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How to Attract Top Talent

A recent study by The Ladders has found

A recent study by The Ladders has found that job seekers spend less than a minute scanning a job ad before deciding whether or not to apply to the position. While 44 per cent of job seekers stated they spend between one to five minutes reading an ad, eye-scanning technology tells a different story. Participants took less than a minute to dismiss ads they saw as a poor fit, and only 76.7 seconds reading an ad they found interesting.

That means that as a recruiter, it is in your best interests to make your job description as reader-friendly and gripping as possible.

Assuming that what The Ladders' study found applies to the majority of job seekers, then your job descriptions should have two goals:
1) Create an interest in your company and your job so that a person spends more time reading your ad.
2) Make the information you are providing clear and easily understood. If you only have roughly a minute to convince a candidate to apply to a position, you need to make that minute count.

How to create interest in your company and position:
1) Include a brief (1 to 2 sentences) description of what your company does.
2) Include a longer description of the position. Think of it this way: why would a person apply to a position if they don't even know what it is they'd be doing, or what sort of company they'd be doing it for? Probably only because they desperately need a job, any job. If you want people who are competent and passionate about what they do, you need to tell them what opportunities you can offer them. They need to know what's in it for them. That reason could be that you have more interesting projects than their current employer, you offer better benefits, or you boast a company culture that is more in line with that candidate's values. But the only way they can know that is if you tell them.
3) Keep your description concise. It doesn't matter how interesting your position is, if the candidate gets bored reading or gives up, they won't apply. You want to convey energy and excitement in your ad, but you also want to make it as simple as possible.
4) The most successful job descriptions organize the job duties and requirements into a list of the 4-5 most important points. Adding more than 5 points usually becomes redundant, and any less usually makes a job description vague. Similarly for job qualifications, listing fewer than 5 often draws unqualified applicants, but including more weeds out good candidates. Obviously, some jobs require fewer qualifications than others (a receptionist will likely need fewer credentials than a Senior Mechanical Engineer Project Manager). But as a rule of thumb, an ad with a succinct list of the 4 or 5 must-have qualifications and job duties will be more successful than an ad with a much shorter or longer description.

Your job description is the first impression a candidate receives of your job opening. The more you can interest someone, the more they will read your job ad. And the more that interested candidate understands what you're looking for and how they meet those qualifications, the more likely they are to apply.