4 Tips to Lean and Mean Job Descriptions (to attract more candidates)

In our last Blog, we discussed recruiting as a marketing strategy to attract and engage applicants. Your job descriptions are a vital piece in your recruitment marketing strategy, since they give the first impression of your company and is what connects you with a candidate. In order for your jobs to stand out in a sea of thousands of others, you will need to think outside the box to attract and engage talent. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Think of your job titles as a story headline. What story titles attract the most readers? Exciting stories with captivating headlines. And unless you’re an attractive brand that everyone in town wants to work for (CREAM anyone?), you will need to be creative with your job titles. Use the same approach and include exciting terms and incentives that will attract candidates, such as sign-on bonuses or a guaranteed amount of hours. We hate to say it, but corporate titles come standard, and are repeatedly listed on job boards giving the applicant zero incentive to click and view the job. Which job title would you be more inclined to view?

          Server – Joe’s in San Jose, CA
OR     Part-time Server (guaranteed 20 hours per week!) – Joe’s in San Jose, CA

Be sure to think of other job titles the applicant may be searching for. For a Team Member position, adding in “Cashier,” “Counter Crew,” or “Barista” (if applicable) to the Categories section on ZippyApp or to the job description can increase your search engine optimization (SEO) on our system and to the job boards we distribute your jobs to.

There is however, a fine line when creating captivating and unique job titles. Don’t go overboard and add too much information into your titles (that is what the job description is for), and don’t list every job duty as a separate job posting — like “Produce Chopper” and “Dough Presser,” instead keep them all under “Kitchen Prep” — as it only confuses job seekers.

Exercise: Go through your job titles now. Do any of them stand out above the rest? Go to ZippyApp and type in your open positions — do they get lost in a sea of others? What can you do differently to make yours stand out?

2. Cut out any filler words. Take a look at your job descriptions. Do they take up an entire page? If you were a job seeker, what would your first impression be? If it looks like a prison sentence, then chances are you won’t receive many applicants. Scan your job descriptions and delete any unnecessary words or information that is not imperative to the applicant. Keep your job descriptions clean, simple, and to-the-point. An interesting study done by Appcast.io shows the click-to-apply rate for too short and too long of job descriptions. You can view the study here.

3. Include any job requirements up front. Job seekers want to know exactly what they are potentially signing up to do, and what will be required of them. Outline the basics of the job, including the skills and experience that is required for the applicant. If you can, include the age requirement for the position (this is a common question asked by our job applicants!), whether or not they need any certifications or licenses, and if the position is full or part-time. Be sure to include your establishment address — state, city, and zip code — to your location hiring page (our software inserts Google Maps to your Hiring Page). Doing these things will weed out any applicants who aren’t serious about the position, or ones who are not qualified.

4. Be specific about the job benefits and salaries. Candidates love to be incentivized, and if you offer any be sure to include them in your job descriptions. Do you offer free lunches? 1/2 off friends and family meals? Flexible schedules? If you don’t want to post your salaries, or if salary depends on the candidates experience, providing a salary range is better than not putting anything about what can be expected. List specific benefits rather than saying “We Provide Benefits.” Do you offer healthcare? Eye Exams? Dental Coverage? 401K?

If you’re suffering from a shortage of applicants, providing lively and exciting job titles and descriptions is the easiest way to attracting more applicants. Make sure to include key terms and words in the description (think titles that are similar to the one you are posting) to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) on our system and to the job boards we distribute your jobs to.

Blog photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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