How To Write More Compelling Job Descriptions Which IT Candidates Respond To?
The traditional job descriptions don't attract IT candidates anymore! Learn what to do instead...
The traditional job descriptions don't attract IT candidates anymore. Thanks to social media, people have a short attention span, don't read long paragraphs, and only skim through the text.
However, most of the job descriptions out there look like this:
What can work in other industries, no longer works in IT. Software developers have lots of opportunities, they can work remotely for any company around the world, and the roles are rather typical (backend developer, frontend developer, iOS developer, ...).
Watch the video below to learn how to create more effective Job Ads:
If you want to increase your response rate and get more candidates to respond to your messages, start with more compelling JDs.
Instead of thinking...
- "My JDs are already good..."
- "I cannot change it anyway..."
- "My hiring manager doesn't tell me anything on top of what's there..."
...try to reframe this problem and ask yourself:
- “What can I mention about the team?”
- “How can I communicate a little more about the technologies used in the company?”
- “How can I make reveal a little more about the technical stack?”
Rethink The Traditional Job Description
Job Descriptions (JDs) were never meant to be external ads. They are internal HR documents, supposed to be stored in an internal knowledge base.
But here’s what most of the recruiters do: they receive a JD from an internal HR generalist or a hiring manager and then copy & paste the super-boring JD to job portals... hoping this will attract software developers!
Let’s leave the JDs where they are supposed to be (in an internal HR knowledge base) and create attractive job ads instead.
1. Avoid Obvious Mistakes
First, identify and remove the obvious technical mistakes such as in this JD:
Mistakes such as this one can happen because someone copies & pastes text from one JD to another.
You'll be able to spot these mistakes and avoid them if you understand the typical IT roles, what programming languages and software frameworks do these IT professionals use. Join the next group of 20 tech recruiters in the Tech Recruitment Program and you'll level up in only three weeks!
2. Focus On What Matters To IT Candidates
When approaching IT candidates, we need to focus on what matters most to them.
Experience shows software developers are keen to know about the technical stack the company uses. They also want to know more about the company and team.
After interviewing dozens of IT professionals, I created this mind map to help you focus on what matters most:
- Technical stack: What languages and frameworks do they use? What are the three must-have skills to have?
- Work methodology: What's the level of adoption of the best-practices?
- Company type: Corporation or a Startup? Product-centric or an Agency?
- Team: What's the team size and seniority of team members?
- Product: What's so special about the product? Technology? Challenge?
- Project methodology: Waterfall or Agile?
3. Low Hanging Fruit
Third, developers want to know a little more about the company culture and management. Most of the established companies have profiles on sites such as Crunchbase or Glassdoor where you can see rating from their employees:
Even if you cannot mention the company name in your JD, you can still mention for example “Glassdoor rating 3.7."
Tweak it to be more attractive
A job description is usually too long and boring to be shared via Facebook or LinkedIn. I'd recommend writing a short teaser. It's just a few sentences that highlight the most important pieces of information.
A little trick how to write the teaser effectively: I imagine I'm a call with a potential candidate. I only have 30-40 seconds to present the opportunity and need to focus on the most important stuff (see above).
Imagine this is the initial JD which I received from a client:
It mostly focuses on what's already obvious.
Yes, a backend PHP developer is usually responsible for managing backend services and the interchange of data between the server and users...
Hence, we need to come up with something more appealing.
Something that the candidate will get excited about:
Let's analyze it...
1. A good hook: "Senior PHP full-stack dev in Slovakia?"
This question is supposed to get attention of those who are senior PHP fullstack developers...
2. “PHP Developer” + “written in Symfony”
This is the most important part of the JD. We only need to mention the primary programming language (which is PHP) and the framework used (Symfony).
3. “a funded startup with an MVP”
This is VERY important info for those developers who prefer working in a startup environment.
4. “it’s likely you learn how to build a company along the way”
A startup is all about learning and personal growth. We need to attract people who are attracted to this kind of environment.
Is it full-time or part-time? How many home-office days are allowed?
Does the developer need to join 100% full-time, or a part-time contract is allowed?
All of this is possible if you understand the IT landscape, the programming languages, software frameworks, and typical IT roles.
You'll be able to quickly identify the must-have skills, drop all the "fluff" and add something more to make the job opportunity EXCITING!
To become REALLY GOOD in international tech recruitment, join my upcoming Tech Recruitment Program. With a group of 20 recruiters and HR specialists, we'll learn the essential IT vocabulary and the strategies you need to thrive!