Treat your job data like you would your partner

Treat your job data like you would your partner

Matt Geffken

While I’ve experienced a few of my own, I lack the necessary qualifications to give proper relationship advice. However, I’m uniquely qualified to give job search advice.  As VP of Product at Jibe, I’ve facilitated, processed, and/or analyzed over 300,000,000 job searches during my tenure.

In my quasi-professional opinion, I have concluded that you want to treat your job data like you would a partner.  Allow me to explain with examples of a couple of detrimental relationship patterns and their Talent Acquisition (TA) equivalents immediately below.  Note that I’ve only heard that such patterns exist through friends and have never practiced them personally [:)]. Later, I will offer some job search advice — apply these remedies to your relationships at your own risk!

Missing context

Have you ever received the one-letter text message, “k” from your partner and thought, “Wait, is it really ‘ok’?” or “Passive aggressive much?” How about the same “k”, but with a trailing, happy-faced emoji?  An entirely different message, right?

TA Translation:  As an employer, have you ever written a job description titled “Project Manager III” or used “Bay Area” to describe a job around San Francisco or used the acronym “TIC” to describe a role’s responsibilities within a quality assurance department?  Is “III” for an associate-level contributor or a savvy veteran? Does everyone — including your job search technology — understand the geography associated with “Bay Area”? Are you confident the Tester-in-Charge acronym’s usage and definition are ubiquitous?  


Some folks get a little too comfortable in relationships and let things go, sometimes mailing-in effort on tasks for which they traditionally delivered with great care.   

TA Translation: The state of enterprise-posted job descriptions today leaves so much to be desired that, at Jibe, we are starting to wonder if a pervasive, ATS bug epidemic exists responsible for prematurely posting rough-draft versions of job descriptions to all of TA’s production job sites!  Similarly, we continue to see jobs posted without structured job metadata (ie. street addresses, benefits, experience levels, salary, etc.) and global Talent Acquisition teams posting partially untranslated job descriptions to global, multi-language job sites — all potential signs of mailed-in effort.

Repressed feelings

Are you consistently great at communicating your feelings or do you often keep important ones hidden away?  Is the painless discovery of these feelings before it’s too late by a partner the exception or the rule?

TA Translation:  Are the most critical components needed to convert a job seeker into a qualified applicant buried deep in your career site?  How many CTAs exist on your career site to find and apply to jobs? How much time does it take for job seekers to orient themselves to your site in order to find relevant content before they pick up and leave?  

Respect for time

On the flip side, I have also heard certain people are over-sharers and fail to recognize and respect their partners’ time and interests.  Your partner likely values the recap of your workday and appreciates it, even more, when you skip over the parts where you cleaned out your email inbox or sat in back-to-back-to-back status meetings.

TA Translation:  Do your back-end engineer roles require HTML, CSS, JavaScript, blockchain experience, React, docker, Go, Scrum, Lean, SAFe, graphQL, Salesforce, data science skills, R, a PMP, and a CPA or CFA?  And they certainly are AI, ML, and chatbot “ninjas”, right? Tell us more! Or do you dedicate several bullet points and lots of text in a job description to essentially say that you are seeking a “hard worker to work in a fast-paced environment”?  As opposed to the elusive, lackadaisical worker for the stale environment?

So how do we improve the relationship with our job seeker partners?  It’s not them. It’s you.  It’s on YOU to change and adapt!  Your job seekers won’t magically change their behavior patterns overnight.  For the biggest ROI, you should immediately put these items on your job search TO DO list:

Missing context remedy: Always assume it’s needed

  1. Most acronyms are fine, but if they’re obscure and you need to use them, be sure to supply its expansion as well
  2. Refrain from using colloquialisms when possible as they can trip search engines and job seekers alike
  3. If a role exists for multiple or very specific experience levels, explain that in clear terms using the language through which you posted the job

Complacency remedy: give all the content you can

  1. Supply structured metadata for jobs to be leveraged by sophisticated career site search engines and search experiences
  2. Use full sentences and human readable speech
  3. Pay as much attention to jobs in other languages as you would your primary language

Repressed feelings remedy: always be thinking “conversion”

  1. Regardless of how up to date your site is in terms of following the latest trends in visual design, it exists primarily to convert your job seekers into applicants
  2. Ensure your career site prominently displays the onramp to searching your jobs
  3. Ensure your career site prominently displays the onramp to joining your CRM
  4. Periodically review your career site and ask yourself, “Does our site tell our story?” regarding your corporate brand and what it’s like to work at your company

Respect for time remedy: be concise and consistent

  1. Be respectful of the amount of information your job seekers must process in the limited amount of time they have to search — if you get bored reading your own JD, you probably went too far
  2. Review job descriptions for bloated lists of keywords that can trip up search engines into providing noisy result sets
  3. Be consistent in how you structure your job descriptions across jobs so that job seekers do not have to reorient themselves to unique formats each time the review a job

Bonus remedy (and arguably the most important!): get yourself a good job search platform

A compounding effect exists when you combine the remedies above with a good job search platform.  This platform should also allow you to view job seeker search behavior and monitor relevant trends to further inform the remedies above.  But we understand TA behavior will not change overnight. Thus, the need for a continuously-trained, machine learning technology to improve job seeker search conversion even if job data stays mediocre is incredibly important.  

We propose that you help meet us halfway — increasing the quality of the job data will only make all our lives easier.  The better the input data and search platform, the better the conversion rate, the more time we all have to spend within our relationships that matter most: those with our smartphones partners!