It’s Not You, It’s Your Job Description: How Customization Can Keep Your Candidates Engaged

It’s Not You, It’s Your Job Description: How Customization Can Keep Your Candidates Engaged

We live in an era of mass customization. From Netflix to Spotify to Blue Apron, consumers have the power to create a life tailored to their exact needs. So why should an application process be any different? Your candidates are the same people building Netflix watch lists, Spotify workout playlists, and ordering custom Blue Apron meals. They have come to expect a highly personalized and user-friendly experience in every facet of their life.

Changing jobs is a major life decision that is bigger than deciding which season of Gilmore Girls to binge-watch next (the answer is season 3). The care you put into customizing your job description then becomes that much more important. So how do you bring a job to life in a way that feels personal and compels a job seeker to apply? Here are four ideas to get you started:

Use Visuals

Adding a visual element to your job description (JD) immediately catapults it to the top 1% of all descriptions. Why? Because most JD’s are still formatted in migraine-inducing, 10-point, single-space type. It’s 2017 and users consume information through photos, icons, videos, gifs and yes, text, but not only text. There are many ways you can use visuals to personalize your job description. Consider the skills or traits of your ideal candidate and then distill those into an infographic, word cloud, or anything that makes the content pop without compromising the message.

Deliver Transparency

Part of the customization process includes housing all decision-making information in one place. Bringing in third-party data from sites like Glassdoor validates or invalidates the candidate’s perception of your company and ultimately influences their decision to apply. Don’t make them hunt down info on your company. They’re going to find your Glassdoor reviews regardless; so why not serve it to them in one convenient package? By highlighting real employee voices you are also showing your dedication to transparency.

Highlight Your Benefits Package

What types of rewards, benefits, and perks can you offer that your competitors can’t? Are there specific perks that would appeal to candidates in this role? Use iconography or stylized text to call out the items that make your benefits package hard to ignore. Don’t just limit yourself to traditional benefits; if your office is dog-friendly or you have free catered lunches each month, these should absolutely be highlighted.

Promote Your Location

No matter where your job is located, there’s something that makes it stand out. Putting this information in front of candidates helps immerse them in their new, potential life. By doing this, you turn “some office in Dallas” into the historic Katy Building in downtown Dallas, for example. Maybe you want to show off that it has tons of natural light and is located near major public transit facilities and a variety of great lunch spots. You can convey all of this by including a small, interactive map widget, allowing candidates to explore and track their exact commute time.

In the end, the more relevant and valued content you can offer your candidates, the more likely they’ll be to apply. Review your ideal candidate criteria and then do an audit of your current job description. Are there areas where you can tailor the information to the specific candidate’s needs? Identify opportunities to enhance what you have and tell the full story of the job.

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Allison Kelley
Written by Allison Kelley

Allison Kelley is on the Marketing team at TMP Worldwide Chicago. Since 2009, she has worked to tell brand stories for a variety of industries including nonprofit, HR, digital marketing, small business, entrepreneurship, travel, and B2B. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and Chicagoist, among others. You can contact Allison at Allison.Kelley@tmp.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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