Tag Archives: job descriptions

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How to Write Compelling Job Descriptions

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Job Interview with Smiles

The propose of compelling job descriptions is to attract the right candidates to apply for a position. In order to get top talent on your teams, you should understand how to portray your company mission and vision in the best light. Inspire job candidates to apply for a job they can enjoy, are qualified for, and believe in with compelling job descriptions.

Consider your ideal candidate

Think about who you’re writing this job description to attract. Is your ideal candidate fresh out of college? Or more experienced? If he or she is more experienced, do they potentially have children and a family? Depending on who you want to hire, you should use a different voice and highlight different aspects of your company. For example, the recent graduate may be attracted by fast-paced growth and promotion opportunities, whereas an experienced professional with kids wants to work for a family-friendly company.

Use your personas to find the right kind of voice to use in your job description.

Make a list then write the description

You may be tempted to organize all needed qualifications and responsibilities into a neat bullet point list, but a list of responsibilities is rarely engaging. Instead, compile your list in order to gather all the information that needs to go into the job description, and then write the description. Instead of just saying “able to type at least 100wpm,” say “should be able to type fast enough to keep up with your fast-talking managers.”

Create your list of desired skills and what the candidate will have to do, and then expand on that list and turn it into a job description.

Inject personality

Reminiscent of the previous tip, injecting personality into your job descriptions will go a long way to engaging readers and candidates. Give your job candidates a glimpse into the company culture by injecting personality into the job description. For example, instead of just saying “we’re looking for a qualified programmer,” you could say “we’re looking for a programming geek who loves building Android games as much as we love playing them.”

Attract your future top talent by conveying an interesting job and company in the job description.

Take pride in your team and company

A great job description doesn’t just get job candidates excited about a position, it gets them excited about the people they will be working with and the company they will be a part of. If you have an impressive leadership team at your company, put it in your job description. If one of your employees has published a best-selling book about the industry, give it a mention to peak candidates’ interest.

Brag about your company and the great teams already in it to give job candidates a glimpse into an exciting company culture they could be a part of.

Highlight the perks

Does your company provide a generous vacation policy? Do you provide free parking in a busy metropolitan area? Do you give free bus passes or transportation allowances? Do you offer learning and development opportunities? Whatever work perks your company may offer, play them up in the job description. If a job candidate is passionate about the industry, the perks should do even more to draw him or her in. For example, if you are a winery looking to hire a marketing coordinator, your job applicants will probably love wine. Let them know they get free wine tastings every month and the occasional bottle of wine from your cellars.

A final word

Be authentic in your job descriptions. It should go without saying that they need to be accurate, not misleading. If you need someone to do clerical duties, don’t advertise the job as a strategic partnership role. Even if you write the most compelling job description, your candidates will walk out when they discover the job isn’t what they applied for.

Did you enjoy this post? Check out the rest of our blog or read about job adverts vs. intimidating job descriptions.


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How to Write a Job Description

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Pen and paper

A job description summarizes the important functions of a position and the requirements or qualifications needed to succeed. It is a tool used by both HR and division managers to clarify a role that is filled and the duties under that role. Job descriptions can be used as a guide for succession planning, learning and development, performance reviews and salary administration. For the employee, a well-written job description is a roadmap that can be used to navigate a new position. They can look at a job description and understand exactly what is expected.

One of the keys to successfully filling an open position is writing a job description that will both convey everything a potential candidate needs to know about the company and position, as well as attract quality applicants. Below are a few things to keep in mind to help you write a job description that is customized, compelling and effective.

Accuracy

A job description needs to accurately convey the responsibilities and duties of the position. This means that you should have a clear picture of what the job entails, and translate the action items into the job description. Do not over or undersell a position, which could cause dissatisfaction once a new hire realizes the job description wasn’t accurate. For example, don’t say an employee will be visiting stores when he or she will mainly be working on data entry at a desk. Likewise, don’t say an employee will only perform data entry when the job requires multiple store visits a week. Different jobs attract different people, and an accurate job description will help attract people whose behaviors suit the position.

Job description accuracy also relates to the qualifications, abilities, knowledge and skills needed to fill a position successfully. Be clear about what will be expected of them, and list out both crucial and preferred skills so your potential candidates know whether they are qualified for a job. Accuracy is vital here because if you ask for unnecessary skills, you could deter perfectly qualified candidates. If you ask for too little skills, you will get underqualified candidates.

Clarity

Make sure your job descriptions are clear pictures of the position. Begin by analyzing the job, and then summarize it so candidates understand exactly what the job entails. Define what, why and how an employee will do said job. This means clarifying the individual duties and tasks, the purpose and overarching goals the job contributes to, and what methods, tools and techniques are necessary to do the job.

Depth

In addition to being clear and accurate, a job description must also be detailed. The voice of a job description is a key point in attracting the right candidates. Make sure your job description has a compelling personality to it and conveys the company culture.

A job description should also go as far as to describe personal requirements expected from the employee, include job title, who the employee will report to and any educational requirements. Include desired experience, specialized skills, benefits and a salary range for your potential job candidates to evaluate.

Compliance

Once you have a job description drafted, have it looked over by an employment lawyer or HR consultant. Job descriptions are typically regarded as a legal document that can be referred to in disputes or arguments. Make sure you eliminate references to race, religion, age, sex, national origin or mental disability to avoid discrimination.

Revisions

Jobs change and evolve constantly, and when it happens you should evaluate whether it’s time to revise a job description. A job description you used to hire a brand manager two years ago may not be accurate when hiring a brand manager today. Work with the employee who knows the position best (whether he or she is a current employee, or leaving the company) to formulate the most accurate job description for his or her current role.

Job descriptions are an important part of the recruitment and retention process. It’s a concrete list of responsibilities, capabilities and expectations that provides a clear roadmap for employees and managers moving forward. It’s an important step towards finding the right person for both company fit and job capabilities. Write a job description that is accurate and compelling in order to attract top talent.


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