Recruitment is highly competitive, and when a talented individual is looking for a new position, the job posting is the first thing they see. This is the first impression a potential new hire will have of your company, which is why your job description writing skills are a seriously important tool. Posting job descriptions impacts the success of your company more than you might realize.
Job descriptions that are effective and encourage applicants to send in their resume should be inclusive and engaging while being to-the-point, concise, and easy to understand. The best job posting encourages the right people to apply.
When it’s written well, a good job description will paint a realistic picture of what’s to be expected from the job on offer. It should be an accurate representation of the responsibilities and duties that the candidate can expect should they be hired.
Online job boards are crammed with listings, so getting yours noticed isn’t always an easy task. We’ve put together some key points on writing an effective job description and making sure that your job posting stands out to the right people.
How to Describe the Position:
Your job description should accurately describe the position and be clear and to-the-point. If you’re having trouble filling a vacancy for a ‘guru’ or ‘ninja’, research suggests that you are likely putting off or even offending suitable candidates with your choice of language. Instead, avoid disingenuous job titles and use clear ones. If you’re not looking for a ‘PR Ninja’ but rather want somebody who is experienced and good at what they do, just say that. Make sure that you describe the job title accurately in order to avoid attracting the wrong people and missing out on the more ideal candidates. Whatever position you are advertising for, transparency is the first rule of writing a winning job description that gets the attention it deserves.
Summarizing the Position:
You should write a short overview of the position which includes a description of the job’s function and how it aligns with the main company goals and objectives. This part of the posting should be designed to let candidates know a little bit more about why the job exists and how their role will contribute to the company as a whole. Bear in mind that most applicants will skim over a job description so keep it simple, clear, and easy to read. Avoid any confusing phrases or jargon that could put a potential candidate off from reading all the way through. Invitational language can be very useful for drawing the candidate in and encouraging them to apply for the role.
Describing the Work:
The majority of people will want to have a clear idea of what’s going to be expected of them when applying for a job. Most of us would not be interested in sending our resume to apply for a job when we have no idea of the work we’d be doing should we get hired. That’s why getting the duties and responsibilities section of your job description right is so important; it’s this part that most candidates are going to be paying the most attention to in order to determine if it’s the right role for them.
Outline the core duties of the position in an easy-to-read, bullet-pointed list. You can further elaborate on this by describing some of the day-to-day activities that candidates can expect to perform should they be hired for the position and provide examples where necessary. Offering simple, descriptive explanations of the type of work involved makes it easier for candidates to understand exactly what they are applying for and get a feel for the type of work environment that your company offers. Offering as much detail as possible into the duties and responsibilities of the role is beneficial for both you and your applicants since it enables candidates to determine whether or not the role is a good fit for them, making it easier for you to attract the best candidates for the position.
Qualifications and Skills:
Candidates need to know that they are suitably skilled and qualified for a role before they can apply. Being clear about the qualifications and skills that you require candidates to possess for this position will help potential applicants determine whether or not they are a good fit and improve your hiring process by making it easier for you to attract the best people for the job.
Firstly, focus on specifying any qualifications, skills, and experience that are necessary for the position. Depending on the work, you may decide that candidates with a wide range of qualifications are welcome to apply, especially if you plan to provide on-the-job training to a successful hire. Follow this with any preferred skills that you would like a candidate to have but are not essential. Include the certifications and level of experience that is required for each qualification, which is needed or preferred for the role.
You should also outline the minimum work experience that you require a candidate to have in terms of years worked and the type of experience gained in order to be a good fit for the job. You should also specifically state whether or not you accept types of work experience such as internships or college-based work experience and assistantships alongside full-time employment. Try to keep this section clear, concise, and to the point – including too many qualifications and skills could put a potential candidate off, and it narrows your chance of finding a suitable candidate who may not have every single qualification or skill listed but is still a good fit for the position.
While skills, qualifications, and experience will all help a candidate determine whether or not they are a good fit for the job, many will agree that cultural fit is just as important for both the employer and the employee. No matter how well-skilled or highly qualified a candidate is, if they clash with your company culture, they are more likely to cost you money and drain productivity by increasing employee turnover.
It’s important for candidates to find a company that they feel they would be a good fit for, so include some information about your organization in the job description to help them decide. Place an emphasis on the mission, values, and vision of your company to give candidates some insight into what you do, and help them decide how closely aligned their own values are with yours. It can also be helpful to highly any other culture-based perks like benefits and bonuses that you offer to your employees.
More often than not, it’s this section of the job description that will give a candidate the final push to send in their application. If a candidate is on the fence about whether or not to apply when they get to this point, a description of a company culture that’s exciting, friendly, and fun can be just what they need to click the apply button and send their resume. Be creative but remember to be honest and transparent about what you offer.
In certain countries, clearly stating the salary that candidates will be paid for the position is required. In other places around the world, it is not mandatory, but it is common practice. The truth is that no matter how much we might like to pretend that everything else is more important, money is usually the number one priority when a candidate is applying for a job.
People work for many reasons, but the one major reason that connects us all is the need to earn money. So, take this into consideration and don’t be secretive about how much you are paying. It’s definitely worth mentioning the salary if you’re paying more than your competition, and candidates will appreciate the transparency. In fact, some candidates might not find it worth applying to a job where the salary is not included in the position. Nobody wants to spend time applying for a position only to find that the salary does not include their basic expenses, so save time and hassle by making it clear up front.
More Tips for Making Your Company Stand Out in a Job Posting:
Chances are that if you’re hiring for a position, so are your competitors. And you want to make sure that your company gets the best talent, so spending time to ensure that your job posting stands out and is more enticing is key.
1. Target Certain Personalities:
Spend some time figuring out your ideal employee persona before you write the job description. What type of people do you want to come and work for you? How old are they? What are their hobbies and interests? Are they extroverted or introverted? By gaining a better understanding of the type of person you are targeting with your job posting, you can use language that appeals to them.
2. Offer Remote Working:
If possible, offering the option to work remotely will certainly get your job posting more attention. An increasing number of candidates are looking for positions where they have the choice to work from home.
3. Highlight Skills:
If the role you are advertising for requires specialized skills, highlighting these will help save you and your candidates a lot of time.
4. Highlight Perks:
Employee benefits, casual days, flexible schedules, bonuses, and anything else that makes your company a great place to work could be the push that a candidate needs to apply, so make sure that they stand out.
5. Ask Your Team:
Speak to your current employees – what was it about the job description they read that attracted them to your company in the first place?
Today, job seekers can visit countless online sites and job boards to find a suitable position and apply for a role they want. There’s lots of competition when it comes to making job descriptions stand out and writing one that attracts attention has never been more important.