Attract the Best Possible Candidates – How to Write a Job Description

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writing job descriptions - TalentVine Blog Post

Finding Candidates is a Science. Recruiting Them is a Seduction.

Recruitment has been turned on its head. Increased demand for skilled talent, combined with a growing shortage of the top talent, is placing pressure on an already tight job market. Whereas we used to focus on selling candidates to organisations, we now must focus our energies on selling our organisation to top candidates with better job descriptions.

Any strong candidate in the market will have multiple offers from employers. When they research your business online, what will their opinion be of your company as a place to work? Where do you start when it comes to writing a job description?

Developing and Leveraging an Employer Brand

Organisations of every size have an employer brand. A perception of what it’s like to work there, that either helps or hinders in hiring great people. Successful organisations leverage this brand to help attract and keep top talent, and to reduce recruitment costs. The opportunity lies in defining your organisation’s key candidate drivers, and then communicating these to the most appropriate people, through the most relevant channels.

The first place to start is the Job Description. This will often be the first impression that a candidate will have of your organisation.

The typical job description looks like this…

Use Social Media to Show Off Your Employer Brand

Use Social Media to Show Off Your Employer Brand

The Company
We’re a unique company and we’re awesome.

Required Skills
A list of everything you can think of

Nice to Have Skills
A long list of random duties

Top candidates will not be attracted to this repetitive job description that they see time and again.

What if you deleted your current template and started again with something like this?

The Company

Yes. We are in fact really unique and we kick ass. Here’s why… be genuine and set your self apart from the competitors that the candidate is probably considering applying to.

Your Boss

She’s the bomb. Here are her accomplishments and she will be there to help you achieve the same. We had to trim it a bit because she’s so amazing we could continue all day, but we don’t want to make this too long.

Your Team

Who wouldn’t want to work with this awesome bunch? Add birthday celebrations, company days out, team member biographies, Tough Mudder pictures or whatever else is appropriate. Add links to any company social media accounts, for example Forrester Life’s instagram

What you get to do

Here are your responsibilities and opportunities to learn.

Your Training

We believe in career and personal growth and this is how we will help you. You’ll learn these great things on the job and we will up-skill you through these training programs.

Your Career Opportunities

People that have previously been in your position have been promoted into XYZ and so forth. The possibilities are endless! Tell us if you want to be the CEO one day and we will support you.

Your Benefits

Feel free to really lay it all out. If your offered salary isn’t competitive this can really make a perceived difference. If it’s a dog friendly office then let people know that pooch can join them.

What We Need from You

…and here’s what we want and expect so that you can succeed in your role. Let the candidate know what you expect from them in exchange for what they should expect from you.

And then include the essential information….

Job Title

Having a job title that is findable and straightforward is important. When you write out your job title, make sure that it is:

  • Honest and doesn’t exaggerate the role’s importance.
  • Search friendly – don’t try to be too creative with the title. Candidates won’t look beyond the title if they don’t understand what you’re looking for.
  • Free of gender or age implications.
  • Descriptive of how the role ranks with other positions in the company.
  • Comparable to similar jobs in the industry.

Why join us?

This is the company overview section. Use it to describe why the candidate should join your company and try to keep it concise. Think about including:

  • Your company’s mission, vision, and values.
  • A description of the culture and the team the candidate would join.
  • Your company’s past successes and industry impact.
  • Any benefits the employee can expect.
  • The company growth metrics.

What we’re looking for

This is your opportunity to describe your ideal candidate, and grab the attention of prospects that fit the description. Consider including:

  • The traits the candidate you’re looking for, should have and key job requirements.
  • The skills and experience that are essential for the role.
  • The attributes of top performers at your company.
  • If the position is full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, or an internship.
  • The location and whether or not travel is required (and how much).

The impact you’ll have

  • Illustrate what the candidate’s day-to-day will look like and the opportunity she or he will have for career advancement.
  • Express the value the position has within the company.
  • Describe the role and responsibilities. Try to include 5-10 responsibilities.
  • Begin each responsibility with an action verb in present tense. For example, “drive product naming” or “elevate the client experience.”

Don’t try to hide drawbacks with clever language – consider adding a “worst part of the job” section.

Let people know they can bring their dog to work

Let people know they can bring their dog to work

Sound like you? Apply now!

  • Make the application process easy.
  • Optimize your careers page for mobile.
  • Save candidates some time by allowing them to apply with their LinkedIn profile.

Learn more about (your company)

  • Use this section to include any further relevant information about your company.
  • Try embedding a company culture video to mix things up!

Contact information

Don’t make the mistake of leaving out contact information. Include the recruiter’s email and phone number so that applicants can apply and ask questions.

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