Hiring the right person for the job begins with a well thought out job description. If you get the job description right, you will stand a far better chance of attracting suitable applicants for a role. And, just as importantly, you will be more likely to retain your new hire.
The best job descriptions are a combination of an accurate description of the role and a list of the required skills, experience, and qualifications. of A job description also needs to sell the position and the company.
So, how much detail should you provide in a job description? And how do you strike a balance selling a job and setting realistic expectations of a role? Here are ten tips to help you write job descriptions that will attract the right kind of talent.
1. Give the Job an Accurate Title.
The first thing that a prospective candidate will look at is the title of the role. The title will be the thing that draws someone to your vacancy when they are scrolling through job listings. The job title must accurately portray the position that you are looking to fill. It is usually best to avoid trying to be too innovative or creative with job titles, though. Instead, use concise, industry-standard job titles that explain what the role entails.
2. Start with an Overview of the Role.
The first section of a job description is a short overview. This element will describe the function of the position in a few sentences. It can also be helpful to explain the importance of the role to the company in this section. Remember, though, that you are selling the position as well as describing it. Take a look at a proper Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Resume Guide; everything you could ever need in for a higher is in this guide. Using invitational language in the opening paragraph, like “join a fast-growing, dynamic business”, will help get people’s attention.
3. Sell the Company.
Candidates must understand what your company does and how the organization operates. It will also be helpful to explain what the growth prospects of the business are. A job description should include a sentence or two about the company products, the business’s markets, and growth plans. The best talent will be looking for both security and career progression opportunities. So, it would help if you explained the potential for growth within the role you are advertising.
4. Explain the Company Culture.
Relevant qualifications and experience are not the only things that matter when you are hiring a new employee. It would be best to consider how well a person will fit in with the company culture and the existing team. Some people thrive in a dynamic, competitive culture, for example. Others might prefer a more traditional, professional environment. Explaining your organization’s company culture will help ensure that you hire people who will be happy working for your business. Ensuring a culture fit will reduce the risk of a hire quitting the job in the first few months.
5. Specify Qualification Requirements.
Be clear about any specific educational or vocational qualifications that are required for the role. And explain if qualifications are a must-have or would merely be an advantage. Stating the qualifications needed for a job will help ensure that you only receive applications from suitable candidates. However, be careful not to ask for unreasonable qualifications for a role, or you may find yourself short of applicants. How to Add Resume to LinkedIn even says about being specific on skills and experiences, so why not your job description too?
6. Discuss Previous Experience Required.
Someone may have the right qualifications for the role but lack the relevant experience. Lack of relevant experience may not be an issue if you are willing to train a new employee. However, if you are looking for someone who can hit the ground running, relevant experience will be crucial. The expertise required may not be restricted to having worked in a similar role. It may also be beneficial for someone to have worked within your industry, for example, or to have used a particular software application. Bear in mind, though, that demanding extensive experience of any kind will reduce the number of potential candidates. Sometimes, the most valuable employees are those with a passion for learning.
7. Include Personal Skills and Attributes.
It would be best to spell out the critical personal skills and attributes you require in a candidate. For example, does your new hire need to be a good team player, or will they need to be self-motivated and capable of working alone? Are you looking for someone with initiative who can innovate? Or would the role suit someone who will complete the work to a predefined specification? The personal attributes of an employee can often be as crucial as their qualifications and experience.
It is generally best to use industry-standard job titles. However, what you expect of a bookkeeper or a web developer may differ from what other companies expect. So, it would be helpful to mention your vacancy’s day-to-day responsibilities and duties to ensure that you hire someone who can fill the post. One of the purposes of a job description is to set expectations. So, it would be helpful to state clearly what the job entails and not over-sell the position.
9. Be Clear About the Compensation Package.
Of course, candidates will want to know what the pay and benefits are for the role you are advertising. So, be sure to include full details of the compensation package in your job description. It is best to state the salary range rather than using a vague term like “salary commensurate with experience”. Don’t forget to include benefits like health insurance, paid leave, life insurance, and retirement plans. Remember, too, that the option to work from home will be an attractive benefit for many people.
10. Be Concise.
The best way to write a job description is to keep it brief. The above may at first appear to be a lot to fit into one short document. However, if you use short sentences and make use of bullet points, you should get a job description down to about 500 words. Then you will need to distill that full document down to fewer words for advertising your vacancy on job boards or other publications.
The crucial point to take away from the above is that a job description is a multi-purpose document. You want to attract the right people for the job. Still, you don’t want to preclude too many people from applying by being overly prescriptive with your requirements. You want to sell the role but still set realistic expectations for the post.
Take your time preparing job descriptions. Consider the skills, qualifications, experience, and personal attributes of the ideal candidate, and explain the culture of the company and what is involved in the role. You will then attract applicants who will meet your expectations and be happy working in their new job.