The findability of your company’s job descriptions is extremely important if you want to reach as many potential applicants as possible. And that is what you should strive for if your company has set ambitious diversity and inclusion goals. SEO job descriptions play an important role here. They are optimized for search engines, making them easy to find for all potential candidates. SEO is short for search engine optimization, an inbound marketing method that makes your content—in this case, job descriptions—findable and trackable for search engines. But how do you optimize your job descriptions for SEO? We’ll tell you all about it.
3 steps to optimize your job descriptions for SEO
To get your job descriptions on the radar of more potential candidates, and by doing so reach a more diverse group of applicants, there are 3 steps you should consider for SEO optimization. For SEO job descriptions, you should:
- Choose the right keywords
Don’t give your job descriptions complex names that no one searches for online. Instead, think about the profile of your ideal candidate. What will this person search for online when looking for a new job? The answer is the keyword you should optimize your job description for. Don’t forget to include the location of your company’s office either. People often include the name of their target city or region in their search terms.
Once you have determined what keywords potential candidates search for, you should use them throughout your job description. Be careful not to stuff it with keywords, though. Two to three mentions per keyword, with some variation, is enough. Don’t use too many different keywords either. Four to five per job description is plenty. And remember that your main keyword should always appear in your page title, page description, title, subtitle and the first paragraph.
- Share your job descriptions on social media
Sharing your job descriptions on social media generates immediate traffic. And if others share your job descriptions on their social media profiles, the search engines will also increase your search rank. Don’t forget to add attractive visual elements when sharing your job descriptions on social media. This will increase the chances that your post is viewed and shared by potential candidates.
SEO job descriptions with the help of Textmetrics
There is a lot to consider when you need to write SEO job descriptions. The three steps we outlined are useful guidelines to start with, but in practice, it can be quite difficult to have perfectly optimized job descriptions. Luckily, the Textmetrics platform can help you out here. Based on artificial intelligence, our platform analyzes your job descriptions for SEO and provides you with real-time suggestions for improvements. It also informs you about the findability of your job description on Google for Jobs, which lists the jobs that are most relevant for job seekers within Google Search. If you manage to get your job description at the top of the list here, you can reach a large group of potential candidates.
The importance of writing job descriptions at the understandable B1 level
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are highly valued nowadays. Of course, it’s the right thing to do. And research shows that diversity plays an important role in the profitability of a company. A prerequisite for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is posting job descriptions that everyone can understand. Research shows that the average reading level is dropping. Meanwhile, most job descriptions are written at a level that only a very small percentage of people can understand. This suggests that the importance of understandable writing in job descriptions is not yet fully understood by those responsible for recruiting.
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
In Europe, the CEFR specifies three language levels: A, B and C. These are divided into two sublevels: 1 and 2. Language level A1 is the lowest (easiest to understand) and C2 is the highest (most difficult to understand). The language level that most people (about 60% of the population) are able to read and understand is B1. Do you want as many people as possible to understand your job descriptions? Then you need to write them at a B1 level. Job descriptions that aren’t written at a CEFR B1 level are not readable for the majority of your target group.
Keep it simple: write at a B1 level
The majority of the job descriptions posted these days use language that is too complex. That’s a shame. It means you’ll probably miss out on a large group of very suitable candidates. On top of that, it makes it even harder to reach your diversity and inclusion goals. Because what are the chances of attracting a diverse group of candidates when very few people find your job descriptions understandable? That’s why you need to keep it simple. Understandable writing in job descriptions means writing at a B1 level. By doing so, most people will be able to fully understand the requirements of the job. You’ll also make your job description more accessible to people suffering from dyslexia or those who aren’t native speakers of the language you’re writing in.
A little help
Do you want to make sure your job descriptions are written at a CEFR B1 level? Then there are a number of tips and tricks you can use. But it’s far easier to use the platform we offer at Textmetrics. This platform uses AI algorithms to assess the readability of your job description. And they give you suggestions to reach the desired B1 level. This is as easy as it sounds. And it is an important step toward more diversity and inclusion in your workforce.
Why does one person decide to respond to your job vacancy while another doesn’t even fully read it? How come it always seems that very few people apply? And why do most of the people who do apply not even fit the job description? These are frustrations that many recruiters experience when they post a job online and wait for applications to come in. Often, they receive only a very limited number of responses from candidates who match all the criteria they’re looking for. Sure, for some jobs, good people are scarce, but it also has to do with addressing the right people in the right way.
Messages aimed at a certain personality
Governments, political parties and companies all continuously try to reach their target audience using persuasive mass communication, and they all have different reasons to do so. They might want people to eat healthier, to vote for a certain political party or to apply for their jobs openings. And as you have probably already experienced, it’s not easy to reach the entire target group you’re aiming at. Researchers recently found that persuasive mass communication is more effective when it’s tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics.
The researchers hypothesised that what convinces one person to behave in a desired way might not work for another. In order to investigate whether this idea held true, they conducted a number of experiments using the digital footprints that people leave online to discover specific personality profiles. The results revealed that people with an introverted personality, for example, respond differently to a message than people with an extroverted personality. Importantly, they learned that tailoring the words used in their messaging to these personality traits made all the difference.
The implication for vacancies
The above research findings are also applicable when it comes to filling vacancies. Before you write your job descriptions, you typically have a perfect candidate in mind. You know what personality the candidate needs to have to be a good fit for the job. So, in order to reach these ideal candidates, you need to use words that appeal specifically to them. Or said differently: that appeal to the individuals’ unique psychological characteristics. That’s easier said than done. What we currently see is that most vacancies only appeal to 40% of the target audience, while we know that this has to be at least 80% to receive enough valuable applications. Additionally, job descriptions often appeal more to men, for example, because they tend to have a more masculine tone of voice.
The solution Textmetrics offers
At Textmetrics, we use augmented writing to help you become a better writer. It doesn’t replace you as a writer, but it will help you write job descriptions that appeal specifically to your target audience. Our augmented writing tools use artificial intelligence to give you real-time suggestions as you strive to write high-quality content that matches the personality of the candidates you’re looking for.
What we have seen from the research discussed above is that it is important to use the right words in your vacancies. Our augmented writing software uses algorithms based on artificial intelligence to help you do just that. There are glossaries in these algorithms that offer you suggestions for words to use to address a certain personality type. The software can also detect if you use a more masculine tone of voice -something we often see in job descriptions- and give you suggestions to write more gender-neutral job descriptions that appeal to both men and women.
In Textmetrics’ augmented writing software, you can select your preferences so anyone who writes a job description using your account will automatically be guided to apply the selected settings. On top of that, you can add organisation-specific rules and guidelines. All the writer needs to do is switch on our cloud-based app and start writing. All the vacancies that you post online will appeal to your desired candidates, giving you more valuable applications to choose from.
Are you ready to implement AI in your recruitment department? Textmetrics is here to help! Get in touch to find out more.
The role of digitization in recruitment
The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the role of digitization in business. Practically overnight, we all had to work from home and find new ways to stay productive. As a result, the use of online applications increased enormously. It can be said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the potential of digitization is finally being exploited.
We also see an increased use of digitization in the recruitment industry. More than ever, the recruitment sector recognizes the need for automation when it comes to staying in touch with clients and potential candidates. The same goes for the importance of well-written job postings that are easy to find in order to address the right candidates.
Accelerated digitization within the recruitment industry
For recruiters, the coronavirus pandemic means that they are not able to visit clients as much as they used to, and that job interviews with candidates are now mainly done online. This can be challenging. There is much less or no in-person interaction, which can increase the time needed for the recruitment process and might decrease the efficiency. However, digitization also offers recruiters a number of interesting advantages:
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the shortage of talent was one of the biggest challenges recruiters had to deal with. Now that more and more people have lost their jobs, that is no longer the case.
What recruiters are now faced with are sectors where there is suddenly a high demand for staff. How can recruiters process large numbers of online assessments and job interviews as quickly and effectively as possible? The use of new, automated recruitment techniques is exactly what they need.
Job interviews are an important but time-consuming part of the recruitment process. With face-to-face applications no longer possible, recruiters quickly discovered that there are plenty of useful tools for online interviews, including some that even allow recruiters to pick up on applicants’ non-verbal signals, which is an important aspect of interviewing.
Using online application tools saves both recruiters and candidates a lot of valuable time. For example, candidates save time and money on travel, while recruiters notice that their time-to-hire is shortened.
More attention for well-written job postings
Recruiters have known for some time that well-written, easy-to-find online job ads are essential for an effective recruitment process. Nevertheless, it was a challenge for many to fit this into their daily work at the office. Now that recruiters have more time—because, among other things, there is less distraction from colleagues and fewer ad-hoc requests when working from home—recruiters are paying more attention to writing advertisements that appeal to their target candidates. In addition to the fact that recruiters are focusing more on writing good vacancy texts, today’s technology can also be a huge help. Textmetrics offers tools that help you make sure that your recruitment texts are well-written, easy to find and fully targeted at the right audience.
Are you ready to implement AI in your recruitment department? Textmetrics is here to help! Get in touch to find out more.