Writing a good job description is a delicate balancing act. You have a limited number of characters to convey things like company culture, job expectations, and requirements.
To write a good description, there are a few things you must include. One of the most important is location information. Not only is this information crucial for job seekers, but it’s also important for the algorithms that show your open position to potential candidates.
In this post, you’ll find:
- An overview of how location algorithms work on job boards
- How a lack of location information can lead to an insufficient pool of applicants
- How recruiters can use location information to their advantage
- Tools recruiters can use to include proper location information in their JD
Let’s get started:
How Do Hiring Algorithms Work?
When we think of location-based algorithms, we probably think first in the context of brick-and-mortar businesses. When you Google hair salons near me, the algorithm will figure out where you are and show you hair salons near you. It’s the reason it’s so important for brick and mortar businesses to have their location information online.
But how does that apply to job seeking and hiring?
Location algorithms on job boards work much the same way. The recruiter will input information about where the job is located, and the job board will show that result to people searching for jobs in that area.
Let’s say you post a job in Austin, TX. That job will be shown to people who are inputting “jobs in Austin, TX” into their search, or people who are physically in Austin looking for jobs. This is important so that people in San Francisco who are unwilling to relocate won’t see the job and apply for it — wasting both their own time and the recruiter’s time.
How Location Shapes the Candidate Pool
The location information you input directly shapes the pool of candidates you get for a job.
A few years ago, this might have been more obvious, when almost every job was limited by the physical location of the office. But now that hybrid and remote work have become more common, the ways you talk about location in your job description shape your candidate pool even more.
Many candidates might move on if your job description doesn’t include information about flex locations, or potential hybrid schedules.
Let’s continue the Austin, TX example:
Say you’re posting a job with a hybrid schedule, with offices in Austin.
It’s important to make it clear the job is hybrid with some days remote and some days in-person, so that candidates looking for hybrid work will apply. Candidates looking for full-time remote work will not apply, and if they do, they will likely be screened out quickly. Candidates outside the Austin area who are unwilling to relocate will also be screened out.
Now, let’s talk about how a lack of location information may be detrimental to your candidate pool.
Let’s say your offices are in Texas, but you’re open to hiring out of state, and open to full-time remote work. If you simply input your location as being Texas, with no other information, candidates looking for full-time remote work in other states might never even see your job posting.
Using Location Information To Your Advantage
So, how can you use a location-based algorithm to your advantage? Well, that’s where something like geofencing comes in.
Geofencing, in a nutshell, is when a business establishes a virtual boundary.
This boundary could be as big as a city or as small as a neighborhood. Whenever a mobile device enters that virtual boundary, ads are triggered. This way, you can target people who spend time in a certain area.
Say you want to promote your job posting to people who work in the downtown area of your city. You can set up a geofence to promote the job posting to people in that area.
And, if your job posting is fully remote, you can use geofencing or geotargeting to target specific areas — college campuses if you’re looking to hire graduates, for instance.
Plus, if your job posting is fully remote, and you make that clear in the location information, it opens up your pool of candidates to a much wider (and potentially more diverse) group. Increasing your group of potential candidates is important for maintaining inclusive and equitable recruiting strategies.
Writing a Good Job Description
So, we’ve talked about why it’s important to include location information in your JDs. How can you be sure you’ve included all of the best sections?
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools for this. While AI job descriptions are still in their incipient stage, using a tool like Ongig’s Text Analyzer helps you look for inconsistencies in your job descriptions. The Text Analyzer helps you gauge bias and readability, and ensure you’ve included all the information candidates are most interested in (including location).
There is also a variety of other software to help you improve your job descriptions.
Why I Wrote This:
Navigating hybrid, remote, and in-person positions as a recruiter is not always easy. If you’re interested in software to improve your JDs and keep you consistent when it comes to location information, request a demo today.
This is a guest post from Jill Brooks. Jill is a freelance writer living on the East Coast, with a background in education and an interest in how technology shapes the future.