How To Attract Better Talent By Avoiding 4 Key Mistakes on Job Description



After talking to numerous job seekers in their early to late 20s, multiple CEOs, reading hundreds of job descriptions and visiting top websites like , I have compiled a list of four key mistakes employers should avoid in their job descriptions to attract better talent.

1) Don’t Hide Your “Flaws,” Find the People Who Love Them.

Many sales and consulting jobs require travel.  Reading a job description this morning on a company careers page, I noticed “ability to travel 60% of the time” was at the very bottom of list of requirements, in smaller font.  As if this was somehow unnoticable after the first date, like an ankle tattoo.  There are people out there who love to travel, and companies should play this up if the position requires it.  You want people who embrace the hard work and adventure.  Will they put in 80-90 hours?  Be honest.  I know an engineer who specifically signed up to intern on Google’s Android team because they were required to work on Saturdays.  The kid wanted something “more intense.”

2) Target the Job Seeker, Not The Investor.

Do you start each job description with a summary on your company’s proprietary algorithm, a mention of its world-class ranking, and talk of your #1 B2B solution?  For you to stay #1, you need to attract actual people.  Emphasize what they’ll actually be doing, the people they will be working with, and describe the cool projects they will be working on.

3) Excellent Communication Skills Required?  Avoid meaningless buzzwords.

You may have well written “likes long walks on the beach.”  Eliminate the overused resume jargon.  Do you need someone who can negotiate with contractors, convince customers the benefits of your premium service, write excellent copy for your blog — specify what you want and let the candidate envision herself in the role.

4)Appealing to Everyone Will Get You No One. Make Specific Demands..

Stephen Johnson, Co-Founder of RewardMe states, after multiple versions of job postings they quickly found, “The more demanding we tailored the job description, the more responses we got — and the better.”   Phil Kaplan, Founder of Adbrite, who is now happily married, admitted he used this winning strategy circa 2005 on JDate.  “What I found after multiple A/B tests was the more specific requirements on who the girl should be — the more messages I received.”   When you tell people exactly what qualities they must possess for you to pick them, people enthusiastically scream “That’s me!”   Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want; you might just get it.


Comments are closed.