One of the most frequent comments we hear from employers is that they are not getting candidates they felt they targeted in their job description. It is not necessarily only underqualified candidates about whom they are concerned. They might also be receiving resumes from significantly overqualified individuals. The cause for either of these scenarios is often the published job description.
Most corporations are rightly focused on diversifying their teams in ways that better represent the communities they serve. However, research has shown that many job seekers are hesitant to apply for a position if they are unable to check every box on the listing. This is especially true for women and marginalized individuals. Even if the perfect candidate you had in mind reads the job description, is excited about it, and believes they can make an impact, they may choose not to apply.
Tips for Writing Your Security Job Description
Employers can utilize creative strategies to portray an accurate representation of the job you are seeking to fill while targeting the audience you want a response from.
Write shorter, engaging descriptions instead of a laundry list of duties.
Look at many of today’s job descriptions and you will see they are often a list of duties or responsibilities that have associated experience, qualifications, skills, or competencies associated with them. This is useful when formatting the position in a way your human resources or talent acquisition team can digest. It can also help with leveling the job in your organization’s compensation structure. Unfortunately, it can have the unintentional effect of excluding the candidates you are really hoping to hire.
Exhaustive bullet points can also be perceived by job seekers as an overstatement of the position when you are hiring for security professionals. The CSO who applied for your mid-level management job may have believed it was a much larger role.
Make sure the title fits the role.
Think about what you are calling the position. Not all job titles are created equal and if you are seeking a mid-career candidate you do not want to title it Senior Security Professional because that title is trending.
Avoid Acronyms & Jargon
Finally, an alphabet of agency acronyms in the required experience section of your JD is going to do more than cause confusion. It will also likely rule out many diversity candidates.
Within the security profession, women are significantly under-represented in both public and private sector organizations. Adding a three-letter agency name as a preferred qualification might cause that perfect candidate who is excited about the opportunity and can make the most impact in your organization but cannot tick all the boxes in the listing to press delete.
Now that you’ve updated the description, submit your job posting for a free listing on SJN!
Recommended Reading: The Impact of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on Your Security Career
Interested in reading more about the aspect of sound DEI recruitment practices discussed in this article? Visit the SMR Group blog to learn our parent company’s thoughts on the subject.