In an articled titled “how to write good job descriptions that attract great candidates,” the author stated, “a job description is an employer’s sales pitch to candidates. You’ve got to make them descriptive enough to get a candidate’s attention, and interesting enough to keep it.”
LinkedIn offers five tips to writing the best possible job description: define both the job and the ideal candidate; write in a conversational tone of voice avoiding jargon and ‘corporate-speak;’ show candidates how important the role is to the company; use well-understood and simple job titles; and enlist technology to simplify the application process.
That is a lot to consider, but don’t be overwhelmed. Follow this simple outline by TalentMarket: start with a hook (to capture attention); answer what needs to be done (and why this position is important); give information on who would be the best person to do it; and tell them how to put their name in the hat.
A little more on being real
In today’s job market, honesty wins. You must say exactly what you need … and say it specifically. Every position requires individualized personality traits and work experience. If attributes like high energy, team player, intuitive or decisive are necessary, you must say so as soon as possible. Do not wait until the interview process (or even worse, once the person is hired). Use real words and real expectations. Avoid corporate descriptions that don’t have practical application. Be upfront, and you will be rewarded with a quality candidate who can meet the expectations.
Here’s an example: “You have to be quick in our office. If you hear something once, you need to remember it and be ready to for the next steps. This position does not offer a significant amount of oversight. You must be comfortable with making your own decisions and confident enough to execute your plan.”
Additionally, your word choice should represent the culture of your office. Write like you would speak in meetings, not what you’ve copy and pasted from a hiring manual. Keep in mind the formality and nature of the business. If you veer too far from that, you will encourage the wrong candidates. Stick to core values and write in a tone of voice that captures the daily environment at the office.
We love this examples from LinkedIn’s blog: “instead of writing, ‘we have a dedicated team,’ try something like, ‘our engineering team members are hardcore, full-out coders. Because, they know what they do every day makes a difference (plus, they love to code).” These words convey excitement and give a real sense of what’s it like to work there.
Use creative technology
Consider using a short, simple and personalized video to provide the description and advertise the opening. This allows potential candidates to basically hear everything you would share in the beginning of an interview. Potential hires will come into the meeting with an understanding of expectations and requirements, while knowing if they would be a fit to work that environment. And, candidates can vet themselves before a formal interview. If you choose to utilize this technology, it’s important to do the video well. You want an articulate, personality-appropriate person to be the face of the company. A little planning, and this can be done well and prove incredibly effective. CIO says video descriptions are “ a major differentiator, and candidates definitely take notice.”
RecruiterBox gives a few basics rules: always have the job description vetted by someone who has already worked in that role to ensure you’ve provided a realistic and an accurate representation; keep the description between 700-2,000 words (or 500-1,500, as we suggest); and give as many specifics as possible like hours, telecommuting options, availability of an onsite employee lounge, gym or childcare, benefits and pay scale.
Lastly, as CIO points out, “Candidates are judging your firm on the tiniest details. Make sure you spell-check, do a grammar check and proofread your job description. Then, go back and do it again.
Have questions? We are here to answer them. Let us know how we can help you craft your job descriptions to ensure you get the right candidate in the role!