Job descriptions are among the essential sources of information for hiring managers in finding the right candidate. Their purpose is to capture the requirements of the job and give an idea about the direction of the job.
There are many statistics and researches regarding the effectiveness of job descriptions. The studies will focus on different aspects of job descriptions. For instance, the title length compares to the click rate, the unconscious gender bias and job description length in words or characters to understand how it impacts the click to apply ratio.
One particular study by Agency Central that analysed 388,281 job descriptions found that the ideal job description length is between 500 and 750 words.
Most companies and recruitment agencies will post the same job to multiple job boards. To avoid duplications and ensure we are counting unique jobs, we decided to choose a single job board to analyse, and we used a dataset of job descriptions from a major online job board in the US for our case study.
The dataset consists of 3.3 million job descriptions posted between the 1st of January 2020 to the 31st of March 2020. The jobs were across 27 categories to make sure we cover as many job titles as possible.
Job description length
Based on the report from Agency Central, we thought of defining any job description that is shorter than 300 as short. But there are some jobs that do not require that amount of words to be effective and we are analysing jobs across various categories. So we had an idea to define a number that would be comparable to something everyone can understand and relate to without imagining how long these words would be.
What is a universal metric about words that do not require counting words? a tweet! and the average number of words in a tweet is 55 words.
Word count calculations
While it might sound shocking that there are jobs that short, our analysis is showing they are real! Among the 3.3 million jobs, we found 27,936 job descriptions shorter than a tweet! The other shocking number is the category of most these job descriptions are Healthcare with 4,905 jobs!
Samples of short job descriptions
We will include some samples of these short job descriptions to provide clearer idea about what kind of contents and wordings do they use. We have sanitised company names and any identifiable information.