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For Recruiters

Recruiters: Can Jargon in a Job Ad be Good?

There has been a trend in marketing and recruitment where jargon has been replaced for simpler language to be understood by the masses. This is good if you need to brand something and get the message to the large audience. However, it can be good to add technical language to your job adverts to distinguish your target candidate. This approach of quality over quantity is preached here at GoToJobBoard - with effective results.

Most people who work for the NHS (whether medical or non-medical) will be required to be a professional in their field. Being a professional in their field, candidates should be able to negotiate acronyms in a job advertisement. It is these acronyms that separate the non-professionals with the professionals.

One such example is .NET developer (a common role on GoToJobBoard). These people will be expected to understand what .NET applications are along with other acronyms/terms (such as VBA, C#, RM and agile). These are all programming languages developed by Microsoft for Windows, in case you didn’t know. While a candidate who has no software development skills could still apply if they so wish, they should be less tempted to apply for this role with the jargon compared simply to “computer software developer” and a description in layman’s terms.

Following on describing in layman’s terms, it may give ‘hidden meanings’. People can read things in many different ways, such as text that was meant to be funny can be read as an insult. The same thing can happen in a job advertisement. Things being described in layman’s terms could suggest that training is involved and no experience is necessary (even if you mention it is required). It could also suggest the recruiter’s lack of knowledge in the role they are advertising.

So is always good to use this jargon as early as possible within the recruitment process as you will be saving time (and as we all know, time is money). This is most effective referring to skills and processes and using clear language when describing the role. This will reduce your application list dramatically, but leaving only the quality applicants. Depending on the job role, this means your list to contact is reduced from hundreds to tens.

However, each role has a different set of circumstances. If you are recruiting for an entry level NHS position (such as a marketing assistant or a practice accountant), this will not require technical jargon but perhaps emotional jargon. Phrases/adjectives such as “hard-working individual” or “talented” or “dedicated” will not only appeal to the more aspiring, the phrases will help filter out those who are autonyms to those phrases.

While using jargon is common practice for a lot of recruiters, it is not a forefront thought when creating job ads and when thinking about the “call-back” workload afterwards. However, each role is different and will require the use of different amounts of jargon (you don’t want to be too heavy as you will have no applicants, but have no jargon and receive hundreds). It is figuring out how to get this balance right is key to ensure you get the enough ‘right’ candidates with as little ‘wrong’ candidates as possible.

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