And It’s the Most Obvious: Job Title
With U.S jobless claims dropping to 215,000 last
week — the lowest level since 1973* — finding candidates is becoming
increasingly more difficult. Any hiring edge a company can attain over its
competitors can be the key to the future success or failure of an organization.
eQuest performed research on the response trends
of candidate data, including the jobs to which they did or did not respond. Job
titles, with “location” a close second, are now paramount to the success of
recruitment marketing strategies, seeker engagement, and return on investment
more than anything else.
The study found that misaligned and incorrect
job titles from HR can an have a significant negative impact on job
posting performance and, ultimately, the overall business of recruitment.
Factors contributing to job titles that resulted
in a lower response rates include:
Too confusing — Whether vague (e.g. “Support Specialist”) or complex (e.g.
“Multichannel Transmission System Operator), candidates did not readily apply
to indiscernible job titles.
Too cute — “Ninja” or “Rock Star” as the sole job title, or part of
it, resulted in low performance.
Too long — Data on excessively long job titles (e.g. “Python,
Backend, Kafka, Cassandra, Thrift Developer”) received significantly less apply
Too technical/Unknown — A “Senior Technical Analyst III/DB5.X17”
can mean a number of things or literally nothing to a candidate. Many companies
pass through the hidden or company-version of a job title. Results? Dismal.
Too wrong — Misspellings, incorrect grammar, typos, and the like can
be show-stoppers. It must have been somewhat embarrassing for the company that
released the job title: “Director of Pubic Affairs”
A Closer Look at Job Title Function and Impact
Creating job title relevancy is the
single-biggest determining factor for ensuring job postings are visible to job
seekers, thus leading to more and better applicants. In addition to how long a
job post has been on the site, most job boards use keyword and geographic
matching to generate job search results.
While search engines have become smarter in
making correlations between a user’s search and job postings — for example, an
inquiry for “RN” will likely return results for “Registered Nurse” — employers
should not leave it solely to the algorithms and be more explicit in their job
An Example: “Account Manager” vs. “Acct Mgr”
The data confirms that job board search
algorithms struggle with deciphering “Acct Mgr” correctly. Compared to the
“Account Manager” title, posts with the “Acct Mgr” title generated 81% less
views and 90% less applications/resumes per post.
Assuming an industry-standard 20%
view-to-application conversion, 10,000 views for an “Account Manager” post
would result in 2,000 applicants. In contrast, the “Acct Mgr” post generated
200. Furthermore, 40% of the “Acct Mgr” posts didn’t receive a single view,
compared to only 15% for “Account Manager” posts.
In context of money spent for job advertising,
if 1,000 posts were purchased at $150.00 each (or $150,000.00), $60,000.00 of
that would have been spent unnecessarily – with zero return on
A Few Other Data Points
“Admin Asst” generated 20% less views and 36%
less applications/resumes per post compared to “Administrative Assistant.”
“RM” generated 75% less views and 97% less
applications/resumes per post compared to “Recruiting Manager” and “Recruiter.”
Avoid abbreviated titles, which have the biggest
challenge in terms of keyword correlation. Job post performance suffers due to
lack of relevancy, as most seekers don’t search using abbreviations.
Understand what keywords are driving the highest-performing
posts and incorporate those into your job titles. This has a significant impact
on post relevancy and, ultimately, application and hiring performance.
Benefits of Good Job Titles
Better impressions — Before a candidate even clicks, they
need to see your job posting. A strong job title will help increase your
visibility in search results.
Better clicks — Grabbing the candidates’ attention with your job titles is
a huge step toward them taking action. The likelihood they’ll click on your
post increases, as a result.
Better hires — Properly aligning and publishing your job
titles attracts more qualified candidates and stronger talent. In turn, it
boosts the chance they’ll apply and join your company.
Better efficiency — Crafting consistently good job titles
streamlines the overall recruiting and job posting process. Following best
practices also makes recruiters’ job easier, and who doesn’t want that?
Better brand awareness — Candidates’ positive experience with
your job titles is an extension of your brand. They’ll tell their friends and
colleagues, so you want to be at your best.
The goal of job titles is not simply to inform,
but to create greater visibility among seekers by using appropriate and highly
searched keywords. Reducing abbreviations and publishing more
industry-standard, clear job titles — oh, and proofreading — are relatively
simple steps help ensure your posts are performing better (e.g. more views,
more applications) and increasing your return on investment.
*the US Labor Department, 2018