Using PDF job descriptions on your careers page isn’t the best way to get candidates to apply for your open vacancies. Here we explain why these jobs can be hard to find for candidates on search engines like Google, resulting in less applications.
First of all, what does ‘indexing jobs on Google’ actually mean?
I’m going to let Google themselves explain this because they do a pretty good job (you can read the full explanation here):
The web is like an ever-growing library with billions of books and no central filing system. We use software known as web crawlers to discover publicly available webpages. Crawlers look at webpages and follow links on those pages, much like you would if you were browsing content on the web. They go from link to link and bring data about those webpages back to Google’s servers. When crawlers find a webpage, our systems render the content of the page, just as a browser does. We take note of key signals — from keywords to website freshness — and we keep track of it all in the Search index. The Google Search index contains hundreds of billions of webpages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. It’s like the index in the back of a book — with an entry for every word seen on every web page we index. When we index a web page, we add it to the entries for all of the words it contains.
So why shouldn’t you use PDF job descriptions?
When you add PDF documents to your careers page, Google doesn’t pick up on them as it does on regular website pages. As a result it’s harder for Google to index them. You should also keep in mind that keywords are one of the most important things when writing a job description. When candidates are looking for a specific role, they are likely to look for some precise keywords. For example: ‘business development, software company’. When you have PDF job descriptions on your website, it’s harder for Google to pick on the keywords on the page. Therefore, your job descriptions will not appear among the first results when potential candidates are looking for a specific role.
Here’s an example of what you shouldn’t do:
Having a careers page with a job listing helps you get your job descriptions out there on Google. An ATS/recruiting software, when integrated with your careers page, will display your job listing in real time. With HireHive, once you integrate it to your careers page, the system will automatically update the listing on your website whenever you open or close a role. These jobs will then be indexed within Google and will be found easily by potential candidates.
What could you use instead of PDF files:
- Use an ATS. This allows you to create a careers page and to gather all data of applications.
- Use a WordPress plugin to create your corporate careers page . Your jobs will then be indexed on Google.