Boring, generic buzzwords in job ads can turn off quality candidates
- Using boring, generic words and phrases in job ads can turn off quality candidates, according to data from global job search engine Adzuna. Three-quarters of employers use common buzzwords to describe their ideal candidate that could apply to anyone. With unemployment now at now at 3.9% and in-demand skills remaining hard to find, employers must use words that target the skills and expertise they want in a candidate, Adzuna said.
- The top five boring, generic buzzwords are identified as: 1) flexible; 2) degree; 3) communication skills; 4) qualified; and 5) effective. Words like "evangelist," "rockstar," "legend" and "wizard" instead top the list of bizarre buzzwords Adzuna found in job listings in industries like IT, healthcare and sales where employers are especially desperate to cut through the noise.
- Lily Valentin, Adzuna's U.S. country manager, said that employers must differentiate themselves to compete for smaller pool of candidates, and that recruiting teams should adjust their listings to attract the brightest applicants with more creative and better targeted criteria and qualities.
Employers may want to consider simply asking for the skills and qualifications they want in a candidate, instead of falling back on tired words that can apply to anyone.
But some of the more bizarre words identified, including rockstar, could actually deter women and underrepresented minorities from applying to those jobs, experts have told HR Dive. Older workers, also, may be deterred from applying for openings that use phrases like "fast-paced environment" or "digital native." Employers need to be thoughtful about the language applied in ads, experts say.
HR can work to find words that accurately describe the ability of the candidate they want to hire by looking at the professional skills needed to do a job. Accurate job descriptions help an employer not only during recruiting but later on, during performance reviews and even accommodation discussions.