Understaffed? Here Are 4 Tips for Writing Attractive Job Descriptions

a man finishes a great job interview after finding the perfect dental job for him

 

You’ve probably heard it is a hot job market right now, but many dental offices seem to have their doubts.  According to data compiled by the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 80% of owner dentists described "the recruitment of dental hygienists and assistants to be extremely or very challenging.” What’s more, 70% of owner dentists also said the "recruitment of administrative staff was extremely or very challenging."

So, if the talent pool is so vast, why is there still a shortage of workers? Though there are many reasons for this (many related to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic), one of the biggest factors is that we are currently in a candidate’s market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are a record 11.5 million job openings in the U.S as of March 2022. And as of February 2022, there were 5 million more job openings than there were unemployed Americans.

In other words, job seekers have plenty of choices.  

Because candidates have such an array of positions to choose from, it is important for hiring practices to nail the job description. In many cases, this will be the candidate’s introduction to your team, so you want to make sure you hold their interest and gain their trust.

By following these four tips, you can help your job postings stand out and bring more potential teammates to your practice.
 

Proofread for typos and grammatical mistakes

When job seekers hit the market, they aren’t just looking for jobs. They are also keeping an eye out for red flags to help weed out scams. One of those warning signs is unprofessional communication. A job description laden with spelling and grammatical mistakes may lower your credibility and make candidates less likely to trust you.

Help your job description make a good impression by ensuring you take the extra time for at least three proofreads:

  • Review once with your own eyes. Read it out loud to yourself to catch any missing words.
  • Use an editing tool, such as Word’s built-in editor or a website like Grammarly.
  • Have a teammate read it over. Sometimes an outside perspective can be helpful.
     

Make your posting easy to read on mobile

With more people using their phones than desktop computers to apply for jobs, job description formatting is more important than ever. On smaller screens, bulky blocks of text can be cumbersome to read and some potential candidates may even bounce from your open position altogether.

When formatting your job description, follow these best practices:

  • Use bullet points to break up information.
  • Bold any subheads you use to help them stand out.
  • White space is your friend: allow for breathing room between sections.
     

Keep postings gender and culturally neutral

To bring the most candidates to the table, it is important to be conscious of any language that may indicate gender bias. Stick with “you/them/they” pronouns or just use the name of the position as you write the description.

Also, avoid coded words that are associated with a certain gender or have origins in a specific culture. Otherwise, attempts to convey a certain tone or capture desired personality traits may turn off candidates instead. Here are some examples of words to avoid:

  • Rockstar
  • Superhero
  • Guru
  • Ninja

Rather than use coded words like these, think instead of what qualities you want the candidate to possess. For example, what is a “rockstar” teammate to you? When you say “ninja,” do you mean “skilled”? Make a list of those words and use them instead.
 

Be upfront about compensation

Using language like “salary commensurate with experience” is vague and, frankly, not very helpful to the candidate. If you omit compensation information, potential teammates may pass you by altogether for another job posting. Instead, be upfront about salary expectations, whether it is a specific figure or a range.

Also, don’t forget to list any benefits you offer, including insurance coverage or 401K contributions. And if you offer any financial assistance for continuing education (CE), that is a great perk for anyone in the dental industry.

 

The bottom line: In a hot job market, you want to make sure your job description stands out. Proof your posting several times for any errors and keep formatting clean. Be mindful of the words you use and show transparency regarding compensation.