Are you a Talent acquisition manager who struggles with job descriptions?
Do you manage a recruitment agency and would like to stand out from the competition finding the best matches in the job market?
Does your company have a high attrition rate?
Of course, there could be many reasons for this, but there is one that is easy to fix.
Writing appealing and accurate job descriptions
COPYWRITING TO THE RESCUE
Copywriting is writing texts aimed at an ideal customer conveying the benefits of what you offer and how those benefits will improve the customer’s life.
In this case, the job vacancy is what you offer to a prospect customer: the candidate.
I’m a copywriter specialised in international audiences and I have 8 years’ experience in managerial positions at a multinational company.
During the years I worked as a manager I interviewed at least 90 candidates.
Please, don’t get me wrong, I was not such an awful manager that I had 90 people leaving my team during those 8 years! In fact, I was involved in the recruitment process for other teams as well, since I have a Bachelor’s degree in HR and extensive experience.
Sometimes the interviews didn’t go that well for very diverse reasons, but quite often the main reason was that the candidate hadn’t completely understood the job role and wasn’t, therefore, a good match at all.
I often check on Google for new opportunities for friends or just out of curiosity, and I must say that most of them depress me.
So many companies describe jobs as a kind of torture instead of an interesting opportunity to learn, grow and be part of a great company.
I know what you are thinking, there isn’t so much room for creativity when you have to be true to the nature of the job and the tasks.
Fair enough, but it doesn’t mean you have to describe the job as the most boring thing you could ever do with your time.
I’m sure that very often while you are writing a job description you are also thinking “Oh god, this sounds so boring. I would never do that job”
Exactly, that’s what candidates are thinking too!
True, there are many differences between positions and different personalities, that’s why you have to carry out a throughout research first about what kind of person the hiring manager wants to work with and what exactly that kind of person is looking at when searching for jobs.
Only then can you write the perfect job description.
Writing compelling job descriptions
The opposite of writing boring job descriptions is writing super-duper cool ones that don’t mean anything at all.
I recently read a great article on the Atlantic on how America’s job listings have gone off the deep end. And, you know very well that, we, the rest of the world, copy everything that wears a Made in US label on it.
Using terms such as “data-obsessed, project-juggling digital ninja” or “online warrior” is not going to attract the best talent because, anyways, what do those things even mean?!
A job description needs to clearly state what kind of soft and hard skills are necessary to perform the job as well as setting the right expectations to avoid wasting time for both the recruiter and the candidate.
“When you say ‘coding ninja,’ you’re not going to match against ‘java developer.’ If you say ‘spreadsheet guru,’ you’re going to miss the people with ‘Excel expertise.” says Ian Siegel, the CEO of the online job marketplace ZipRecruiter.
SEO plays a big part in matching talent and companies since 70 per cent of résumés submitted via online job listings or uploaded to job boards are going to be screened by algorithms looking for keywords.My advice here is to apply the copywriters' mantra, "don't try to be too clever with your message and cut the drivel". Click To Tweet
How to find the balance?
Probably you are at this point asking yourself how you can write a job description that is not too boring neither too flamboyant.
That’s a great question.
This is how I see it, you need to describe the position as if you were talking with someone face to face.
In a real conversation, you won’t use too many technical terms unless you are 200% sure the other person know what each of them means, neither you would try to sound you are quoting some hip-hop song.
Use words and expressions that everyone can understand and that describe as much as possible what’s required for the job and how is the company culture.
Another counterproductive result of using super-duper cool descriptions is that they seem to be only addressed to very young candidates.
However, if you are looking for some specific skills that aren’t easy to find, you shouldn’t restrict your search among exclusively the younger part of the population.
Which of these two job offers would you apply for?
Real job taken from JobBird:
For a well-known blue chip brand we provide low technical and RMA support on consumer electronics. Most customer queries are regarding tablets/laptops and multimedia devices.
The customer service advisor will provide excellent customer services to consumers and assist them with installations, troubleshooting and problem solving in an efficient and customer friendly manner.
We offer extensive communication and product training.
You will be working in an international, informal working environment with a personal approach. Main tasks:• Answering inbound contacts (phone, email) from customers• Troubleshooting, diagnosing and resolving any product related questions or problems• RMA handling•bla bla bla, bla, bla
Or my version of the same job offer:
I know you love electronics. You have a tablet and a laptop and you spend hours playing with them.
So why not earn money for doing it? 🙂
We are a well-known blue-chip brand (sorry we cannot tell you yet who we are but you will be able to solve the mystery very soon) and we are looking for people like you who like electronics and want to earn a good salary doing what they enjoy.
The job consists of helping customers to solve issues with their devices by phone and email. You will receive an interesting training where you will learn lots from our dynamic trainers. You can ask whatever you want and try as many products as you wish.
Yes, you will have to deal with unhappy customers sometimes since, you know, not everybody is that good at using these devices as you are, but hey, isn’t it a great feeling helping somebody else to solve an issue and be thanked afterwards?
The other great part of this job is that we all come from different countries and you will have the chance to practice those languages you are forgetting or, if you only speak one, you will have the opportunity to get to know other cultures.
We assure you that you will learn lots with this job and, who knows, you can even make friends for life!
We are really looking forward to meet you. Just send us your CV!
I know which one I would apply for. And you?
Be that company/recruiter that drives change and start writing real and eloquent job descriptions.
Contact me today and I will help you attract the best talent for your clients or for your company.
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