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May 23, 2018 9:57 AM

Crafting The Perfect Job Description

So you’ve got an amazing role to fill with great opportunities for career development and superb benefits. You’ve managed to target your social media efforts to get the vacancy in front of the right people. You’ve even paid for a few featured ads on the best jobs boards on the internet. But then crickets. The reaction to your job posting is more than a little underwhelming, and you have no idea why. Well, if everything else seems to be in order, then you might want to take another look at your job description.

Sourcing, marketing, screening, and interviewing are incredibly important steps in the recruitment process, but all your efforts in these areas count for naught if your job description isn’t up to scratch. Negative wording, lack of details, and an ambiguous account of job responsibilities are just some of the pitfalls that you need to watch out for. But rather than pointing out what you shouldn’t do, let’s highlight the things that you should when crafting that perfect job description.


Use the correct job title

This one seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many job postings list weird and wacky titles for their roles. Now, don’t misunderstand us, being a ‘happiness hero’ at Buffer sounds amazing, but it might leave job seekers scratching their heads at what the job entails.

Worse still, if you don’t use the correct title for the role, your job posting won’t show up in the searches of your potential candidates. By all means, call your customer service staff ‘gurus’ but not in the headline of your job posting.  


Appeal to their emotions

Time for a quick lesson in copywriting. The best intro to any copy be it a job or product description is one that appeals to the emotions of your reader. Think about what your ideal candidate would want from this role and then work from there.

This not only highlights the perceived benefits of the role but also has the added bonus of attracting your candidates’ attention and drawing them in. Another thing to consider here is to keep your description focused on the candidate rather than the company. Using ‘you’ instead of ‘we’ gives the impression that you care about your employees’ hopes and aspirations. Which incidentally, you should do in any case.


Remember it’s all in the details

Okay, so you don’t want to overwhelm your potential hire with too much information about the role, but you also need to give enough details that they know what to expect. It’s a fine to tread, but you really have to get this right.

Include benefits and responsibilities involved with the role but don’t get too bogged down in the finer details. Does your candidate really need to know the ins and outs of the office gym? No, it’s enough to tell them that there is one. But they surely need to know that they are expected to work some weekends.


Be clear on requirements

There’s a huge difference between required experience and preferred experience, and the same goes for qualifications and skills too. Before you craft your job description, you must be absolutely clear on what experience and qualifications your candidate must have and what you would like them to have.

State that a qualification is a requirement when it’s not could result in the loss of potential candidates who may have been that superstar employee you’ve been searching for. Likewise, if you list an essential skill as a preferred one you could waste a lot of time interviewing unqualified leads.


Be human

And by that, we mean that you should inject a little personality into your job descriptions. Mentioning the office culture and how you can’t wait for the candidate to ‘join the family’ so to speak, has an incredibly positive effect on a candidate’s opinion of the company which makes them more likely to hit that ‘apply now’ button.

Of course, there are times when it’s absolutely necessary to fall back on technical or work-related language but generally speaking, you should try to write the description in a friendly and conversational tone of voice.


Consider including a salary

Now, we know that it’s supposed to be a taboo to talk about salary with candidates, a myth that we blew out of the water in a previous post, but you really should consider putting a salary range in your job description.

A Glassdoor survey recently found that 45% of hiring managers said that employees leaving their roles did so because of salary. All this does is confirm what we already know: salary is one of the most important aspects of a candidate’s search for a job.

If you don’t want to get too specific with the salary offered, then at least place a range in your description. This will allow anyone viewing the post to make an on-the-spot decision on whether or not the salary is acceptable. A decision that could help you avoid wasting time on applicants who won’t accept an offer for financial reasons.


So how are you currently managing your job descriptions? Are they of the carbon copy cookie-cutter variety or do you try to make yours stand out from the crowd? If you’re covering all the bases with your job descriptions but still finding it difficult to fill vacant roles, then perhaps there are other aspects you need help with. Book a demo with vsource and one of our uber-talented sourcing consultants will take a look at your process and see where you might need some assistance.

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