The average human attention span is 8.25 seconds – less than a goldfish! In a saturated job market with an unlikelihood that candidates will read your entire job advertisement, many employers have failed to improve the language and structure of their ads. Candidates are probably just skimming, so what’s it matter?
While it’s true that people are likely not reading word for word, that means the eye-catching quality and accuracy of your ads means more than ever. If candidates are only going to pick up on a bit of information, make sure it’s the best information.
First, it’s critical to get the title of your job right. Internally, you may use some very specific titles that are unique to your organization, which may mean that they won’t translate into the greater job market. Use job titles in your postings that are the most accurate representation of the job and are general enough to be searched by the public at large.
After getting the job title right, you’ll want to use the right language in the body of your ad. It shouldn’t look like ChatGPT wrote it – there should certainly be some “personality” that evokes an understanding of the ideal candidate for the position and a distinctive organizational voice. However, you should include enough relevant keywords to increase your ad’s position in search results. For instance, if you are recruiting for a teacher, your job ad could includes phrases like the level of education (elementary, secondary, or special education), interactive learning, curriculum development, cooperative learning, distance learning, lesson planning, educational assessment, classroom instruction – anything that may be relevant to a search engine or a candidate.
Once you improve the body of your ad, you should focus on adding salary, benefits, and perks. This added information will likely influence someone to apply or move along. Salary transparency, in particular, is a growing trend. In some states like Colorado and California, salary transparency is law. In a recent study by Adobe, they found that 85% of college senior or recent grads are less likely to apply for a job if the salary range isn’t disclosed. Just like you want to know that a candidate is being honest and truthful with you, candidates want to know what they are getting themselves in to. Disclosing salary, benefits, and perks in the job ad will attract and keep the right candidates.
In the end, it’s all about balance and knowing your audience. It takes more work up front to create an attractive job ad, but that ad will work harder for you if you get it right.