Once the smoke cleared from the calculator, the results of our recent survey of business leaders and recruiters sank in. Over 45 percent of organizations report needing to rewrite job descriptions more than 20 percent of the time after generating an insufficient number of qualified applicants. With five million new job openings created each month and 60 percent of these posted to third-party job boards, this equates to 3.24 million job postings that must be rewritten and reposted annually.
This is an almost mindboggling number, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. As businesses spend an average of $200 per job posting, this adds up to nearly $650 million in annual costs. And with 30 percent of organizations reporting they spend over two hours writing a job description and 35 percent indicating they spend at least one hour, with the remainder spending less than an hour, this adds up to 3.75 million in labor hours each year. Whew!
The Root of the Problem
Despite the fact that 80 percent of those same people surveyed believe job descriptions play a critical role in attracting the right applicants, over 50 percent admit to copying and pasting other job descriptions to build their own.
This kind of quick-fix approach may save time up front, but it often fails to pull candidates in and convince them to apply. After all, jobseekers report spending less than 60 seconds deciding whether to apply—or not to apply—to a job posting.
Three Recommendations That Make for Winning Job Descriptions
So what can you do to ensure that your job descriptions succeed right out of the gate, generating both the right quantity and quality of applicants? The following are three strategic recommendations that can help you write winning job descriptions.
- Get found. Three-quarters of all job seekers start their job hunt with an online search. This equates to more than 124 million job-related searches each month on Google alone. Well-written job descriptions factor SEO into the equation and use keywords that are relevant in the job title, job summary, and job qualifications. They also make sure to include a page title, description, and tags on the individual posting on the website.
- Appearances do matter. Three-quarters of job seekers report that the look and feel of a job description influences their decision to apply—or not to apply. As a result, job descriptions need to use subheadings, avoid dense and lengthy paragraphs, and employ bulleted lists. In addition, job descriptions should include video as well as visually appealing photos and images that show off a company’s employees, office space, and products.
- It’s about you, not me. When going on a first date, no one who wants to score a second date makes the conversation about herself or himself. The same is true of job descriptions, and the research backs this up. Job descriptions written with “candidate-needs” in mind generate a 14 percent higher response rate than those created around “employer-needs”. Further, the quality of candidates who respond to candidate-needs job descriptions are three times better. How can you make a job description candidate-friendly? Simple: by speaking to the opportunities the role will present a candidate and emphasizing how they’ll play a role in a broader set of projects and initiatives. Employer-centric descriptions merely provide a laundry list of responsibilities and requirements.
Don’t Be Included in the 3.75 Million
Job descriptions are something that should not be taken lightly. Those who do treat these too flippantly risk spending valuable time and money rewriting and reposting.
The new MightyRecruiter eBook “Developing a Winning Job Description” provides an in-depth look at job descriptions. Its contents include everything from the five business outcomes that a winning job description produces, to the five things you need to do before writing a job description, to the six things to remember when writing a job description, to the seven parts of a job description.
Don’t wait! Begin writing winning job descriptions by downloading your copy today.