The Surprising Disconnect: Job Searches vs. Descriptions

As you might imagine, being in the business of hosting listings that are perused daily by millions of job-seekers, we here at SimplyHired come across quite a few searches and corresponding search strategies.  This insight helps make us well situated to point out a glaring fact to would be recruiters and hiring managers: you’re doing it all wrong!

That may be a bit of an overstatement, but it turns out that there is a surprising disconnect between what candidates are searching and what listings are, well, listing.  Read on to delve further into the surprising disconnects we discovered between job searches and descriptions.

Healthcare Searches by Job Seekers

One prime example is based in a fairly common job title and corresponding candidate search.  Those looking for support roles in hospitals, doctor offices and other medical service industries most often use the term “nurse” in their search.  Variations thereof are close seconds such as “nurse practitioner”, “registered nurse”, and “nurse assistant”. Specific subfields of nursing get some love, but not as much as you’d expect.  Modifiers such as “dental”, “psychiatric”, and “ultrasound” are fairly low on the list.

Healthcare Job Descriptions

Now for a look at the corresponding job listings from a sample currently available on  

The most popular words in job listing titles on the sight are terms such as “care”, “health”, “patient”, “medical” and “experience”.  Unlike in the nursing job search above, the listings tend to have a much higher percentage of industry-specific tags. “Procedures”, “management”, “pediatric” and the like come in at 2-3 times the rate of usage as job seekers are inputting.  Additionally, healthcare jobs frequently are looking for “billing” experience which doesn’t even register on our list of top job seeker terms.

The Bottom Line on Matching Descriptions to Searches

This data has a ton to communicate with savvy hiring managers looking to attract the best and most relevant talent.  Avoid job titles in your listings that vary too much from the standard and traditional. “Healthcare support professional” may sound prestigious, but a nurse won’t be looking for those terms in their job hunt necessarily.  Additionally, consider leading with a generic title and breaking down in the description the specific skills you’re looking for such as “x-ray” or “orthopedic” to get your listing in front of as many relevant candidates as possible.

You don’t necessarily have to use the exact same phrases as job seekers are targeting in order to locate talent, but it helps to be in the same ballpark and understand how qualified candidates think when they’re searching for a new position.  As a hiring manager or recruiter, you’re in the business of locating talent so it only makes sense that you would adjust and fine-tune your approach in order to maximize your success.

Article Updated from the Original on May 11, 2018