Have you identified the weakest link in your candidate attraction strategy?

So, you (and perhaps your rec comms agency) have researched the market and know exactly who your perfect candidates are – where they are now, what will make them move job, and how your company can deliver it. You’ve identified how to grab their attention with a targeted mix of ad content + media choice.

Happily, some jobseekers are compelled to seek more information and are expertly filtered to, and through, your careers website. They navigate the ATS or find your Opportunities page. And then, and then….

The Job Description.

In today’s recruiting landscape, the Job Description, once just an internal document to manage a purely internal process, is now wielded far more frequently and much earlier in the attraction journey; whether on the careers website, as ‘pile-em-high’ postings on job boards, tweeted far and wide, or propagated by agencies seeking valuable SEO to source (your) candidates.

And that makes them hugely important.

The problem is, they are almost never treated with the same care as the marketing material which sometimes precedes them - the crafting of JDs has generally not yet developed to suit this external exposure. Many are still formulaic iterations of something written years ago, using unfathomable job titles, internal jargon and acronyms, and asking for the generic or unmeasurable: ‘communication skills’ – what, the type of communication skills which mean I can answer a phone without fainting, or the type which mean I can command the attention of a group of commercial executives and enthuse them about huge operational changes?

And with more jobseekers than ever using mobiles to jobsearch, an unclear or extensively lengthy JD will turn far more candidates away from applying than convincing those great candidates that this is the job for them.

So what do I do?

Whether you ask your rec comms agency to rewrite them all in one clean swoop; or empower your recruiters/line managers/HR team to rewrite the JDs for each new vacancy, these are the top 5 areas you must get right:

1. The Job Title. Will your target audience understand the job title? Sometimes, the language that is used internally is meaningless in the outside world, and results in job titles which do not clearly reflect the duties of the role. Change it on the JD to something understandable which allows candidates to see themselves in the role; you can always explain the ‘real’ job title at acceptance stage.

2. The Overview/Intro. This is now a critical step, and the point at which you should sell the role and the organisation to candidates – a task which used to be crafted into a headline when print advertising was all the rage. Consider the number of candidates who have not seen a well written advert posting, who have Googled for ‘business development jobs’ or been passed the JD by an agency, a friend, a contact, Linkedin……

If you’ve already worked on the messaging for the advertising, rework some of that into the Intro, and make sure to include some more detail about why the role exists, what the team does, and how the role holder will add value to the company.

3. Role Responsibilities. Avoid long lists - this should be a short, certainly no longer than 12 bullet points, list of the core aspects of the role. Prioritise the most important responsibilities at the top and avoid generic phrases i.e. ‘undertake client relationship management activities for top tier customers’ by explaining what these activities actually are, avoiding acronyms and jargon.

4. Role Requirements. Do split this section into ‘Essential’ and ‘Desirable’ - and be explicitly clear which is which. For hard to fill roles, consider which skills candidates must have on day 1, and which can be developed in post.

5. Avoid discriminating by asking for specific number of years’ experience (this is still common across so many JDs, even where it's been wiped out the external marketing has wiped it out). Quantify this in other more meaningful ways, i.e. “Managed projects with a value of £mlllion” or “Evidence a track record of working effectively with stakeholders at all levels”.

Genius can help you strengthen your attraction strategy from end-to-end. Call Deborah or Janice on 0117 933 0956 if you’d like to find out more.