Jul 20

How to Write Job Ads That Will Attract the Right Candidates

Are you sifting through application after application only to find that you’re attracting all the wrong candidates? I am here to tell you that it’s your fault. Harsh, I know! But a fault confessed is half redressed. So, let’s get to the redressing part.

  1. Avoid Jargon

I know you’re not really looking for a ninja or a Rockstar. So, then are you looking for a laser-focused self-starter who can hit the ground running? No, of course you’re not! As much as you want to believe it, buzzwords like these don’t make your job description exciting. Instead, they turn off candidates who feel they don’t fit the image you’re putting out. Candidates expect employers to write job ads with clarity. Outline expectations by using words that are clear and easy to understand.

Additionally, words like Rockstar and ninja are gender-coded, which brings me to my next point.

  1. Avoid Gender Bias

Not only do job postings using gender neutral wording receive 42% more responses, the language bias used in your job description also predicts the gender of the person you are going to hire. Rather than using masculine charged words such as ninja or guru, use neutral and descriptive words like engineer or developer.

Did you know that women are unlikely to apply for a position unless they meet every single one of the requirements? Men, on the other hand, confidently apply if they meet 60% of the requirements. I think we can all agree that we would like to hear more women brag. But for now, be aware that every unnecessary or nice-to-have requirement you add to your job spec further predicts the gender of the person you are going to hire.

A specific major requirement is another way to limit the number of applicants. College major often varies by gender, so if you require the completion of a specific degree, you are limiting your candidate pool.

There are gender decoder tools that can help you find and eliminate gender bias in your job ads. At Research Partners, we are also happy to help with your job description and diversity hiring efforts. You can also find more helpful information on achieving workplace diversity through recruitment on our website.

  1. Express Your Values and Culture

You invest a lot of time, money, and effort into building a thriving company culture that is welcoming to all. You want to attract people who fit into and add to the culture. Make sure to promote your commitment to your values, equality, diversity, and inclusion in your job description. Also let candidates know if you support volunteer activities, mentorship programs, or employee resource groups. If you’re feeling extra feisty, make sure to join others in taking the Glassdoor Equal Pay Pledge.

  1. Include Specifics

While “competitive salary”, “DOE”, or “negotiable salary” sure are mysterious terms, they will not attract the person you are looking for. Many candidates won’t spend time applying for a job that might be way below, or above their pay grade. Those who do, might still not fit into your set salary range. But how could they know?

The specific job location, whether or not remote work is possible, and range of expected travel are other specifics that should be included to further tailor your job description.

In the end, your goal is for the right person with the correct set of skills and experience to apply to your vacancy. Keeping your job description too vague does not allow you to screen out the wrong candidates before they even apply. This leads to lots of wasted time. Involving current employees in the creation of job descriptions will give you an inside perspective that can be very valuable in marketing the role. Additionally, ensure that careless mistakes are avoided as they can turn off qualified candidates. Always spell-check, grammar-check, and proof read your ad.

About The Author

Natalie Heilling is an International Executive Search Consultant and Co-Founder of Research Partners running various recruitment campaigns across Europe, North America, and Asia while helping clients reach their hiring targets with peace of mind. Natalie has worked in Technology and eCommerce for the last 20 years and helped US companies confidently establish themselves in Europe and emerging markets.

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