Here’s Why Your Open Requisitions Aren’t Attracting Candidates

It’s your job descriptions. Reading them sucks. They’re more like reading a list of demands from a hostage situation than an offer of employment. Often they contain insider language to which only your company and your recruiters are privy. And seldom do they actually tell me how I can benefit from bringing my talent and skill to your company.

I don’t want to read a redundant list of qualities I already know I should possess:

  • Must be a team player.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively.
  • Must be able to perform in a demanding environment and show resiliency to stress.

Nor do I understand what you mean when you say you want someone who can leverage best practices, exact core competency, and promote corporate values.

Who even talks like that? What does any of that even mean?

Stop making your job posts suck and put some effort into making them interesting, why don’t ya?

Let me know what I can gain from being an employee with your company. Point me to some accomplishments and recognition that I’ll be able to work toward. Give me some incentive to hit that apply button other than your ransom list of what I will be held accountable for.

I already know I’ll have to work hard and be good at my job. I already know I’ll have to interact with others and get along with them. I’ll already know if it’s a demanding field and that I should be able to conduct myself professionally if SHTF.

But if you are going to give me a list of demands, at least make it entertaining or engaging.

Your job description is another chance at marketing your employer brand, to me, a prospective candidate. It’s where the road ends from what pushed me here from your career site, to the beginning of actual dialogue with your company.

If I lose sense of your culture in some depressing, authoritative job posting, I am going to lose any enthusiasm I had to apply in the first place. Be creative yet informative in both of what the job entails and what is expected.

Show me a little personality that conveys your company attitude in your job descriptions and make me want it. Sure, I might need twelve years of disciplined learning with a related skill set, but with that kind of experience, I’m pretty sure you are not going to be my only option.

But you can certainly try to prove to me that you are the best option.

Be realistic about expectations.

No one person will ever possess or have mastered every skill required in your job description. You’re not recruiting a one-man department, so don’t act like a candidate should be one.

What if I only have five of the six years your job opening requires yet I have not only the confidence in my skillset but my skill and talent exceeds that of a six-year person? “Sorry, the job demands six years of experience. No exceptions.”

That’s just silly. Sure you want the right candidate with the right experience, but don’t you also want the right candidate with the right skillset and perhaps a vision to carry that position to new heights?

This won’t apply to every position you offer, but you get my point. Be flexible.

Also, your long lists of requirements are sometimes sending the wrong message. One that says you don’t know exactly what you want. In many complaints, job seekers see unrelated qualifications in job descriptions just because the qualification may be in the neighborhood of the position.

This sends the message that you aren’t sure what the position actually requires. Explain what it is exactly that is needed to fill the position. It’s a requirements list, not a wish list.

In the end, be human in your approach.

Your candidates should be approached as possible assets that will be valued, not mindless bodies with the skills you need to fill seats. Even if that is what you are trying to do, make it interesting for them.

Stop posting like a drill instructor and have fun with your job descriptions. It’s a great opportunity to extend your PR and enhance your employer branding.

You just might gain higher quality hires and bring some unintended growth to your company.

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