A well thought out and written job description can be the difference between finding your perfect hire or your open role sitting empty while you struggle to find the right candidate. But one mistake many recruiters make is using generic job descriptions that don’t showcase culture or provide a realistic overview of what the role would be like.

Here are a few of the common mistakes we need to avoid when writing our job descriptions:

  1. Listing too many responsibilities

Everyone understands that roles can be very fluid and change day-to-day depending on what’s happening in the business at that time. If this is the case for the role you’re recruiting for, you need to try and keep is as concise as possible.

Sure, duties are a crucial factor in letting your candidates know what the role will consist of, and ultimately persuade them to apply for the role. So while we need to try and make this as realistic as possible, we need to also make sure that the list doesn’t seem overwhelming. The main responsibilities that occur on a day-to-day basis are the most important to outline. Aim for approximately 5 main responsibility bullet points on what the role usually looks like.

  1. Forgetting about SEO

If you really want your ads to be seen by the most relevant candidates in search engine results pages, then you need to make sure that your job ads are optimized to appear. Make sure that you’re using super relevant keywords on your website so that suitable candidates are hitting your career pages.

Whether that’s the super snappy page title you use, the relevant meta description that shows up in search results, or the a relevant URL that contains your key words too. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from someone if you’re not the savviest in this area!

  1. Being vague about benefits

According to research, 64% of us believe that organisations invest in benefits that nobody is really interested in, and therefore don’t take advantage of. But with 73% of us basing our employment decisions on the benefits offered in a role, we need to be shouting about what really matters.

Various research has showed that the most sought out benefits is flexible working. Health benefits, paid time off, and investment in training always turn out pretty high on the list too. So, make sure that you’re bragging about the things that people want to ensure they know why you should be their employer of choice.

  1. Unrealistic skills requirements

Even when we’re open to candidates from different backgrounds and abilities applying to our roles, the list of skills requirements that we put into our job descriptions can really deter people from applying.

Ensure that any skills you include in this list are absolute must-haves. You can include a desirable section too if there are certain skills that you’d like to see in your candidates, but makes sure it’s clear that these aren’t absolutely needed to be successful in the role. As we mentioned in benefits, one of the most sought out benefits is investment in training – so showing that you’re willing to upskill in certain areas will also go a long way.

  1. Leaving job description unattended

Something many of us are guilty of is not regularly reviewing job descriptions. Sure, use a template – but make sure you’re consistently updating information and making it as relevant as possible to a role.

If you aren’t getting as many applications as you would have hoped, re-write your ad. Take a new approach and see if you attract the right talent – and keep going until you do!

  1. Not including salary

Not including a salary can put off a lot of candidates – the salary you use in your job descriptions can be used as a guide for candidates as to whether they should apply for the role. If you leave this out when you know what the budget is for the position, you could end up with fantastic candidates turning down offers because it’s well below their current pay scale.

Even if you can’t include a specific figure, you’ll have a general idea of the amount that can be offered.  In this scenario, use a bracket so that candidates know what they could possibly earn depending on their experience. Even though this isn’t as specific, it will help you to attract the right candidates.

  1. Not considering video

Did you know that some recruitment agencies have reported an 800% increase in engagement on job ads that have a video embedded, compared to those without? Research shows that we spend less than one minute, 49.7 seconds to be exact, looking at a job description. That’s how long it takes a person to decide whether they’re a good fit for the role – so is a big wall of text the best way to engage them in such a brief window?

The short answer is no. Video, however, lets us get across our company culture and values with time to spare, allowing us to truly engage job seekers and attract the most suited talent.