11 Jan How To Write The Perfect Job Description
If you’re not happy with the number of applications you’re receiving for open positions, it might be time to revise your job descriptions.
People want to know, with a good amount of confidence, what exactly they’re applying to. They need to know what a position looks like in real life, what they’ll be doing and what their responsibilities will entail.
Job descriptions can’t just be fired off in a few moments, by the way. They need to be carefully researched and considered, which might also require talking to someone who holds that position today and learning what it really looks like, compared to what it looked like the last time the description was written.
Here’s how to write a blockbuster job description that’s accurate and enticing.
- Be clear, honest and specific. Call the job what it is. Don’t use fancy words or industry buzz terms: say what the job is and describe it accurately, in detail without going too deep into the weeds about the minutia. Be clear and honest, without over- or underselling the position and responsibilities. Use plain language so people can easily understand the job, the tasks and what they’d be asked to do. This way, they can get a very true sense of what the job is, which will help them decide whether to apply.
- Include a salary range. More and more states and municipalities are requiring salary and pay information to be included in job descriptions, and it’s a benefit to both companies and potential employees to have that information up front. Even if it’s not an exact dollar amount but a range with the disclaimer that this is “based on experience,” you’re still giving potential applicants an idea of whether what you’re expecting to pay is something they can live on. So often, people will pass over jobs that might be perfect for them if they don’t have a sense of pay. Lack of salary information also might leave you empty handed after the perfect candidate rejects a job offer because the pay is lower than they need.
- Describe the day. We all know that things can change and that some days, any given employee might be asked to help with something outside their normal responsibilities. With that in mind, do your best to explain what a typical day would entail: will there be meetings? Will the person spend 90% of their time working on their own, or with a team? Will they be overseeing people and, if so, how many? Give an estimated percentage of how much of their day will be spent on various tasks (ie 50% writing reports, 10% meeting with their team, 25% problem solving, 15% handling demands of the day). The more detail you can provide and the better overview you can provide, the clearer a picture the person will have of whether this is a job that interests them.
- Talk up your company. At the bottom of most job descriptions is a little information about the company. You’re not just hiring a person to join a particular team, you’re asking them to become part of it. So why should they want to work with your company? What’s great about where you work? What are the perks of picking this job compared to the others they’re considering? Talk about the benefits and perks of the job (insurance, paid time off, etc) and provide some details about the company culture. Do you have a birthday club where, once a month, everyone gets together for a little mid-day break to enjoy a treat on behalf of those born in that month? Do you offer volunteer opportunities to help your community? What’s your diversity like? Do you have any kind of relationship with leadership or mentoring organizations to help your employees foster and build their passions and reach their own goals? Part of the job description should include making your company sound as exciting and inviting as possible.
- Have someone else review your posting before it’s published. This is an important step as it helps look for things you might not consider: Does the description use any kind of language that might deter applicants? Does it include anything that could indicate an unconscious bias? Does it embellish or downplay any aspect of the company or position? Make sure you’re not listing promises you can’t keep or that you’re not leaving out essential pieces of information that might help attract top talent.
A job description is your first introduction to a possible candidate and future employee. You want someone to be interested and excited about the prospect of working with you. They’re not looking for bells and whistles that will be ignored the second the offer is accepted; they want to know what you offer them in exchange for what they’re providing you.
If you’d like a little more advice on how to write a fantastic job description, or if you need help bringing in new employees, LeadingEdge Personnel can help. Our experts know what makes a good job description and will be happy to help refine yours. Call LeadingEdge today and let’s get started!