Bland job descriptions are about as exciting as plain, unbuttered toast: They’re unlikely to attract anyone, let alone the top talent your company seeks. As executive coach Karen Elizaga explains, “job seekers are looking for more than just a job: They want to know that they’re entering into a work environment that cares about its people — one that offers opportunities that align with their purpose, and that allows for a little work-life balance. Offering a bland job description that only speaks to the function of the job won’t show a job seeker any of what a company offers from a culture or purpose standpoint.”
And that’s one reason why, Elizaga says, it’s crucial to come up with a job description that shows off your company culture and mission as well as the job itself.
Here, experts say, are four easy ways to give job seekers more than just a bland job description.
1. Mention Advancement Opportunities
High-quality candidates are thinking about more than the next job — they’re thinking about the future, too. So, in your job description, it’s smart to show them that they can have a future with your company, says career coach Hallie Crawford. “While you don't have to provide too much information, let job seekers know that they will have room to grow,” Crawford says. “This could be things such as mentorship programs, paid learning opportunities or sharing the average time to reach the next level in the department. Discuss what the long-term goals are for the position.”
2. Share Your Company Culture
Even before you tell job seekers all about the job, tell them about your company, Elizaga says. “Use language and cite company core values in your opening before even getting to the crux of the job description,” she instructs. “Everyone knows what a ‘product manager’ or a ‘paralegal’ does if they’re looking for such a position. Share what makes this position compelling. How can your company differentiate itself while giving a job seeker a good sense of job expectations?”
Glassdoor is a key destination for job seekers to find information and make an informed decision whether a role and a company meet their expectations before clicking ‘apply’. That’s why recruiters need to go through fewer unqualified applications to find the right person. Data shows that it takes half the resumes and 40% fewer interviews to find the right fit on Glassdoor (Source: Data analysis from the leading ATS provider Greenhouse, July-December 2017). Moreover, since candidates who use Glassdoor come with the right expectations, they have a 30% greater retention rate (Source: Glassdoor EMI Research, November 2017). This means your company will have fewer roles to backfill, which is a great win for your bottom line. For example, Groupon doubled applicant quality and lowered cost-per-applicant to $13 with Glassdoor.
3. Show Some Personality
The only thing worse than a bland job description is bland language that doesn’t show off your company’s personality, warns Crawford. “Just as a cover letter provides a bit of insight into the personality of a potential employee, provide a little insight for them in the way you write your job description,” she suggests. “Use language that is specific to the industry you are in, but also possibly unique to your organization. While you still want to be professional, including a little personality and using terms that are unique to the role or company is a way to grab the attention of career-conscious job seekers who really want to find a good, long-term job position.”
4. Tout Your Benefits
In your job description, be sure that you share “what the company does to ensure a collegial and enjoyable work experience,” says Elizaga. “Are there philanthropic efforts that might align with a job seeker’s purpose in his or her own life? Job seekers are looking, of course, to make money and sustain their own lives, but they’re also looking, these days, for companies that have and act on a strong sense of social justice.” Of course, they’re also looking for perks beyond pay, too. So, if your company offers any special benefits — such as flexible work schedules, student loan assistance, tuition reimbursement, free gym memberships or others — be sure to include them.