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Graduate recruitment starts with attracting the right candidates to your business.
A job description is often the very first thing a potential candidate reads about your company – and just like the first time you review a graduate CV, first impressions count. With thousands of companies all looking to hire graduates, crafting an attractive job description is crucial.
The key to making your business stand out is to ensure that your job description is simultaneously accurate (to target the type of candidate you are looking for, and avoid receiving hundreds of inappropriate applications), and engaging (to make the right candidates want to apply).
When reading a job description, graduates will be looking to find out what the role involves, what skills, requirements and experience they need, and how your company can benefit them – all in a succinct, to the point and easy-to-read piece of text. Here’s how to do it:
Naturally, the graduates that you will want to attract to your business will also be popular with others – so how do you stand out from the crowd?
Start by thinking about the job title itself. Naming the role something that top-quality candidates will actually be searching for will not only make them more likely to find and apply for the job, but will also provide them with the scope to research around it for themselves.
In your job description, detail the responsibilities, day-to-day tasks and the expected outcomes of the role – being as specific as you can about each one. You should also mention the support or training they will receive, as well as laying out the path of progression they can expect in this particular role. By being explicit about the tasks that the successful candidate will be doing, and the structure of the role, you’ll be more likely to attract the right graduate for the specifications of the job.
If you want to attract the right candidates to your business, you need to clearly define your expectations and the type of candidate you are looking for. When a graduate reads your job description, they should be able to ascertain whether they are suitable for the role in terms of skills, qualifications, and experience. Be careful, though, to distinguish between requirements and preferences – if you’re open to fresh graduates but you write “2 years’ commercial experience” as a prerequisite on your job description, exceptional candidates might be deterred from applying. Bear in mind that a candidate, particularly in the tech field, might have had a lot of training but very little actual industry experience – so if you’re serious about graduate recruitment, think about what you want to include as absolute requirements on your job description.
Salary is an important part of a job, but is by no means the only aspect of a role that appeals to graduates. In fact, from a survey of 100 graduates we surveyed last year, we found that the biggest career concern (46.2%) was going into a dead-end job or having no career progression. For graduates going into their 1st or 2nd job, opportunities for progression, development and variation are of huge importance – so whether your business is able to offer a high salary or not, clearly state in your job description what the employee will gain from the role aside from their monthly pay check. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your job description attracts top-quality candidates – people who want to take on big responsibility, grow and progress within your business.
Amongst thousands of other businesses looking to hire graduates, it’s important to make your company stand out for all the right reasons. Use the job description to really sell your company to the right candidates – citing numbers that show how rapidly your company has grown, listing high-profile clients you have worked with, or mentioning any prestigious awards or media attention you’ve received. And to make sure that graduates want to apply for the role? The more great things about your company culture, office space and work perks you can mention, the better!
For a job description tailored to graduates, tone is incredibly important. The key is to find the balance between remaining professional, whilst also ensuring that your company comes across as relatable and personable. As a general rule, this means avoiding using slang or “millennial” abbreviations and equally, refraining from using complex internal terminology or industry jargon that will alienate graduates.
Finally, bear in mind that graduates will be reading a lot of job descriptions, and the more they can take from skim-reading yours the better. Though it’s vital to include the key pieces of information, try to keep the rest of the job description as succinct and to the point as possible, avoiding using wordy descriptions or long-winded paragraphs.
As the initial step in the graduate recruitment process, a job description is your first chance to connect with your potential future hires. This can make constructing an effective job description a complicated task - but by ensuring that your it is targeted, concise and engaging, you can attract the best graduates to your business.
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