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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kiernan

8 Shocking Job Description Statistics HR Leaders Should Know

Updated: Oct 10

And how to use the information to better job description design/management.

Job descriptions are a small piece of the employee experience that can have a big impact. Here are 8 statistics HR leaders should know related to job descriptions.

Job description with pen on it

Ah the good old job description. Depending on your stance the job description could be the bane of your existence or a vital tool in the execution of your talent strategy. Although straight forward in it's role as part of the recruiting and career development process, the job description is not without controversy. As roles become more dynamic some have triumphantly announced that the "JD is dead".

However, the statistics show that the job description is very much still alive, well, and a vital communication tool used to set expectations for role requirements, communicate culture, establish career paths, and provide information about the company being evaluated. Candidates are looking for clarity to properly evaluate the opportunities avaliable and seek alignment with their skills and values. Companies are looking for a way to effectively communicate their values, culture, and skills need. At the crossroads is the JD.

Here are 10 job description statistics that may surprise you and what can be done with the information to give HR teams a competitive edge in the talent fight.

52% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is very or extreemly Influential on their decision to apply for a job (spelling, grammar, role description, formatting, etc).

Wow. Qualified candidates won't even apply if formatting or spelling in the job description is off? Pretty crazy statistic but it's true. This survey proves that content is important but aesthetics are important as well. Correct grammar and clean formatting let's candidates know that your company is professional. Perception is reality when it comes to how employees feel after reading your job description. A well-formatted job description is more pleasing to look at, giving you a better chance of candidates reading it's content and applying.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

Implement a collaborative review process with multiple internal stakeholders. This review process for both internal and external job descriptions will give teams the ability to evaluate if skills requirements and role descriptions are accurate while proofreading for spelling, grammar, and inclusive language.

72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of candidates say the same (HR Drive).

With such a gap there is clearly a communication disconnect between how accurate and clear we think our job descriptions are vs how clear they really are to candidates. Avoiding industry jargon and having parties who don't have expertise in the role review the job description can help teams identify ambiguity they may have missed before.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

In addition to having a internal stakholder not from that department review the job description organizations can conduct surveys to gain candidate and employee feedback on the clarity of the job description. This can help identify what ambiguity does exist if any and help teams address what edits need to be made to communicate better with candidates and employees.

"52% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is very or extreemly Influential on their decision to apply for a job ." –

96% of job seekers say that it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency (Glassdoor).

The number is clear- nearly everyone wants transparency from their employer. And why wouldn't they? After all, transparency is the foundation for trust. No one wants to get into a relationship with someone they can't trust. With pay equity laws being passed all over the U.S. employees are also looking to employers to provide transparency when it comes to compensation at the start of the process. That means in many instances including compensation information in the job description.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

BE TRANSPARENT. Be clear on what the role requires engaging other stakeholders to confirm role requirements/qualifications before posting a job. Keep job descriptions updated by creating a job description management process to identify jobs that have changed or now require new skills. Put compensation information in the job description and job posting to show transparency and commitment to pay equity standards.

25% of job seekers say compensation is the most important part of a job description (

Candidates and employees now more than ever are looking for companies to be transparent and open about compensation. Having compensation details in the job description (such as a salary range) allow candidates to determine their earning potential and fit for the role. Without it, candidates could apply and get well into the interview process only to find that there is a significant gap between expected and actual compensation potentially resulting in wasted time for both parties.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

Be sure that compensation team members are an integral part of the job description management process. Total rewards professionals rely on job description accuracy to establish competitive and fair compensation packages and establish pay equity. In addition, include a salary range and compensation information in the job description to provide clarity and alignment from the start.

71% of job seekers say it’s “very” or “extremely important” to see details about company culture in a job description (

HR teams are challenged with creating a job post that is both detailed but brief and attractive. This challenge can leave us wondering what we can take out, edit, or shorten to make the post more targeted without losing key elements. One of those key elements we can't afford to lose based on the research is the descriptive text about company culture. Candidates want to get a feel for what the environment is like at your organization early on.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

Identify key components of your company brand and culture that make you unique. Infuse those components with the values of your organization and create a few succinct statements that capture that essence. Share this with team members for feedback, then iterate, iterate, iterate until the statement captures company culture and communicates it in the best way possible. Utilize technology to store these statements for use and reference by team members when building new job descriptions.

36% of people that use job sites search for a job using the title of the job they’re looking for (

Keyword optimization is so important when creating job posts. On top of worrying about accurately portraying the job, company culture, and keeping skills/qualification requirements up to date teams need to worry about keyword optimization to make sure that their job post is seen by qualified candidates searching for it. According to Indeed a third of candidates are using job titles to find open positions. This means we need clarity around what those titles are in the mainstream job market and align with them or risk missing out on a large part of the candidate pool.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

Deploy talent acquisition team members to conduct keyword research for each role and analyze the results. Once analyzed, use the data to review and edit job description/posts as needed to include associated keywords. Avoid the use of custom job titles that don't align well with industry norms people may be looking for. I.E. don't use "code ninja" to hire a "data engineer"

Using gender neutral language can increase the number of applicants by 42% (

Indeed's research has shown that some words such as ambitious, driven, ompetitive, etc can be subtly coded as masculine while words like supportive, warm, and compassionate can be seen as feminine. Eliminating these words in job posts and job descriptions can lead to a significant boost in qualified applicants and can convey a culture of inclusivity.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

Utilized peer reviews in your job description management process for review at initial creation and future editing of job descriptions. Deploy AI tools to flag language that may be seen as discriminatory or gender assumptive to promote inclusivity.

65% of employers had to revise a job description less than a year after it was posted (

Business requirements are dynamic and so are the labor requirements that go with those changes. In today's world change is compounded by the rapid enhancements in technology. Look at what is happening with artificial intelligence lead by ChatGPT- many positions need to adapt to the use of AI and quickly. As tools improve and change skills requirements may change as well resulting in job descriptions falling out of date quick. To avoid skills gaps and uncompetitive compensation job descriptions need to be updated regularly.

How to take advantage of this statistic:

Establish a process of regular review and update of job descriptions. Enable employees and hiring managers to notify HR team members with new requirements as they arise. HR teams can also deploy a job description management software so HR teams can be notified when job descriptions fall out of date or are in need of updating.

The job description is a vital communication tool that has stood the test of time.

Although the job description process can feel tedious at times the JD has still proven to be a vital tool to help organizations connect with qualified talent and set the right expectations around role requirements, company values, and culture. A sound job description management process can help companies ensure they are putting their best job description forward.

Mosh JD can help. Please visit our site to try free today or schedule a demo.

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