Succeeding in Search with Job Content that Attracts the Right Candidates

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With over 500,000 jobs added to Indeed last week, and more than 16 million listed at any one time, making your jobs stand out to the best candidates can be a challenge.

Above all, earning the attention of qualified job seekers requires job titles and descriptions that are optimized for the way people search for jobs today. To help your organization craft top-notch content, Jason Whitman, SVP of Client Services at Indeed, shared these 10 tips:

1. Get attention

When drafting a job description, open with an attention-grabbing paragraph. Be as specific as possible when describing the role. Candidates will lose interest when reading a generic description, so balance what the job entails with information about your company.

What does that balance look like? Take a look at this recent Apple job description as an example of how you can craft job descriptions that are both interesting and true to your employer brand:

“Help architect our future. Be a leader of leaders. Get ready for your perfect job, one that encourages you to think strategically yet stay connected with your teams. Do you have premium-brand regional or director-level experience? If so, prepare to innovate, create, and inspire.”

2. Target

You can target your job descriptions to the right candidates by including specific terms which relate to the main aspects of the job. For instance, when looking for someone who manages events and sponsorships on the marketing team, using a job title such as “Events and Sponsorships Manager” is better than just “Marketing Manager.”

When a client was not attracting relevant candidates for an Account Manager role, our team analyzed the job description and performance. We found that the job was sales-focused — a key element not represented in the job title. When the title was changed to “Sales Account Manager,” the position received 36% more clicks, a 42% increase in conversion and a 3% reduction in spend, all of which resulted in one very happy client.

3. Be open

Give job seekers a sense of your style and culture. Every organization has something that makes it unique and special, and you can communicate this in your job content. Elaborate and be open about sharing perks and benefits with people reading your job description — it creates a memorable impression as they consider whether or not to apply for the job.

4. Make every word count

Saying less can be better. Our research shows that jobs with descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters get on average 30% more applies — and job titles with 80 characters or less also perform well. Just say what’s needed and delete the rest.

5. Be precise

Use skills and phrases that people will search for. If you’re hiring a “Java Developer,” call it that. Not a “Java Ninja” or “Java Hacker.” Those quirky job titles don’t include common search terms that people use, making your job hard to find. Before crafting a job description, you can look at a few tools to help you identify popular titles for certain jobs.

For instance, if you use our Job Trends tool to compare “User Experience Designer” with “UX Designer” you’ll see that “UX Designer” is the more popular job title, whereas the number of jobs posted for “User Experience Designer” has declined over time. Google Trends is another great tool to compare the popularity of terms people are using to search. You can use these trends to inform your content and be confident the terms you’re using are the same ones candidates are searching for.

6. Avoid jargon

The title “Senior Web Designer” is better than “Designer III” because it is more descriptive and not linked to an organizational structure that the candidate may be unfamiliar with. Look for common terms in your industry and then use them in your job descriptions. Relevance is crucial, so forget internal titles, acronyms or jargon.

7. Be honest

Don’t exaggerate or underplay the responsibilities of the role. Sometimes we see job descriptions that oversell the opportunity in order to attract people, but this approach will backfire in the long run. For example, if your organization operates in one country, don’t describe it as “global”. Use job titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the position.

8. Learn from others

Take a look around to understand what the competition is up to and see if there are any strategies that you may be able to adapt. Your rivals may be taking a different approach to recruitment that you could utilize in your own strategy. We don’t advise that you copy your competition, but rather be aware of different recruitment strategies.

9. Always be testing

Experiment, challenge assumptions and test constantly. This means continually tweaking, analyzing and optimizing job titles and descriptions for improvements. You can perform A/B tests to experiment with different versions of your job titles and descriptions and see which ones drive the best results. If you’d like to set this up, get in touch and our team will create recruiting campaigns based around the metrics that matter to your business.

10. Have fun

Being an expert on the content that delivers hires for your business is awesome. We advise organizations to make content creation and measurement someone’s responsibility, so they are accountable for the results and can share learnings, successes and best practices with the team.

To hear Jason Whitman describe these steps in-depth, watch our on-demand webinar “Be Heard! Content Strategy for Recruiting.” You’ll learn how to develop a deeper understanding of your audience, craft fantastic content and discover the most effective ways to measure your campaigns.

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