9000+ jobs advertised in the US each month are shorter than a tweet

agency central job description length
Credit: Agency Central

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.

The dataset

3.3 million jobs

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.

The criteria

the criteria

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

We used a simple script to count the plain text of the job description. This count includes stripping out the text from any HTML tags, commas, hyphens and whitespaces.
 

The formula

After manually analysing data and browsing the archived URL we noticed that there are some corrupted job descriptions in the dataset and most of these were under 10 words. The query we used was to search the total number of job descriptions that are larger than 10 words and shorter or equal to 55 words.
 

The results

results

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!

 
The second category was restaurants and food services, followed by constructions or facilities. The following pie chart demonstrates the percentage of short job descriptions across the industries.
short job descriptions across industries
Short job descriptions by industry. Chart created on meta-chart.com

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. 

Director of Nursing DON
Director of Nursing DON
Licensed Acupuncturist/ licensed massage therapist
Licensed Acupuncturist/ licensed massage therapist
Nurse, RN, BSN, Nursing Float Pool, PRN / Per Diem, Days
Nurse, RN, BSN, Nursing Float Pool, PRN / Per Diem, Days
Dental Assist with experience

Request your free trial today and start creating inclusive, engaging and SEO optimised job descriptions in a few clicks

Share the article