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Your guide to creating job descriptions that get the best candidates

This article is brought to you by Indeed.

If you had a penny for each time you thought your job posting was great and would attract more quality candidates, but missed the mark, how rich would you be by now?

Every recruiter has been there at some point in their career - you put up a job posting for a role at your organisation, but something’s missing and you don’t get the right candidates applying for the job. You look through your content but you just can’t figure out what it is that’s gone wrong - is it the tone of writing, or the descriptions used? The job title, or even the lack of description?

Knowing what the problem is early on can do a great deal in saving your time and resources in your future job postings, and ultimately getting you your pool of quality, well-suited candidates for the role.

How to cater your job postings to your target candidate pool

Tip #1: Write a compelling, straight-to-the-point job description

Just like the first chapter of a book makes or breaks whether a reader gets hooked, a strong job description gets the job seekers’ attention at the get-go. It should be as specific as possible, compelling, interesting as well as relevant to both your brand and audience - after all, what you put in the job description would determine how interested your candidates are to find out more about the role.

Tip #2: Always keep your target audience in mind

When coming up with job titles, do pay attention to the words you use, as you would want to avoid targeting the wrong candidates. For instance, if you’re looking to recruit someone to the marketing team to manage just events and sponsorships, use those targeted keywords - name the job “Events and Sponsorships Manager” instead of the generic “Marketing Manager”.

The importance of this has been proven by Indeed Data released in Singapore last year, whereby it was found that using the name “Sales Executive” instead of “Account Manager” to describe a sales-focused role resulted in a 71% in job applications and 61% increase in clicks on the job posting.

Tip #3: Maintain SEO-friendly job titles

As you keep in mind to make your job titles as targeted as possible, always remember to keep it simple as well. While terms such as “Java Ninja” or “Java Hacker” may seem more fun and appealing, in reality, they do not work well in search engine optimisation (SEO) and thus, will make your job posting a hard one to find. Instead, stick to the simplest, most common and SEO-friendly title possible - for instance, “Java Developer”.

Tip #4: Honesty is the best policy

Being upfront and transparent couldn’t be more important to note when writing up your job content. After all, you wouldn’t want to mislead the candidate if they take up the role with an inaccurate impression of the firm.

What this means is, avoid overselling in your job descriptions in order to attract candidates. Don’t exaggerate or underplay the responsibilities that come with the role - for instance, if your organisation operates in just one country, don’t describe it as a “global” organisation.

Instead, be sure to use job titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the responsibilities of the role. Do also take the time to do a final review of the content before posting, to ensure there is no disconnect between the job position and the type of candidate you are looking for.

Tip #5: Keep an eye on your competitors’ postings

What better way is there to stand out from your competitors than to know what they are up to in the first place? Doing a little research and finding out what your competitors are doing in their recruitment strategy, could help you identify certain parts you can adapt to your own strategy - not to copy, but to simply keep you posted on what you're up against in the war for talent.

For more tips on how you can create great job content to attract the right candidates, refer to Indeed’s ‘10 tips for creating top-notch job content’ e-book

About Indeed

More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world (comScore, March 2019) and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs in over 60 countries and 28 languages. More than 250 million people each month search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies on Indeed, and Indeed delivers three times more hires than any other job site (SilkRoad Technology Source of Hire Report, 2018).  

For more information, visit indeed.com or refer to Indeed’s ‘10 tips for creating top-notch job content’ e-book.

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