Search engines play an important role in the decision-making process. When people are looking for a vacation destination, a new home or even someone to date, they often begin their search online. And the same rings true when job seekers are looking for their next employer.
With millions of job postings on search engines – not to mention, millions of job seekers – how can companies ensure that they’re attracting the right candidates? It begins with effective job content. Having a quality job title and description improves the chances of people finding your job opening, clicking on it for more information, and finally – hitting the apply button.
Indeed recently presented a webinar with CPHR Alberta, “A Recruiter’s Guide to Content Strategy,” and uncovered 10 tips to optimize your job content to attract top talent. Let’s take a look.
1. Capture job seekers’ attention
Pique job seekers’ interest by opening your job description with a strong, attention-grabbing paragraph. The job description should depict your company’s personality while at the same time communicating what makes the role exciting.
It might be difficult to describe a role or profession that differs from your own. The best way to overcome this challenge is to interview people that are currently doing the job. Or, enlist the marketing team to help with the copywriting and get feedback from other recruiters.
Steer clear of generic job descriptions – make it as informative as possible to give job seekers an accurate depiction of what the job entails.
2. Target and be precise
Your job description should contain keywords that will perform well in search, and job titles should describe the main aspect of the role. For example, the title “senior software engineer” will perform better than “software engineer 3,” as it is less ambiguous and job seekers are more likely to search using this title.
If you’re unsure about what keywords to include, visit Indeed’s Trends to learn the top performing search terms for various fields.
3. Be open
Your job description is a chance to shine and sell your company to prospective candidates. Include an overview of your company including the benefits and any perks that you offer.
Some companies struggle to determine how transparent they should be. For example, whether or not to include salary information. This is an opportunity to start measuring variations of your job postings – if you find you’re getting a higher bounce rate on your posting with salary information, remove this piece of information and see if it starts performing better.
4. Make every word count
The old adage, “less is more” applies here. Provide relevant details and don’t be afraid to delete portions of the job description that you feel don’t provide necessary information.
Character count is key. In fact, job posts receive an average of 30% more applies when the description is 700 to 2,000 characters. When it comes to job titles, they should be 60 characters or less for desktop, and shouldn’t exceed 35 characters for mobile.
5. Avoid Jargon
Most people search by job title, so when crafting your job title and descriptions – think like a job seeker. Avoid using internal jargon, acronyms or ambiguous terms. For example, if you’re hiring a “social media specialist”, call it that and avoid using wacky titles such as “social media wizard”.
6. Be honest
You want to ensure that people have a full understanding of what the job entails. That said, don’t exaggerate or underplay the responsibilities of the role. If you’re looking to fill a marketing manager role where 80% of the employee’s time will be spent on social media, describe the role as being primarily social media focused. This will help you reach candidates who are skilled in this area.
If job seekers know that they are unable to fill the requirements, they are more likely to self-disqualify, removing the burden from you.
7. Learn from others
Perusing job descriptions for similar roles can be helpful. Take a look at what your competitors are including in their job descriptions to get a sense of how they’re describing a certain role and selling their company.
Of course, you don’t want to copy them, but it’s always good to stay abreast of the competition. You might pick up on some interesting approaches and styles or see how you can differentiate yourself.
8. Keep it simple
Remember – less is more. Keeping it simple can go a long way. Don’t over format the job description, inundating it with a lot of bullet points and subheadings. And don’t feel obligated to fill white space. Only include the most integral information.
9. Test everything
When trying new job titles and descriptions, test everything. Understanding what delivers more traffic and candidates and better hires will help you gauge what is – and isn’t – working.
There are three ways to start testing your job content:
Contact Indeed’s Client Services team to arrange a test campaign. The team will help you analyze your job content and make recommendations for improvement
Leverage your applicant tracking system to test various job titles and descriptions
Work with your marketing team to get ideas on the best way to test ideas, content and campaigns
10. Audit and Proofread
It’s important to monitor the performance of your job content and ensure that it’s up to date, user-friendly, well-maintained and free of spelling and grammatical errors. Sloppy mistakes can reduce your credibility and tarnish your employer brand.
This blog post is a summarized version of our Webinar with Indeed on July 11: A Recruiter’s Guide to Content Strategy. Watch the recording here.
As a Recruitment Evangelist for Indeed, Saeed Sadooghi brings industry trends and data to Canadian recruiters to help propel their strategies. As a product and platform expert, he consults organizations on how to best leverage Indeed for finding the right talent and optimize their recruiting practices and performance.