How to Leave Your Ineffective Job Descriptions Behind in 2017

Hiring and recruiting are rarely easy tasks, and according to a survey from Jobvite, 95 percent of recruiters believe they will only get more competitive in the coming years. For this reason, it is critical that our job descriptions — some of the most basic tools in a recruiter's toolbox — evolve along with the changing climate. It isn't just a matter of switching up what you put in your job descriptions — it's also about changing the format and the approach you take to reaching our audience.

Here are a few tips on how you can leave outdated job posts and job descriptions behind in 2017:

1. Utilize Your Internal Talent Pool

Despite the many benefits of hiring from the inside, many companies reflexively reach for external candidates every time a job opens up. Often, employees aren't even aware of the open positions in their company.

Making an effort to recruit from your internal talent pool could bring massive benefits. Remember: These employees already understand your culture and feel comfortable working within the business. Maybe that's why only 25 percent of internal hires fail to become successful, compared to the 40-60 percent of external hires who never manage to thrive.

Create an internal job board, use your company intranet, or send out email blasts to alert employees of new openings. Not only will doing so help you make better hires, but it can also boost morale. Cisco, for example, found that its internal recruiting program increased employee career satisfaction by 20 percent.

2. Don't Focus Too Much on Work Experience

Ninety-seven percent of companies looking to make a hire require candidates to have a certain number of years' experience in the same or a similar role. But just because everybody's doing it doesn't mean you should, too. Required years of experience deter many qualified candidates from applying. Instead of length of tenure, focus on candidates' skills.

Because they are young, millennials are likely to have less job experience than their boomer counterparts, but they are also 51 percent more likely to have a college degree. What they lack in experience, they more than make up for in terms of skills and the potential to grow with your company. Plus, less experienced candidates are ready to be molded into the perfect fit for your business. There's no need for unlearning old ways or re-teaching new methods.

3. Showcase Career Paths

Obviously,  you want your candidate signing up for a particular, clearly defined position, but that shouldn't be the only thing covered in your job description. Emphasizing potential career paths in addition to the open role shows candidates that your organization is interested in helping its employees develop. It will also help candidates understand your values and see the connection to their own values.

Offering candidates a defined career path shows you want them for the long haul and are invested in their future. The result is higher employee loyalty: 99 percent of job seekers say they would feel more loyal to an employer who invests in their training.

4. Try Out Video Job Descriptions

The average job prospect spends only 50 seconds on a job posting before moving on. That isn't much time to showcase your company culture, describe the job, and outline a potential career path. One option is to try out a video job description that explores a day-in-the-life view of the position.

A hiring manager or teammate can quickly describe the open position and the usual day-to-day tasks while helping candidates familiarize themselves with the facility and team. Video also provides an opportunity to project your visual brand and to create excitement around the company and position.

Following these tips will help you tap into a more qualified and talented candidate pool, giving you fewer resumes to sift through and saving time, money, and energy in the process. As the competition for talent gets tougher, you can't afford to flounder with outdated practices.

A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.

Sylvie Woolf is director of client service at ClearCompany.