How SEO-Driven Job Descriptions Are Changing the Hiring Game

Posted on Jun 28, 2019 - By Richard Forbes

Businesses thrive on hardworking and innovative employees. Bringing new ideas and determined minds into the workplace creates an environment of initiative and progress. So, how do employers and recruiters identify who can contribute to this goal at the hiring stage? The purpose of a job listing is obvious: attract as many qualified candidates as possible. When creating online job listings, search engine optimization (SEO) is now the key if to attracting the right audience.

Search engines like Google scan for keywords, formatting and relevant information in order to place the most applicable job results at the top of the page. Therefore, you need to incorporate SEO practices into your job postings to make them visible to the best candidates. Techniques like implementing sub headers, providing a transparent view of the company and including keywords can improve your post’s ranking. When you take advantage of this system, you can catch the attention of top professionals who can contribute the most to your office.

Tailor-made Descriptions

Previously, many employers relied on cookie-cutter job postings to attract candidates online.  Hiring managers would copy and paste the same general information and simply change the title and salary range as needed. This often resulted in vague and generic job descriptions that failed to provide valuable information about the position or the company listing it. Some descriptions even featured only a one-paragraph, brief explanation of the candidate’s necessary qualifications.

Today, it is necessary to put more effort into crafting a job description if you want your position to reach the right candidates.  Job seekers expect to get more insight into a job before they apply in order to ensure they aren’t wasting their time. To make sure these candidates find the most relevant and helpful posts, search engines scans and ranks job postings based on certain factors, including:

  • Keywords.
  • Descriptiveness.
  • Formatting.

With the movement from generic job descriptions to increasingly tailored postings, it is more important now than ever to use SEO to enhance job recruitment. A greater focus on SEO means job descriptions now take research and careful writing to precisely convey the necessary skills and desired traits of the optimal recruit. By providing clear and descriptive outlines of your open positions, with tools like subheadings and keywords, you can make sure your job listing reaches the right applicants.

The Key is Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases that people frequently use to search for results on the internet. When strategically placed throughout your content, keywords make it possible to find you in a search. By incorporating the right industry-related keywords, your listing is more likely to appear in an applicant’s search due to a search engine’s efforts to display the most relevant information.

These commonly used words can land you more views and a greater exposure to the right applicants when used within reason. Though keywords can help to raise your SEO ranking, incorporating too many in one post can become a detriment. Google recommends its users to find the five most important keywords and gain traffic from those.

To find your keywords, brainstorm the terms your job candidates are likely to search for. For more ideas, you can perform your own search on Google to see similar search terms that pop up. Programs like Google Analytics can provide further insight into search traffic for different words and phrases.

You want the keywords you choose to reflect the goals of your company, as well as the purpose of the position itself and the applicant’s responsibilities. Thus, it is important to evaluate your company’s values and mission and incorporate this into your job postings.

Provide Full Disclosure

While keywords bring job seekers to your listings, transparency and straightforwardness are what encourages them to apply. Candidates want to know who they are applying to work for, and the kind of work they are expected to perform.

A clear description of a job and the employer provides the applicants all the information they need to make an educated decision about the opportunity. To ensure full transparency in your job description, answer questions like:

  • What are the goals of my company? What are its values and mission?
  • What is my company’s brand?
  • What specific qualifications does the applicant need?
  • What knowledge or personalities best suit my corporate environment?
  • What responsibilities will this applicant have? Who will he or she be working with?

Company Culture is Critical

According to Millennial Branding, a research and consulting firm, 43 percent of surveyed job seekers and professionals rank cultural fit as the most important factor in choosing a job. Therefore, it is important to describe your company’s culture in the job description when looking to hire a new addition to the team.

A company’s culture is a combination of the atmosphere, values, policies and overall vision that defines the organization in which your employees work. You want to consider how well a new hire would adjust to this environment. Though skills are important in the best candidate, personality is also a factor.

The last thing a new hire wants to feel is out of place and ostracized from the group, and this can be especially difficult for a tight-knit company. As such, the way your company functions as a whole is a major factor if you want new employees to feel comfortable and grow within the organization.

What is the tone of the workspace? How often and in what ways do people interact? Does your business thrive on the quirks and unique traits of its employees, or does it look for a more traditional and structured individual? Including this information in your job description can help you attract candidates that will mesh well with your current team.

Get Familiar with Formatting

You want to get as specific as possible when writing a job post in order to remove any uncertainty the applicant may have about the position. However, how you visually present this information also impacts how candidates interact with your listings.

By categorizing your information with tools like sub headers and bulleted lists you can make you job postings more navigable for both Google and potential applicants. When you have a description that is organized, clearly labeled and easy to navigate, candidates can then quickly and easily learn about the position and your company.

The ultimate goal of optimizing your job listings is to encourage the best candidates to apply to your open positions. When you create a job description with SEO concepts in mind, you can increase your search ranking to receive the most exposure, while also helping applicants determine if the job is right for them.