There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to writing a job description, but today we are going to focus on job descriptions specifically from the perspective of attracting the right candidates. Start by understanding that your job description is a marketing tool, used to introduce your company and the position to potential employees who might be unfamiliar with your organization. The description needs to be clear and succinct, yet compelling enough to convince a candidate to apply for the job.
Many potential candidates decide quickly whether an advertised position is a fit for them. Today’s job seekers often are pulled in many directions, so attention spans can be short. You therefore have only a brief opportunity to convince them that your job is right for them.
Here are a few ideas to help you write a brief, informative job description that is sure to attract the perfect candidate:
Keep Job Duties Accurate and Succinct
Get right to the point. While it’s important to effectively explain the scope of the position, you don’t want to drown candidates in a sea of excessive wordiness. Highlight the main areas of responsibility and tasks this person will be performing on a regular basis and leave the roles of lesser significance to be covered later. By doing this, you won’t bog down the job description with too much detail, but you will direct attention to the more stimulating duties and expectations.
Requirements vs. Your Wish List
Going overboard on skills, experience and/or educational requirements might discourage candidates from applying if they don’t meet all of your criteria. This is why it is critical to do a thorough review up front to determine your top priorities. Develop your job description based on the minimum qualifications you would accept and go from there. It is always okay to accept an application from a candidate with a higher skill level or more education. It is better to have too many resumes to sort through than to risk missing out on someone perfect.
A Snappy Title
While the title is not the be-all, end all, there are those who are motivated by it. Some time should be devoted to figuring out the most effective way to title your description. Don’t overdo it and don’t over-elevate titles, as people will see through it if you’re trying too hard or if they are being given a bloated title. A well-thought-out, creative title also is an opportunity to reveal a facet of your organization’s culture. For example, the right title can go a long way toward demonstrating the company’s fun, out-of-the-box culture – if that’s who you are.
Get Manager Input, At Least
The manager will always have the most insight into the role for which the job description is being created, so he or she should be the primary source for information. But in a small business environment, every role touches another, so it’s always wise to get input from other team members. Each team member has a unique perspective into your business, so it’s a great way to obtain a thorough review and ensure nothing has been missed.
Project the Culture
Part of the hiring process is finding the right “cultural fit,” and you can start down the right path by projecting the culture of your company through your job description. By doing this, candidates will get an idea of the type of organization you are and whether they want to work there.
For example, if you wish to project a more light-hearted, easy-going culture, you might write with an informal tone. If your culture is more professional and structured, you would project that through a more formal writing style. Either way, you are more apt to attract the right person by giving candidates a glimpse into who you are.