Talent Acquisition

Awful Job Descriptions Make Even Worse Status Updates

Every recruiter I work with, their primary goal is to raise their profile. Lots of lovely things happen when they do this (well):

  • More connections (less accusations of spam)
  • More appropriate job applications and speedier placements
  • Larger community of active listeners
  • Decent ROI on time spent online.

However, the recruitment market still seems to be raising its profile with pointless profile-damaging updates. I’m not talking about naked recruiting, dilated pupil’d photos, drink and dial content – the #job is still the main topic of the day.

Here’s a statistic: in the UK, there are 20+ million members on LinkedIn. 200,000 of those are recruiters and what we lack in size, we make up for in noise.

In 1872, I wrote a blog about this, and it felt revolutionary at the time – now I’m just plain bored!

Awful job descriptions make REALLY awful status updates:

Never let it be said that great job adverts make crap status updates – but let it be said that crap job specs make really crap status updates.

The art of pitching the role has almost died and in its place recruiters are dumbing down their role by #job’ing and “our client is”’ing their status updates.

And to add insult to injury, some clever recruiters have figured out how to make themselves look really pointless to the recruiting cycle by using the new LinkedIn Publisher platform to advertise their dumb and boring job specs. I knew it was coming, but when I saw my first one, I felt really disappointed (a bit like my mum did when I was a teenager!).

You are what you read and you are what you share:

Check out your recent updates – do they demonstrate your specialism or smack of a contingent recruiter with yet another vacancy that they won’t fill? Most recruiters in the UK fill 2/10 of their jobs (by the way).

When you get the new LinkedIn Publisher feature, use it wisely!

Rumor control – jobs are good:

I have nothing against jobs being advertised – if they are well written, pitched the correct way, and demonstrate that recruiters doing this is a million miles more appropriate than a busy HR department flinging a 100,000-word job spec online.

View recent updates:

The newly released button – View Recent Activity, neatly hiding on a user’s profile – is a great way of seeing what people have been updating their status with.

Don’t reinvent the wheel – pick out your choice clients and candidates and see what they’re sharing and liking – this is what you should be engaging with (and sharing)!


When you get it, stop, look and listen (a little like crossing the road, be strategic). Your aim is not to get taken to hospital wearing your worst underwear!

To finish…

Lisa’s top 3 things for recruiters to stop updating their status with:

  1. Boring job descriptions – reverse the trend and update me with interesting adverts (note the difference).
  2. Which tie to wear to an interview, what questions to ask at an interview, how to get an interview – 79% of LinkedIn are passive, so turning to stop them off with stuff they couldn’t care less about.  Don’t make me press that Hide button!
  3. We have a new website (and??)

To summarize…

Lisa’s top 3 things for recruiters to start updating their status with:

  1. Career advice
  2. Great, engaging job adverts
  3. Tips on how to manage newly qualified staff, how to cope with staff shortage during the holidays, how to manage graduates, how to deal with illness, office expansion, redundancy… anything that will engage someone in a post, who funnily enough could be an active candidate at any moment…

By Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.