Why do most tech job ad descriptions get red flags?
February 2, 2022
min read

Why do most tech job ad descriptions get red flags?

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

Attracting developers isn’t easy, as tech recruiters operate in probably the most difficult recruiting era, meeting many expectations at once. 

Most tech job markets in Europe are in the same situation: more open job positions than candidates fill. As an outcome, it puts candidates in a position to pick and choose their next role. 

Tech recruiters are making mistakes thinking that job ads and job descriptions are the same. While job descriptions target the internal audience and focus on the tasks, job ads should be considered marketing material. 

Treat job ads as any other marketing material - make them inspirational and focus on ‘what is in it for me as a candidate.’ They should also be short and very clear. These factors give us a hint that structure won’t make your job ad stand out, but the content will. 

Providing brief and to-the-point job details will attract the right developers and make initial conversations more meaningful. 

Here are some practical tips when constructing job ad sections to avoid immediately being red-flagged by software developers.

Requirements section - red flag areas

Make it inspiring, focus on ‘what’s in it for me as a candidate.’ If you are looking for more experienced candidates, don’t pile up requirements but say why it is attractive. 

Firstly, talk to your hiring engineer, whether you are tech-savvy or not. They define the requirements, and they may change these.

It should almost be considered as a rule, try to state one or two firm requirements, and it’s strongly recommended not to have long lists. 

Also, make it very clear which requirements are mandatory and nice to have. 

State whether your candidate needs qualifications (certificates or a degree), specific domain knowledge, or industry experience. Make sure you clarify whether these are vital for the role or just advantageous.

Scope of work section - red flag areas

Never only rely on the job description you have, as by the time the recruiting process starts, it may be already outdated. 

Summarize the most interesting parts about the specific job, don’t lose out of sight to emphasize ‘what is in it for me as a candidate.’ Include only the essential tasks to this job position—two to four at the most.

Understanding the project scope and its effect on problem-solving is very important for software developers. Provide an insight(s) about the project(s) for the potential candidates, as well as the level of autonomy and how your engineering team operates. 

Don’t forget to mention if your company is using automated tests or continuous integration, and in case your organization has a separate QA role. 

Make it clear about the tech the person will be using in this role. Technical details can make the difference for passive candidates or candidates hesitating between job options.

Benefits section - red flag areas

The benefits section doesn’t only complement your salary offer, but it also showcases your company values and culture. 

Benefits can make a big difference to whom you will attract. Use them to improve your talent attraction, offer acceptance, and talent retention. It will contribute to avoiding many red flags. 

benefits in job description

An employer who has time to present and discuss how its plans will affect its workforce is more likely to recruit demanding tech talents.

References on work-life balance

In the shadow of more and more occurring discussions about the Great Resignation effects, make sure that the job ad references to the work-life balance are accurate and aligned with the corporate culture. 

Mentioning flexibility inside the job ad way too many times as a reference to quality might insinuate inter-organizational chaos. 

Inputs such as ‘able to work independently immediately’ or ‘changing directions’ will often bring red flags.


The Road to Online Recruiting Success

Download now

The Road to Online Recruiting Success

Jetzt downloaden