Writing a job description may not be difficult, yet it can determine whether or not you receive good candidates. Not enough information or loads of information can put off your candidates so you need a balanced description; clearly defining your expectations, needs and preferences in the job posting.
1) Job title: you can’t add much creativity or show your company’s culture on this one so keep it simple. Avoid internal lingo and use clear, informative words which will not confuse candidates. Indeed suggests that job titles with 80 characters or less receive more clicks.
2) Job summary: This section should include a description of your company and general expectations of the position. What makes your company unique? What is the culture like? Why would someone love to work with you? That’s the kind of questions you are looking to answer while writing the job summary.
3) Job responsibilities: Many companies/managers make the mistake to think that a job description is like a long supermarket list, its not! It’s a two-way road. Avoid including every single task that the candidate will be involved with. Only list the core skills required from candidates or the ones that you can provide training for. Use bullet points and short sentences to list the skills required and avoid lengthy paragraphs. Including an exact location will help people calculate their commute time.
4) Avoid over-the-top language like “best of the best” or “world class” which tend to prevent candidates from applying. (According to NCWIT, women and underrepresented minorities will be more likely to be put off by such words).
5) A great way of getting the responsibilities right is to get your current employees to write the job description. They are the best people to do this as they know the ins and outs of the role and the exact skills required. Ask them to highlight the day-to-day responsibilities as those will provide great insights on the job itself as well as the company overall.
6)Many times, descriptions remain the same over the years and are therefore out-dated in terms of skills required and culture-feel, make sure you update them often.
7) Create a sense of urgency on the description; even if you are not looking to hire right now, candidates needs to feel compelled to apply for the role.
8)Women are less likely to apply for roles than men when they are not “ticking on the boxes” of the job description. That’s another reason why the job responsibilities listed should not be an exhaustive list.
9)CULTURE; needs to be ALL OVER your job description. Don’t just write that the candidate will be working in “a fun and dynamic environment’ on the last line of your description! Its likely that even by that phrase you mean a lot more than that but remember that candidates may not have previously heard of your company so you therefore need to be able to show this throughout the job description.
10) Remove bias: Copy and paste your job description on this link from Total Jobs and check what you could do to remove bias.
11) It may seem obvious but yes, check for spelling/grammar mistakes and have someone to proofread it for you.
12) Get creative! Ask your candidates for a video CV/cover letter and make one of your own explaining what the role entails. Candidates will be more intrigued towards your company and the role as video will make them feel one step closer to your company.
13) Depending on the role and years of experience required, define the word success for you. Different companies with different leaders have different meanings of success so enlighten candidates what’s the “standard” they would be expected to meet.
14) Include compensation! At older times, this may have done the trick but “salary depending on experience” won’t work now. Candidates want to see numbers and figures on their screen to be tempted. So, do your market research and give candidates a range.
15) Don’t rush it!! The people of your different teams constitute your firms’s successes and failures. If you don’t have a clear idea of who you are looking for or what kind of problems you want to overcome/fix, you won’t be able to fill the position quickly and efficiently.
Lastly, you may have the “upper-hand” but keep in mind that similar to how hiring managers are judging a candidate’s resume, candidates are also judging your firm through your job description if that is their first “interaction” with you.
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