Nearly a fifth of workers won't apply for jobs with vague or confusing job descriptions, survey

Business Insider US
Carol Yepes/Getty Images
Carol Yepes/Getty Images
  • Vague job descriptions put off 17% of workers from roles in the last 18 months, research suggests.
  • The survey, conducted by talent platform Eightfold AI, polled 913 employees and 259 HR leaders.
  • A "vague or confusing" description was the employees' second most common reason for not applying.
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Nearly a fifth of employees were recently put off applying to jobs because of "vague or confusing" job descriptions, a survey has suggested.

The survey, conducted by talent intelligence platform, Eightfold AI, found that 74% of employees considered applying for a job in the past 12 to 18 months.

But out of the 913 full- and part-time American workers surveyed, 17% reported not applying for a role in the same timeframe because "the job description was vague or confusing."

It was the second most common reason cited for not applying for a role, after feeling "my past experience did not directly relate to the job description," which 18% of those surveyed cited.

Some 13% said they were put off by the role requiring attending an office or physical location.

Asked to rank the importance of different things an employer could offer, 70% of respondents rated a "clearly defined job application and interview process" as "very" or "extremely important."

The research also surveyed 259 senior HR leaders, only 46% of whom felt that their companies offered "a clear job application and interview process" for all roles.

Carol Cochran, VP of people and culture for FlexJobs, previously told Insider that job ads were the first indicators of the workplace culture, adding: "The effort that a company is putting into setting that environment, setting that stage for candidates right off the bat is going to tell you something."

Insider's Stephen Jones reported earlier this year that one insurance company, Phoenix Group replaced words like "energetic", "enthusiastic" and "innovative" with more specific terms to appeal to older workers.

A spokesperson for the company said these words could feel like they were aimed at a younger generation and deter others from applying.

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