Recently, I stumbled across a job posting. I’ll spare the details for the sake of the company’s reputation, but here’s the rundown of the job description:
● The job posting bragged about the company’s lack of work/life balance
● The hired professional perform the jobs of no less than three full-time employees
● The pay was sub-par for the area, barely entry level for even recent college graduates
● The tone of the posting was condescending and pompous
A company can make or break its candidate pool with its job descriptions. In a strong job market, there are plenty of opportunities available for well-qualified candidates. On the flip side, there are numerous job seekers looking for their next opportunity, and the best potential employees can be difficult to attract.
More often than not, job postings are very one-sided and lack honesty. Candidates, too preoccupied with impressing and finding whatever job they can, often overlook this lack of attention to what makes this company valuable to work for.
So what happens? A large pool of candidates applies, but no one ends up being a perfect fit, and the cycle continues.
What can be done to overcome this? First, the job description should be honest, accurate, and descriptive. Evaluate whether or not the job posting will truly make the applicant want to work there — not just submit one out of hundreds of applications on a whim.
Sell the position! Remember: this isn’t just about satisfying the needs of the company. The prospective employee needs to find their “home” at work too. Otherwise, how can they be expected to perform their best, with a personal investment in their position?
Honesty is always a good policy, but watch the tone of the posting. The mistake the job poster made in the above-referenced description was to strike a condescending tone. Do not alienate the applicants or make them feel nervous about the culture of the company.
In addition, what makes this company the best to work at? Often, the benefits or upsides of the position are listed last, as an afterthought, and it’s clear that the least amount of effort was put into this list.
● Flexible work schedule
● Free coffee!
This paltry list of “perks” is generic, boring, and lacks enthusiasm. In most companies’ minds, it is a privilege to work there — applicants should be thankful to be selected for the position. And this feeling is palpable in most job descriptions.
Let’s change that trend. Sure, a strong job description may attract a pool of under-qualified applicants, but somewhere in the mix will be a group of strong, well-qualified prospective employees.
A strong job description should make a candidate excited, as if this is truly the job they were made to do. Businesses want strong, self-sufficient, creative employees — but often, the conversation is one-sided. What makes employees want to come to work? A healthy workplace culture, strong benefits, and fulfilling work. Believe it or not, this is not as common in job descriptions as one may think.
The job market is a two-way street. Attract stronger prospective employees with stronger job descriptions — the effort will pay off.
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