7 Job Description Hacks to Attract the Best Tech Talent


Are you sick of sifting through hundreds of irrelevant CVs? Or frustrated that you’re not getting enough traffic from your job posts?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

We took insights from job rejections by candidates on Woo, and adjusted the job descriptions for companies on Woo accordingly. We then A/B tested many permutations to achieve better results.

What did we discover?

There are key takeaways every company can take onboard to boost candidate engagement and relevance:

1.Know your audience

Standard job posts include a title and description about the company, product, job, and requirements. Often, the “About the Company” (or product) section is more of an elevator pitch.

This may be great for a potential investor, but less so for a developer.

It is important to know your audience.

If you’re trying to attract a developer, include a more technical description.

This description should be different for a backend engineer, a UI designer, a data scientist, and even between junior and senior candidates, who have different expectations for their next career move.

2. Pitch the team

Name-dropping works well. If your CEO is an ex-Googler, if a well-known VC backs you, or insane brands use your product, say so.

Your target audience will be more confident in you when other key players have already shown confidence.

If you don’t have names to drop, describe your team appropriately. “Tight-knit,” “forward-thinking,” “field experts,” “technology-hungry,” and other defining phrases shed light on your company environment.

3. Why you?

Sometimes your offering won’t compare to the allure of other opportunities.

I’ve seen this with verticals such as Adtech, Fintech, or even Healthtech. Saving lives may sound noble, but candidates often prefer to work for hardcore software companies.

Lure them with the vision, the “why” of your company.

More importantly, emphasize the technical side so they understand they will be doing exactly what they would in any software position—and the company mission is a cherry on top.

4. Job title

While I’m no fan of hyped titles like “Java Guru” or “Backend Ninja” (if only, because you want candidates to be able to find the job online), I’ve seen amazing results by changing the job title a bit.

Adding a hot new technology or emphasizing they will be the first hire can make a huge difference.

5. Present and future

All candidates, junior or senior, technical or not, want to know their advancement options as much as the immediate terms.

Millenials in particular want to be able to grow within the company.

Use phrases like “rapidly growing company,” if the numbers support that. Or use specifics like: “During 2018, we plan to grow our R&D team from 5 to 28 engineers.”

6. Less is more

Remember, candidates are approached by countless recruiters and sift through an immense number of opportunities. So keep it short and concise.

You also can rewrite bullets in the responsibilities section to show not only what they’ll do but also how they will do it.

Alternatively, if a certain responsibility is critical or a skill is needed, rewrite the description to point that out, and suggest what they will do with it daily.

7. When in doubt… be straightforward

While the job description must pique their interest, emphasizing the important job parameters will save time later.

I’ve seen clients who posted senior positions later wonder if candidates with standout resumes will do hands-on work.

If something is important, emphasize it; and during the interview, just ask them directly.

To summarize…

Companies need to move away from the old-fashioned job description template, and incorporate a marketing mindset.

Consider what will resonate well with your target audience, be creative and informative where it counts, and don’t be afraid to change it up if things aren’t progressing as desired.