I don’t know the average number of resumes any one job opening gets – the latest I read was 250, but that statistic is from almost two years ago. With social media making the job search and candidate recruitment process increasingly more public, I’m guessing it’s far north of that number. That’s the law of supply and demand hard at work: there are multiples more job searchers at any given time than there are jobs. And I guess since this means a hiring manager will get lots of resumes anyway, with a robot (conceivably) weeding out the irrelevant ones before they make it to his or her inbox, why bother investing a lot of time in writing a kick-ass job description?
Well here’s why:
- An open role on your team is a product.
- A job description is the ad that sells that product.
- The audience you’re selling that product to is a potential candidate. And unlike most situations in which a company will gladly sell a product to anyone who’ll buy it, in this one the quality of the buyer has a direct impact on your company.
Job description buyers (candidates) are made up of some combination of the unemployed, the underemployed and the unhappily employed (in fact, a whopping 51% of current employees are considering a new job at any given time!) They are more likely than not slogging through multiple job descriptions a day – a mind-numbing, tedious and often depressing task. But it doesn’t mean they’re desperate and will be willing to take anything – in fact, the great ones aren’t desperate at all, they can afford to be incredibly discerning, and you should be courting them. No matter what, your job description will create a lot of demand, but if it’s not the demand you want then it translates to a big old waste of time (or worse, a big mistake.) You want your ad to attract the best of the best, so approach recruitment like a marketer approaches a campaign, especially if it’s a marketing role you’re trying to fill. Start by taking some inspiration from this job description from CrossMedia, which reads like an invitation.
Refreshing, isn’t it? I’d bet the cover letters it generates are much more inspired and genuine as well (as opposed to cookie-cutter, jargon-riddled text that’s been tweaked in three places to try to sound custom), which means you get to know the candidate before you even bring them in the door. That should more than offset the extra time it takes to craft a thoughtful ad for your next open role.