I’ve seen companies spend $500K+ per year on media-buying and 3rd party staffing commissions for a job role they need a ton of people for (an “evergreen” job), yet they spend almost nothing on the job description page itself.
Here are a few thoughts on why, how and when to create a specialized evergreen job description.
When to Use Evergreen Jobs?
First, what is an evergreen job? An evergreen job (aka “recurring job”) is a position at your company that is always open because you need a lot of people in that role.
Evergreen jobs are typically used when a role is either mission-critical, high turnover or both.
Eric Friedman writes in What is an Evergreen Job? that:
Evergreen jobs are common in industries like call centers, retail, hospitals, and health care, where companies have 50-100 employees, like nurses or call center representatives, doing the same job but in a different hospital wing, or managing the clients and customer service for many regions over the phone.
Dr. John Sullivan writes in ‘Evergreen Jobs’ Can Improve Your Chances of Recruiting Top Talent that:
“The evergreen job approach has the highest impact when companies are in growth mode and the market for top talent is tight.”
Evergreen jobs work great in high-impact mission-critical jobs at growing tech firms with large campuses, Sullivan adds.
For example, above is Yelp’s evergreen Account Executive role used to help them hire hundreds of junior sales people in their San Francisco office.
Full disclosure & shameless plug: Yelp used the Ongig Employer Branding SaaS to generate this and their other evergreen sales positions.
Benefits of Evergreen Jobs
The five key benefits of evergreen job programs, according to Molly Moseley (in Can the evergreen jobs concept win the battle for top talent?), are that they allow you to:
- Hire your top pick and the runner-ups
- Remove time constraints as an obstacle/pressure
- Train your hires better
- Save time
- Save money
How about those killer benefits!?
Tips for Evergreen Job Descriptions
Here are a few practical tips for implementing evergreen job descriptions:
1) Make Your Job Page Stand Out
If you are hiring a bunch of people for one role, you better treat that role special. It starts with making your own job ad stand out.
Eric Friedman, founder & CEO of eSkill, recommends:
“When recruiting for an evergreen position, recruiters need to put a little more effort into retaining the talent they find. Try adding video to the landing page for the specific position, so you can capture their attention and draw them in.”.
When you add media (whether video or pictures or even a slideshare (Autodesk uses this) to a job description, it also tells Google that your job description is different than the normal ATS-generated job descriptions. Google is smart — they will give you extra points for making that effort (assuming the media is relevant to the job).
Symantec (above) uses a splash page/narrative with 4 videos to attract candidates for their evergreen cloud engineer position. Candidates who click the “Get in Touch” button then join Symantec’s talent network. Symantec used recruitment agency Bayard to craft those pages.
2) Post Your Job (and Keep it Up!)
The beauty of an evergreen job description is that Google values the longevity of a Web page so if you know you are going to need a certain job filled over and over again, you should keep that job description page up and live for a long, long time.
All other things equal, Google will send more traffic to a job description that’s been up for 12 months than it will for a job description that’s been up for 3 months.
Depending on your location, when you search “Account Executive” on Google you will often get one of the evergreen Account Executive job descriptions from Yelp on the very first page!
How valuable would it be to you to come up on the first page when a job candidate searches the title of a job for which you need many people?
3) Apply Basic SEO
Search engine optimization is a huge opportunity for evergreen jobs. The reason for this is that Google and other search engines typically require a little time to crawl your job on the Web and even more time to move it up in search results.
Basically, you want to craft a job description page that humans can easily make sense of (afterall, all that Google is doing is trying to be a proxy for humans).
For example, make sure that your job title is simple (e.g. if you’re hiring a ton of software engineers, make the title of the job “Software Engineer”); and make sure the URL includes the title of the job and the word “job” — this is what candidates search on and Google will reward you for being accurate.
A simple way to have good SEO for your evergreen job description is to make sure that your job web page is optimized for Schema.org.
You also want to make sure to point to your evergreen job description from your careers site and any other relevant pages you own (e.g. perhaps your hiring team has a blog from which you can link to it). The more relevant links to your evergreen job, the higher up in the Google search rankings your job gets.
4) Add Live Comments on Your Job Description
If you want to get even more traffic to your evergreen job page, install comments on it. Again, Google and other search engines are smart enough to see any additions in content (i.e. a new comment) to your job description and will reward you with additional traffic to your page.
The more relevant keywords added to your evergreen job description, the more Google will connect a search query to it.
I believe the majority of job descriptions will have a comments/messaging component to them by 2020.
Comments can be easy to moderate (by a recruiting coordinator, social media/talent specialist or hiring manager) and in our experience job descriptions will get no more than a few comments per week
Ongig believes so strongly in this approach that every job description we power on behalf of our clients has comments on it.
5) Leverage Free Social Media Traffic
If you create an evergreen job description that really stands out (e.g. tip #1 above), you have an opportunity to get tremendous traffic from social media.
A content-rich job that stands out with, for instance, pictures or video of your team and offices, is a JD that your employees are way more likely to share in their news feeds.
One reason your team will share these evergreen jobs is that when you share a JD that has media, the thumbnail for that media will show up in the news feed on Facebook and LinkedIn (you can also attach it to your Twitter posts).
The most shared web pages in social media have, duhhh, media in them!
Why is the social-sharing important?
Did you know that content-rich job descriptions (e.g. with media, comments, etc.) that you keep up for awhile can get hundreds of social shares and each of those social shares (in Ongig’s experience) will generate up to 3 or 4 candidate visits to your evergreen job.
We’ve seen clients get 1,000+ candidate visits to an evergreen job description — just from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter! And often those candidates are friends of your employees or even your family and friends.
Social media referrals like that may be the next best thing to an employee referral.
The Cost of an Evergreen Job Description
Large enterprises typically invest tens of thousands of dollars setting up proper landing pages/job descriptions for evergreen jobs because they see the massive payoff.
But if you have the right team and resources, you can get an evergreen job page up for a lot less.
And if you do it right, your investment will pay for itself many times over in better people and time and money savings.
For tips on writing job descriptions, check out How to Write a Job Description — Best Practices & Examples.