Are your job descriptions putting candidates off?

A good job description is the ideal launchpad for any hiring campaign. When you get this right, you’re more likely to attract talented candidates. But how can you make sure you are getting your job description noticed, read and remembered?

1. Are you going overkill on the roles and responsibilities?

Research shows that response rates to shorter job descriptions are higher. But, what can you afford to lose content-wise? There is something to be said about not listing generic and expected roles and responsibilities. For example, every aspiring paralegal worth their salt, will be aware of the level of administrative work included in the role. So why list it?

When hiring for the higher level positions such as solicitors, it’s well known that a university degree, legal qualifications such as the LPC, and a training contract are required to qualify as a solicitor – so don’t waste precious word limit listing these. Consider making them a viable factor during the application process instead.

2. Are you selling yourself as a company?

Company culture is big right now, even in traditional industries such as the legal sector. Magic Circle firms are ruling the roost by introducing and implementing policies aimed to improve levels of representation, as well as boosting employee morale and wellbeing. The stereotypical view of the legal sector is that it is an intense job that doesn’t fall anywhere near the listed confinements of nine to five.

Society is evolving though; generational differences and the emergence of millennial talent has emphasised the fact that work-life balance is a top priority. Leading international law firm Freshfields for example, offers corporate benefits, an onsite gym and trips abroad. Linklaters law firm offers flexible working to all members of staff. If you are doing something a little different that benefits your company culture, make sure it is evident in the job description, in order to attract that top talent.

3. Consider the order of events

When it comes to a job spec, layout is everything. Some things are more important to candidates than others. In a study conducted by LinkedIn, prospective employees labelled compensation as the most important part of the job description (61 per cent) followed by qualifications and job details (both 49 per cent). If these are the most important factors to your target market, ensure they jump out of the page. Prioritise these at the top of the ad and consider bolding out the salary – especially if it’s a competitive one.

4. Avoid unconscious bias

One top priority for the legal sector in 2019 is improving representation. The 2018 gender pay gap results shone a negative light on the sector as a whole. And for years, the legal sector has been labelled as the white, male, middle-class career of choice. This is changing though, and principles are being implemented into the hiring process. This can start when penning your job description.

Did you know that the language you use in a job description can affect whether women apply for the role? Certain phrases can be off-putting. It’s a shocking statement, but unfortunately a lot of this language is mentioned unconsciously. It can pay to use AI software to eliminate this from your ads, or you can do a bit of research into keywords to avoid.

5. Are they engaging enough?

Times are changing and so are online formats. Over 79 per cent of job applicants use social media in their job search – so more and more law firms are choosing to build their campaigns via their social channels also. The thing with social media is that you need to use branded images and clear statements in order to attract attention. Perhaps this is why we are seeing an increase in businesses turning to video and animations to advertise their roles. Video content has been proven the most engaging form of content to use online, so it could be an additional tool in your arsenal to utilise.

If your job ads just aren’t hitting the spot, why not consider getting in touch with Zest Recruitment? Your specialist legal recruiters.