With unemployment down to 4.6% and the onslaught of the "Great Resignation," it's never been more important to make a great first impression with job seekers. But that doesn't necessarily mean the burden lies on your career site's shoulders.
Candidates often bypass the career site homepage and land right on the job description, making their first interaction with your career site. In fact, as much as 50% of landing page traffic (where users start their experience on a career site) now happens on the job description page.
Job description best practices
Bottom line: all the effort you put into your career site can't just be on the home page; it has to be at each point of interaction.
To attract today's job seekers and the future of work, your job descriptions must be/be able to do all of the following.
- Consistent, Clear & Concise
- Scan for Bias
- Include Relevant Content
- Personalize & Optimize for Nurture
Even though the job description may very well be the first interaction a job seeker has with your career site, odds are they've interacted with your employer brand before. It's likely that they were driven to the job description by a social media post, job board, or programmatic advertisement that resonated and made them click.
So when crafting your job description, make sure that it is in line with your employer brand the imagery, vocabulary, company culture, etc. all need to be consistent between touchpoints.
But you don't want to bury the lead. A job description page is meant to be just that, a job description.
Outline your job in a clear and concise manner that's consistent with all drivers and influencers. It should sum up what it's like to work at your organization and make it clear why someone would want to work there, all while giving them the details they need to know.
It should be scannable, so a bulleted list is your best friend. Clarify the skills, qualifications, and experience you're looking for in a candidate, and focus on the "must-haves," not the "nice-to-have" when it comes to their expertise.
Scan for bias
Once you've crafted your job description, it's essential to have some checks and balances in place. It's easy to get lost in creativity or the persona you're targeting and include some unconscious bias or inappropriate terminology in your copy.
For example, we've all seen the job postings for "Coding Ninja" or "Marketing Rock Star," where creativity and an effort to be cool drove their intentions. Still, it could come off as off-putting or offensive to specific audiences. So instead of attracting candidates, you may be turning them off to your organization.
The same goes for details in your job description, tailoring too close to a single target persona. Details like "Perfect for recent grads" or "Are you a stay-at-home Mom?" is superfluous and in no way help qualify a candidate for the position.
Instead, focus on the benefits and experience that would attract those personas, like "No prior experience needed" or "Remote position with flexible hours."
It can be challenging to catch subconscious bias on your own (after all, it's subconscious), so you may want to consider enlisting tech to scan for you. Symphony Talent's DEI Plug-in analyzes and filters content to eliminate conscious and subconscious bias. This plugin works seamlessly with the job details page and campaign messages page to detect gender, racial and age bias in text content.
Include relevant content
Once you have your job description clear, concise, and free of bias, it's time to add in some additional content. The key here is to make that content relevant. It's simple to just add a link to your blog or include your Instagram feed, but go a bit deeper if you want to make a lasting first impression.
At this point in the journey, the candidate is already warm they initially clicked because a piece of content was relevant and resonated with them. So why would you want to drive them back to content that is general and potentially irrelevant?
Instead, include content from that specific location, department or role, like,
- "A day in the life" videos
- Employee stories
- Career path opportunities
- Virtual tours of the office/facility
- Local attractions
- Employee events
Personalize & optimize for nurture
Even though you've put in all this work to enhance your job description, likely, they won't apply on the first visit. The average candidate will touch 12-18 forms of recruitment media from an organization before becoming an applicant.
Set yourself up for success by:
Optimize your job descriptions for nurture by allowing job seekers to join your talent network. This lets you maintain contact with them by sharing job alerts for other relevant opportunities, reminders to complete their application if they have already started, and other content that will keep them warm while keeping your organization top of mind.
Personalize to keep your candidates warm. It's likely that in those 12-18 different touchpoints, they'll make their way back to the career site and receive a tailored experience.
With data in hand, you can let technology step in on your behalf and serve tailored content based on how the user interacts on the site. So say they visited a job description for a Customer Service position on their initial visit, the next time they come back, the homepage of the career site can deliver content relevant to Customer Service positions.
Today's job seekers expect more
They are ingrained in tailored consumer-like experiences from pre-pandemic norms and have grown their needs and expectations from post-pandemic society.
It's time to ensure your job descriptions are ready.