How to write a job description for next gen talent (and free template you can use)

Collage of various co-op students working in the office or remotely

Attracting young talent is more important than ever before. Millennials and Generation Z will be 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025. As demographics change, so do talent needs.

Home to North America’s largest co-op/intern program, we analyzed over 37,000 job descriptions posted in the last three years on our recruitment platform, WaterlooWorks. Based on our findings, here’s what you need to know when writing a job description that appeals to young talent.


Job description essentials and tips (what you need in your postings)

Job descriptions need to have job title, location, summary, responsibilities, skill requirements, compensation and benefits.

We recommend you include the following six things in your job description:


Four ways strengthen your job posting

  1. Include themes popular with young talent. Increase the number of applications you receive on your job posting. A study conducted by the Work-Learn Institute found that job descriptions that included these themes received a higher number of applications:
     
    • Company culture
    • Programming languages
    • Food and games
    • Employer values
    • Compensation
    • Career development
  2. These areas increase interest: learning opportunities, making an impact and linking academics to work. A recent study with Gen Z participants, published by our Work-Learn Institute, highlights these three interests that lead to more engagement in preparing for an application.
  3. Inclusion matters. Highlight your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy as applicants want inclusive workplaces. Ensure your postings’ skills and required experience includes all backgrounds. Are accommodations offered? Did you include your diversity statement? All things to consider.
  4. Show you care. Above all, Gen Z and millennials want an employer that cares about their well-being. This can be shown by highlighting career mobility opportunities, upskilling and reskilling, work-life balance, health and wellness programs and financial incentives. Want to learn more? Check out our Future Workforce Survey and Management Guide!

Best practices before and after posting a job

We have more for you: four best practices before and after posting a job. These are important in a digital world!

  1. Manage your online reputation. Platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn and Facebook have changed the job seeking experience. Employees now provide candid testimonials about their experience. Track and respond to reviews both positive and negative.
  2. Be available. There are about 60 –70 job scams for every legitimate job posting. This makes candidates warier than ever before. Having a business email address on your postings will add legitimacy to your posting.
  3. Remove job postings once filled! Don’t’ leave a bad impression with applicants by having them apply for a job that is no longer available. Remove postings as soon as you have top tiers candidates to choose from.
  4. Track your job posting frequency. A job posted several times may signal that the company or department has a high turnover rate. This often indicates a poor work environment.

Our research and high performing job description examples

Check out the video below on our research on high impact job descriptions. See what job descriptions get the most applications.


To get a direct line to future ready talent, consider hiring Waterloo students!


Download a job description template!

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Headshot of Tammy Kim-Newman

Connect with our Co-op Specialist, Tammy!

She can provide you with guidance and answer questions you may have about hiring from Waterloo.

Email: tammy.kim-newman@uwaterloo.ca
Phone: (289) 231-3752