Job descriptions are more than an obligatory piece of writing you need to post to get applicants. The way you describe your company, the work you do, and the applicants you are looking for matters. Don't look for job descriptions to copy and paste. Instead, write amazing descriptions that attract amazing candidates to your company. Today's post will walk you through what you need to know to create those stellar job descriptions.
Job Descriptions Are Usually The First Time Your Candidates Have Heard Of You
First and foremost, it's important to note that the job description is the first piece of communication your candidates will get from you. If you're like Google applicants may have heard of you. More than likely, you will get a ton of applicants that don't know much about your company. You want to assume that your applicants don't know a ton and you want to make the best impression possible because of that.
What Is This Role Trying To Accomplish?
When creating job descriptions, ask yourself, "What is this role trying to accomplish?" What will this role be in charge of? What skills should a person in this role have if they want to succeed? Get clear about the position you are listing so that you can craft a job description that makes the most sense. After a while, you can begin to create templates for internal use. Even when you can craft templates, though, you should always take a bit of time to personalize each description based on the current open role.
Is There A Discrepancy Between The Job Description And The Job?
It's challenging to add every expectation into a job description. Job descriptions are often vague out of necessity. There is no way to include every minute detail of what your applicants could be doing at this job! The problem comes when the job description and the job itself are way out of whack. There comes a reconciliation period when you need to make sure that your job description and your job match up as much as they can.
Turnover is not great for a growing company. You need to keep all of your employees so that you have the energy to grow and expand. It's difficult to maintain momentum and morale up when you are hiring the same roles over and over again.
Does your job description focus too much on something that employees never get to do or does it focus too little on a skill they need to succeed? Employees quit for a variety of reasons, and you want to make sure they know what they are getting up front.
Does Your Job Description Stop Qualified People From Applying?
A few weeks ago we talked about the importance of job descriptions because of our piece about hiring more diverse candidates. It’s important to bring this back up in today’s discussion of job descriptions because your applicants take these at face value.
Many candidates think twice about applying for jobs if they don’t meet all the requirements. Your candidates don’t want to waste your time or theirs by applying for a job they likely won’t get picked for. Minority groups like women and people of color are even less likely to apply for a job if they don’t meet all of the requirements/qualifications.
Look through your job descriptions for those absolutes like:
Every applicant must have...
Candidates should have...
You need to have...
Having absolutes in your job description is okay. You should have one or two. Most job descriptions go overboard with these qualifiers though. Be careful when you create these qualifiers because there is a large group of people who will only apply if they meet 100% of these qualifications. Make sure all of the qualifiers in your job descriptions help you get better candidates.
Create A Job Description That Puts Candidates In Your Employees Shoes
Storytelling is an essential element of creating a job description that attracts the right talent. Your job description should speak to the heart of the role you are listing and make your candidates a part of the team. What does a day in the life of this role look like at your company?
If you utilize video to tell your company story, produce a quick video talking with someone at your company who has that role. Get that employee to talk about a variety of things like:
Their applicant journey
The favorite parts of the job
What challenges them most about their job
The advice they have for candidates applying for a job like theirs
Linking to a video like that within the job description will help your company stand out. A video is a great storytelling method that's becoming more approachable for companies of all sizes.
You may want to consider hiring a copywriter who can help you take your job descriptions to the next level. As we've discussed, job descriptions are critical. You may need to get some help to nail down a job description that attracts terrific talent.
Spend Time Focusing On Create An Amazing Headline/Title For Your Description
After you've written an excellent job description, it's time to wrap it all up and tie it with a bow. The bow is the headline/title you assign to your job descriptions when you post it. Focusing on the title is important because if no one clicks on the job description, it won't get read. All of your hard work producing the perfect description will be for naught if no one opens the job listing.
Are you using the same humdrum titles that everyone else is using? Your company name likely won't stand out on a job listing site so "customer service representative" or "content writer" won't stand out either. If someone knows they are looking for a "copywriter" position, you've got to impress them with something else, so they decide to check out what you have to say. You may still want to include words like "content writer" in the title, but jazz it up and make it stand out more.
Once you have the right applicants, you should spend time communicating with them. Check out our white paper that will show you how to optimize your candidate communication.