Three Red Flags in Your Job Descriptions that are Chasing Away Talent

Does it seem like you’re constantly chasing top talent, only to discover mostly mediocre or below-average applicants applying to your openings? While there may be several reasons for this, often your job descriptions may be to blame. It’s worth spending some time assessing your current job postings and finding ways to improve their verbiage. Here are three major red flags in job descriptions that may be chasing away talent:

Lack of skills-focused requirements. 

If your job descriptions are too heavily focused on educational requirements or credentials, it’s very easy to lose a major part of an otherwise viable talent pool. Rather than having a narrow focus on a specific degree or certification requirement, the most effective job descriptions are those that have a skills-based focus, highlighting specific abilities and core competencies the candidate must possess to succeed in the role. Utilizing skills-based job descriptions will expand your talent options, creating a more diversified pool of candidates with the core skills needed to fill your roles and thrive within your company.

Negative words or phrases.

There are certain words or phrases that can be a major turnoff to candidates. Many phrases can set a negative tone for the job, as well as unrealistic expectations for the role. Some of these phrases may include “must be available 24/7,” “must be able to thrive under pressure,” and “must be willing to work after hours.” Job descriptions containing this language can be intimidating to many potential applicants, especially as many candidates are increasingly seeking jobs that promote work-life balance.

Not citing flexibility.

Offering at least some degree of flexibility in the workplace has arguably become a non-negotiable in recent years. According to LinkedIn’s 2023 global data report, job posts that highlight well-being and flexibility receive a 46 percent greater increase in views, and a 49 percent increase in applications. Job descriptions that fail to cite flexible workplace practices tend to resonate less with candidates. Incorporating information about flexible work policies, such as remote work options or unlimited paid time off, will speak to the quality of your culture and how you treat staff.


Refining your job descriptions can transform recruitment outcomes and allow you to build a higher-quality pipeline of talent. You’ll ultimately position your company as an employer that’s committed to providing the best work experience possible for its people.  

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