Do You Follow These Five Rules to Create a Winning Job Description?
When you need to find a great candidate to fill a crucial position, the first step is to write a compelling job description. The question is – how?
Job description best practices: What are we here for?
Too often, team leaders or hiring managers do not have the time or knowledge to write an effective job description. With strong competition for top talent, some give up at the most crucial point of the recruiting cycle—describing what you want and knowing what you need.
We talked earlier about the importance of building good rapport between recruiters and hiring managers. The thinking is pretty simple—the better informed the hiring team, the more likely it is that you will find the right fit for your organization.
While job descriptions are considered by some to be a waste of time, to others, the job description is a brief window of opportunity to convey and create opportunity. What do I mean? Merely that your job description—whether communicated in text, video, or on the phone—is your first, and possibly last, chance to offer information and promote your business with an individual you would like to hire.
So you want to get it right.
Keep these five rules in mind when your next vacancy or new position appears:
- Resist recycling: Resist the urge to use a similar job description for the vacancy you have in mind. Reusing job descriptions is a common, time-saving technique. If the job opening is exactly the same—start with that text, but do not end there. Take the opportunity with each new hire to refine and align your workforce with future organizational goals.
- Buy-in: Be sure supervisors, team members, and your recruiter understand and agree on the job description as it is drafted, and when it is complete. Expensive hiring mistakes occur when a team leader expects a hire utterly different than the initial description given to a recruiter. Get buy-in before you post your position.
- Offer clarity: External coherency is important. In well-formatted, distinctive sections, does your job description set forth the title, responsibilities, tasks, and working environment that are associated with the job? Can you look at the job description and agree that it informs the reader of the important features of the position—including opportunities for remote work, career advancement, or flexible hours? Do not lose focus by including every “kitchen sink” item you might like to see. Stay focused. The fine-grained ability to communicate your needs eliminates confusion about the position and demonstrates brand confidence.
- Describe culture and benefits: Because they are employer-driven, job descriptions typically spend more space describing company expectation and needs. Times have changed. Use each job description as a rich messaging opportunity. Describe your company, its consumer and employee value proposition, and talk numbers in terms of salary and benefits. While you do not need to disclose exact salaries, provide potential numbers, always relative to the experience and caliber of the candidate. Your applicants will appreciate the lowering of the corporate veil. Pitch non-remunerative opportunities associated with the company, its training and other programs. Do not miss the chance to market your firm throughout the recruiting journey.
- Set expectations: Telegraph confidence in your ability to attract high quality talent by accurately describing the application and interview process. Mention a telephone or video interview, whether skill testing is involved, and describe the interview—panel or individual interviews? Do you expect to make a decision within days or over several months time? This information illustrates the ability of your company to run its recruiting cycle efficiently—another plus for potential hires.
A well-crafted job description clears a path of expectation for the employer and potential hire. Use your job description and your ATS to make a splash in high caliber talent pools.
Your job description is your first opportunity to make a good impression on the people you want to hire. What will that impression be?