Writing the Perfect Job Description to Attract Top Talent
“Hire character. Train Skill.” – Peter Schutz, Motivational Speaker
As we head further into 2022, the time for hiring for the next quarter and gearing up for future projects rounds the corner. Now, whether the business is big or small, you will undoubtedly be looking for top talent to help make the most of your hiring and produce the best work possible. However, that’s easier said than done. In the face of such times, crafting a compelling job description is more important than ever.
With so many jobs posted on boards and job search platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn, it would be fair to assume that the level of competition for a top-notch candidate is extremely high. Hence, it’s important to gain every advantage in such a high-competition landscape. In this article, we take you through how to write an effective job description that will help you attract the talent you are looking for. With that in mind let’s get into it!
Why Traditional Job Descriptions Won’t Cut It Anymore
For starters, candidates just don’t find them as clear as they would like. While you might think that the job description you wrote was very detailed, the numbers might disagree with you there. A report by HR Dive in 2016 suggested that while 72% of hiring managers said they provided clear job descriptions, only 36% of candidates agreed with that fact. That is a massive gap don’t you think?
Secondly, if you are a smaller business or a non-profit like an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), traditional job description writing can do more harm than good at times. Look at it this way for a moment. If you rely just on the role and responsibilities and give the candidate a generic paragraph about the job, do you think they would take that? Or, do you think they would go for a job post by a company that is paying more and has invested more time in getting a little creative with their words?
A good job description is like a recipe; it should be well-balanced with all it's elements.
How to Write the Perfect Job Description for the Best Impact
When you go about your job description writing, remember that you are writing for a human and not a machine. One of the most frequent issues candidates face with job posts is that they find them too long and peppered with corporate slang. All that information and they are still left with a very hazy picture of what the job entails.
Putting together a job post is like cooking a meal. There are precise ingredients that need to go into it to maintain a good balance. These skills, duties, descriptions, qualifications, values all culminate to give you a quality product in the end. Lastly, it should be concise and gender-neutral. This invites diversity and consequently a wider talent pool to your organization.
Here are some areas you might want to focus on:
“Hire for passion and intensity; there is training for everything else.” – Nolan Bushnell, American Businessman
The title is where you hook the candidate before you reel them in. The job title needs to be as precise and accurate as possible. It’s good to get creative but not go so off track that the candidate misses the job post because they are searching for a different title.
For example, let’s say you’re hiring for the role of a receptionist, but the candidate is searching for a front desk assistant role instead. You could modify the job title to say “Front-Desk Receptionist”. It may not seem like much, but making small changes like this will let the candidate know what you are looking for, what the role entails, while also remaining discoverable.
Overview of Job
This is where the majority of candidates struggle with the length and understanding of the job role. The overview should include the job description of the course, but try to keep it within five sentences. Make it detailed and inform the candidate of the skills you are looking for. The same applies to the responsibilities and educational qualifications. Most of the time, candidates will only skim through job postings, so being succinct will be your best asset.
How you convey company culture will play a huge role in the effectiveness of your job description.
Cultures, Values, and Mission Statements
Candidates want to know more about the job and the company than just what they will be doing. They want to know about the company culture, as it is a big factor in how long someone stays on. Hence, it’s important to share a few details about your company’s culture, values and mission statement. As an employer, you need to convey what kind of values the company maintains and how the candidate can benefit from that.
This is a great point to talk about benefits, perks, hours, and other things. Is it a dynamic work environment with room to grow? Are the hours and work method flexible? Is remote work an option? How many vacation days do they get? These are all great questions to answer too.
Take the Road Less Travelled
Towards the end of the job description, you might want to veer away from the usual “Please send your resume to this email ID and we will get back to you”. Instead, get innovative and grab the job seeker’s attention. This could be the defining moment for your job description. Go for something like asking them to submit a video format cover letter instead of a word document. That is just one of the many things you could do to spice up the job description and application process.