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Job descriptions vs application conversion rates. How do we boost candidate interest?

Updated: Feb 5

The percentage of individuals who visit a company's website and then apply for a position is currently below 9 percent. Conversion rates on career websites are declining.


Job descriptions need to be clear and cater to different audiences simultaneously to get candidates excited, engaged, and willing to apply.


Recruiter scanning job listings on ipad

Job seekers spend, on average, 11 hours per week conducting job searches. This is a significant amount of time that is spent reading job descriptions. After some point, the seemingly endless lists of required qualifications and responsibilities begin to blend together.


Poorly written or inaccurate job descriptions may cause organizations to lose the opportunity to attract exceptional candidates. The percentage of individuals who visit a company's website and then apply for a position that is open is currently below 9 percent.


Conversion rates on career websites are declining to abysmal levels. Candidates aren't getting enthused about the opportunities out there from reading job descriptions because they just aren't clear enough. To make matters worse, candidates are very aware that when they apply for a position through a job board or a website their application has a significant chance of going ignored, so why bother? It is more crucial than ever before to ensure that your job descriptions stand out in today's highly competitive labor market, when the unemployment rate is only 3.6 percent. Therefore, it is very important to develop job descriptions that are not only clear to candidates but also caters to different audiences simultaneously. Here are a few techniques to develop effective job descriptions that cater to different audiences and will attract candidates to apply.


Do not impose unreasonable standards


Purple unicorns don't exist. Neither do typical colored unicorns. Unicorns are not real. Numerous recruiters design job descriptions that are unrealistic. This laundry list of false expectations could be doing more harm than good to your recruitment efforts.


According to research from Harvard Business Review, women don't apply for a post unless they meet 100% of qualifications. 100%! If you want to cater to various audiences, you should limit the credentials in your job description to the basic necessities. The "nice-to-have" abilities should be omitted from the job description; otherwise, you risk discouraging perfectly qualified applicants who are frightened by the description.


Put in a statement about equal employment opportunities


When you are writing job descriptions, you may want to mention that your company is an Equal Opportunity Employer, that you are dedicated to creating a diverse and welcoming company culture, and that your organization does not discriminate against candidates and employees on the basis of their sex, disability, race, identity, sexual orientation, gender religion, age, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected status. This will demonstrate your organization’s commitment to DEIB and make your job description more attractive.


Avoid limiting language


Avoid using language that is prevalent within your firm but difficult for people from outside the company to understand. Job applicants will appreciate language that is clear and simple, and it will reduce the likelihood that misunderstandings will occur throughout the recruiting process.


As mentioned before, the purpose of a job description is to get potential applicants to submit their resumes. Avoid using restrictive words if you want to cater to different audiences. It is common knowledge that using language that is discriminatory towards a particular gender may deter potential candidates. In a similar vein, careless language can discourage minority applicants or unconventional applicants. Do not state that a job requires two years of prior experience if it does not actually require that amount of time. Include language that expressly invites people from varied backgrounds to show interest if you are interested in diversifying your workforce.


More can be done

Boosting conversion rates from applicants is a challenge. In today's world unfortunately candidates have become accustomed to spending hours applying for jobs, being ghosted a majority of the time, and reading unrealistic job descriptions.


However, in every challenge there is an opportunity. By focusing on being different, changing the narrative, being responsive to candidates, creating accurate inclusive JDs, etc. your organization can stand out from the pack.


Make job description management easy with MOSH JD. Learn more!

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