How you write a job description will either have a prospective candidate fishing the web for more information on your company, or relegate you to the digital waste bin. This is your chance to make a stellar first impression by using a legitimate channel to strengthen your brand awareness. Don’t hold back!
Your job description should aim to be clear, concise and engaging. The tone should be fun, informative and personable. Like this one for an Accounts Payable Specialist:
“Let’s be honest, most people do not jump for joy when they have to pay bills, update a budget or maintain inventory numbers. But some of us, although we may not scream it from the rooftop, we straight up LOVE that stuff. If your friends describe you as the “glue” that holds it all together and you are an efficiency master, then boy-o-boy do we have the job for you. We are looking for an energetic Accounts Payable Specialist with the knowledge, organizational skills and passion to manage and drive our accounts payable process. In this role, you will help design and implement scalable systems that will be part of the foundation of our overall business success. We are changing the way the world does co-packing; we hope you will join us for the ride!”
A winning job description helps attract the right candidates by accomplishing three things:
- Providing insight into your company culture, mission and values.
- Clarifying the position to the candidate.
- Allowing interested candidates to apply, while being specific enough to weed out unqualified candidates.
Before you go off and write the best job description of your life, analyze the position by talking to people currently in that role or on the team. Get a clear understanding of the most important tasks for this role and then distill your top 5-10 priorities. Create a list of “nice-to-haves” that will help you rank your applicants by what “extras” they bring to the table.
Consult this master checklist to ensure your job description is tightened up and ready to air:
Job title: Use a standard and easy to understand title. Remember, candidates may be searching for keywords to find your position. The more SEO-friendly your title is, the more eyeballs it will receive.
Location: Although you may want to list a larger nearby city in a searchable field (i.e. Denver or New York), resist the temptation. If the position will be primarily based in a smaller suburb (like Louisville or White Plains), list the actual city on the job description and put the larger area in parenthesis.
Job summary: Keep this to a paragraph of 2-3 sentences. We recommend that you really try to set your employment branding tone here. A good job summary, like a good advertisement, should have a hook to draw your target’s attention long enough to want to get to know you more.
Responsibilities: Clarify expectations and goals for the position. List your most important tasks first and then move down in importance and priority. The trick is balancing day-to-day, strategic, short-term and long-term bullets. Providing all four types of responsibilities keeps the job more interesting. The candidate can visualize your vision for the role and start to imagine how they can fit in. These responsibilities should be measurable and provide a foundation for future performance reviews and compensation analysis.
Required qualifications: These are your must-have skills and experiences. List these in order of priority. They can be behavioral (leadership skills), educational (degree or certification), years of experience or specific capabilities an ideal candidate must have. If the position requires 50% travel, definitely include their ability to do this here.
Desired skills: These are your nice-to-haves. Be realistic here. While it’s tempting to list a zillion skills that will define the perfect candidate, choose a few that would take you over the moon and back about a candidate and use those.
Company overview: Ask yourself, why would someone want to come and work for you? Give candidates as many details and specifics about your company as necessary. Lay it out there – your products, the company’s future, your performance in the industry, your culture, the perks, work environment, etc.
Open up your latest job description and take a good, hard look. Have your marketing department chime in. Ask your employees if it accurately represents the company’s personality. If it doesn’t, task yourself to raise the bar. You’ll be happy you did when you start attracting higher quality candidates.
Have you seen any fun, interesting, quirky or compelling job descriptions lately? Share with us on Twitter at @CARecruiting or tag us on Instagram on @creativealignments.
[author author_image=”http://www.creativealignments.com/wp-content/themes/creativealignments/assets/img/logo-large-2.png”]Creative Alignments is a recruiting and HR services company based in Boulder and Denver, Colorado. Unlike traditional contingency recruiting, they take no commission and no percentage of salaries. Their hourly billing model and on-demand approach respond to your evolving needs.[/author]