Writing Job Descriptions That Deliver

December 4th, 2015

In many instances, job descriptions serve as your unofficial introduction to top talent. Many candidates are viewing your job descriptions before visiting your website or reading your brochure.

Are your job descriptions doing THEIR job?

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever. They want to work for companies that align with their culture and beliefs, that offer a strong culture and possibly flexibility. Are your job descriptions selling them on your job and your company?

For many organizations, job descriptions are little more than a checklist of requirements used to weed out unqualified candidates. Changing your view on job descriptions and putting a bit more time and effort into their creation could make a big impact on the number and quality of candidates applying to your jobs.

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Effective job descriptions: A checklist

This checklist can help – print it out and hang it by your computer to help you truly create job descriptions that deliver:

  1. Sound like a human being. Are you hiring robots or people? Then why do most job descriptions sound as if they were written by a machine? Today’s job seekers are much more discerning about companies and opportunities they apply to – your job descriptions should be elevated to meet those needs. And the first way to do that is to add some “human” to them. If you’ve been writing job descriptions the “old” way for years, this might be hard at first. Here’s a tip: Record yourself talking about the job and its requirements as if a candidate was siting right in front of you. Type it up, format and you are done. It really is that simple.
  2. Sell your company. We’re in a candidate-driven market, and the notion that candidates should be grateful for any opportunities is an outdated one. Today’s job seekers have more choices than ever, and they need a reason (other than your job) to choose your company over the competition. So take the opportunity and sell your company in the job description. Were you named a best place to work? Is your break room fridge always stocked with great snacks? Now’s the time to share it! Anything you can do to differentiate your business from the competition, while building your employer brand, is going to help your job description stand out for the right reasons.
  3. Quick and easy. Remember the last time you were applying to jobs? Applying to jobs is in and of itself a full-time job for many people! Crafting unique resumes and cover letters, searching for jobs, then reading descriptions and applying to jobs (often with a fairly long and tedious process within the applicant tracking system) is exhausting for candidates. If you can convey the first two bullet points in a clear and concise manner, you’re much more likely to be on candidates’ good sides. Focus on the most important facts and points, and leave the rest to your hiring process. The simplification will make it that much easier for candidates to get to the “good” stuff (and will look much better on a mobile phone, where more and more candidates are reading and applying to jobs).
  4. Include a call to action. Want candidates to apply now using your ATS? Prefer that they send a resume to your hiring manager? Tell them! Be specific in next steps to ensure that candidates can clearly take the correct next steps in your hiring process. As a bonus, candidates who don’t follow these directions may not be as detail oriented as candidates you would need for certain roles, so you can potentially weed out those who don’t follow directions here.

Job descriptions are one component of a successful recruiting strategy, but there is much more to attracting and hiring top talent. At Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top candidates across Southern California. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business maximize its talent investment.

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One Response to “Writing Job Descriptions That Deliver”

  1. 3 Ways To Speed Up Your Hiring Process | Helpmates Staffing Says:

    […] you define a range of skills and background necessary to succeed in the given role. Then carefully articulate those requirements in your job descriptions and throughout the hiring process. You’ll get better quality candidates applying to the job, and […]

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