In a skills-short marketplace, every company is competing for the chance to get their hands on the right talent. That means that you need to prove that your business has something special to offer if you want to stand out.
A job description is an open invitation letting candidates know exactly what you have to offer. Great specs lead to a constantly growing talent pool, full of people all eager to be part of your team. Unfortunately, busy hiring managers don’t always have the time to craft the perfect job descriptions.
Here are some quick and simple ways to leave the cookie-cutter specs behind and write descriptions that sell your open positions.
Paint a Vivid Picture of Your Role
While it’s important to keep the language in your job descriptions concise, that doesn’t mean missing out any of the essential information your candidates need to know. Your job spec is an opportunity to attract talent by showing them what they can achieve with your business.
Mention any challenging or exciting projects employees have a chance to work on. Discuss things like career development, and opportunities for growth. Compensation is only one of the selling points that people look for today. Make sure you work with your recruitment agency to create a description that helps staff visualize themselves in your role:
- Include day-to-day responsibilities and tasks
- Provide an “inside look” at your company culture
- Address work/life balance with descriptions of wellness campaigns and remote working strategies.
- Describe how the role relates to other positions in the organisation, and who the employee will work with each day.
Replace “Buzzwords” with Keywords
Today, countless candidates search for their dream job online. That means typing keywords and titles into recruitment agency job boards and searching for terms on social media. Unfortunately, many companies have gotten into the habit of using “buzzwords” like “ninja” or “Rockstar” instead of recognised industry titles.
Although playful terms can help to give depth to your employer brand, they won’t attract the right people to your door. Instead of using buzzwords or industry jargon, think about how your candidate searches for their ideal job.
Most would-be employees aren’t looking for a role as a “data guru,” they want a position as a “data scientist,” so make sure you use those words in your specs.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re writing job descriptions.
You start off looking for a retail assistant, and suddenly you’re listing requirements for someone with software skills, leadership capabilities, and a thorough understanding of supply chain management. Unfortunately, even if you managed to attract candidates with a description like that, you might not get the “yes” you’re looking for from your job offers.
One of the reasons that candidates decline offers is that they simply don’t feel as though they can thrive in a role. After all, when you demand too much from a staff member, you essentially ask them to fill multiple positions at once.
While there are some essential skills that you’ll need to search for with your job specs, make sure that you’re realistic. Separate the “absolute must-have’s” from the “nice-to-have” and “unnecessary” points in your specs.
Bust Description Bias
The words you use in your job specs can make or break your search for the perfect candidate.
We already mentioned how important it is to use certain keywords and phrases in your descriptions. However, there are certain terms you might need to avoid too – particularly if you’re trying to improve your hiring diversity.
The American Psychological Association showed the entire world how seemingly innocent words could indicate gender bias in a job description. Certain terms that look harmless on the surface might be turning people off your positions. Read through your specs carefully for anything that might indicate a certain level of bias towards a specific gender, race, or age. For instance, the word “dominant” is often perceived as masculine, whereas “considerate” can be feminine.
Show What You Can Do For Them
Finally, writing an excellent job description is the first step to finding an employee who can do great things for your business. However, before you can convince someone to work with you, you need to show them what you can do for them.
Candidates need to know exactly what makes your firm special. This means that you need to highlight your employer brand and all the benefits of your company culture within your job description. Remember, benefits come in a host of different forms aside from basic remuneration and dental care. For instance, do you offer telecommuting? Paid parental leave? A great company culture packed with learning and mentorship opportunities?
Speak to your recruitment agency about the benefits that people in your sector are most drawn to, then ask yourself where you can compete with other employers.