Wired recently worked with OkCupid and Match.com to find out which words were used on the most popular dating profiles on their sites. Millions of data points were done for this data analysis and they came up with the most popular 1000 words. What they came up with were the exact words to use in your profile descriptions to get the most clicks. I’m going to take this one step further and say if these words attract singles to another single, I’m quite certain they would attract a job seeker to a job. My theory being singles are also job seekers. Okay, I hear you, just because some words might attract one person to another person doesn’t mean those same words will attract a person to a job – but it might.
It is my belief that we can totally re-write Job Descriptions in a way that is a lot less HR’ish, and much more real, which will make more people want to work in the jobs you have. My good friend, Kris Dunn, is a master at this over at Kinetix (click through to see some of KD’s work). Here is another one I put together when I was hiring a Recruiter for my staff. The positive is, it lets us in HR get our ‘creative on’.
Let ‘s give it a shot. I’ll give you 7 categories of words that were mathematically proven to get more
1. Active Words: Yoga, Surfing, Surf, hiking, athlete, etc. These words were popular because people want to be associated with things that are good for them. Do you highlight active things you do at your organization in your job descriptions?
2. Pop Culture Words: 30 Rock, The Great Gatsby, Homeland, Arrested Development, The Matrix, The Big Bang Theory, The Hunger Games, etc. People want to work with an organization that has a personality. Pop culture references in your JD give you a personality.
3. Music Words: (FYI – some of these could also be considered Pop Culture) – Radiohead, Nirvana, live music, guitar, instruments, etc .Does your organization have a musical preference? Why not? Maybe you’re a little country, maybe you’re a little rock and roll, either way, it’s alright to let candidates know!
4. Calm Words: Ocean, meditation, beach, trust, respect, enjoy, planning, dedication, openness, etc. Words that project a feeling of safety and security. In today’s employment marketplace, don’t discount the value of your jobs based on how calm and secure the work is. Anxiety is at an all-time high. Having the ability to say “we’ve never laid off in our history!” could pay you huge dividends.
5. Food Words: Chocolate, cooking, foodie, pizza, sushi, breakfast, etc. Food is a gathering and sharing point in most cultures. If you do food related things in your work environment it brings all of your people together. Everyone eats. Not everyone will do Yoga or want to watch movies. Chili cook-offs, company happy hours, Donut Fridays, etc.
6. Descriptive Words: Creative, motivated, confident, driven, passion, awareness, etc. Most HR pros see JDs as a means to an end. They’re a legal necessity. We should be looking at them as mini-commercials for our jobs. I would love to see a company go full video JD – nothing written, just watch our Job Description. 60 seconds of someone telling you what this job is.
7. Spontaneous Words: Tattoos, F*ck, wasted, kissing, puppies, sucking, lucky, etc. Words that most people would never expect to see in a JD. This word has absolutely no usefulness in a JD – that’s exactly why we put it in there. It might not attract an older conservative candidate, but it might be just what a newer generation is looking for.
I’ve never met a senior executive that had a problem with any job description I wanted to write – not matter how bland or how crazy. That being the case, why do we continue to write JDs that put people to sleep?