that shorter job posts had a higher application rate than longer ones. In addition to this, I would recommend creating three versions of the same job description.

  • A generic form
  • One filled with business jargons
  • A casual one with interactive language

Speaking from my personal experience, the very casual job description featuring terms like “kickass corporate manager” and silly hashtags like “#spreadsheets4life” had proven to be worst when attracting professionals. Being a good human and reflecting good company culture always works.

Just make sure you do not go overboard, especially if you are using a casual tone.

3. Stuff the Right Keywords in the Job Title

Almost every business can benefit from incorporating the right keyword. The ones aren’t doing this has a lot to lose. Each day the job hunt leads millions of people to search hundreds and thousands of keywords.

For example- Best Content Writing jobs or Best companies for budding content writers, etc. So if you are set to walk further in a quest where you aim to sound unique and desired, you need to make a creative name for an established role. Instead of calling it “an opening for content marketers around,”.

Try using “Attention Ninja” or “Audience Crafter.” or “King Makers” because the content is king and they will be indeed the kingmakers.

Also, it is very crucial for you to consider that the experience level of your ideal candidate can change the words they use when looking for jobs online

. For example, a mid-level marketer will choose words like “strategist,” “specialist,” or even “manager.” So what you have to do is- include the word “digital” — as in “Digital Content Marketing Specialist” — to put a finer point on all the digital channels you want your applicants to be passionate about. Lastly, post the position under a recognizable, keyword-friendly title, as that’s what candidates will be searching for.

4. Introduce Yourself First

Open your job ad’s main text copy with a brief summary of you. Here I have seen many of you neglecting the context and simply copy-pasting the businesses’ “About US page.”

Never do that! Incorporating a boilerplate description into your job listing shows how lazy you are compelling your prospect to move on. The company’s summary should help in putting the job for which you’re hiring into context for the applicant.

For example, if your company trades in security software, simply stating the name of the company won’t provide any help. Instead, include everything right from the time it was founded to the types of packages you offer, and where you located are.

Every employee be it current, or potential of yours has the right to know company details that pertain to the team they’d be joining.

Let’s narrow it down.

  • Company boilerplate
  • Role overview
  • Responsibilities
  • Qualifications

Some get fancy and break the qualifications section into “required” and “preferred,” but otherwise stick to the formula. The main reason is the limited functionality of applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by platforms recruiters use to post listings.

Most ATS platforms simply aren’t built for modern publishing; their functionality resembles crappy word-processing tools of yore, not modern responsive web design.

Fortunately, there are some workarounds here.

  • Links — Most of the platforms support hyperlinks, so use them to offer a deeper context. Link out to the relevant press, awards, and content that shows off your work culture. Here you can even include links to the LinkedIn profiles (like this job posting, also from Shopify, does) of the other team members a new hire will be working with.
  • Images —  Incorporate embedded images, create a custom branded header, like this one, for a role at Canva. This can help the listing stand out in a sea of text.
  • Tools —  If you have the right budget, tools like Phenom People and Clinch (I serve on the latter’s advisory board, in full disclosure) can help you develop custom microsites for each job listing. Well, here you don’t need to elaborate as it sounds. It with a clean layout and simple visuals.

5. Benefits Package

By now, I am pretty sure you are able to grab your candidate’s attention. It’s time to draw him or her deeper into the ad with a section dedicated to the other benefits: your company’s benefits package – something they will definitely care about.

You need to remember; there’s a right and wrong way to write a benefits bullet. For example- “Heated parking garage.” not worth instead come up with something like “Arrive and leave work comfortably, thanks to a heated garage.” Also, shower the ad with perks like:

  • Dress — Wear anything you like to the office – and be as comfortable at work as you are in your own living room.
  • Flexibility — Two days a week, feel free to skip the commute and hit your deadlines from home.
  • Food — Save hundreds of dollars on food each year thanks to our well-stocked, healthy kitchen.
  • Location — On the days you are in the office, get here quickly thanks to our highly accessible central location.
  • Wellness — Stretch away the stress every morning in our in-house yoga studio.

Final Word

Sitting on one side of the recruiting and hiring process can lead to the development of a distorted and disconnected view of the talent identification and acquisition process. So, make your job postings worth it!  

Written By
Charles Richards strongly believes that knowledge is meant to be shared, for there is a lot we can learn from each other. A business analyst by day and a writer at night, Charles like to write on some new and trending technical aspects. He is currently working at Tatva Soft UK which is a leading software development company in the UK.

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