If your company isn’t getting the amount of quality of applications for an open position that you expected, it might be time to take a look at the job description.
A good job description is like a movie trailer: It needs to entice people to be interested in wanting to know more and get them excited about what’s being offered.
Here are a few tips on making a job description effective enough to draw attention and bring in strong, highly talented candidates.
- Start with the title. Job titles are important. They tell someone where they will stand in the company. The more specific the title, the more clear an understanding a prospective candidate will have about what the job and what their responsibilities might be. Don’t use code words or phrases that are trendy or too inside baseball — it’s easier to understand what a “senior” position is rather than a term that’s related more to your exact company or in-house system.
- Add a summary. Give an overview, with strong details and a good description of what a day on the job might look like. Explain the responsibilities of the position and who someone in this job will work with — will they report to someone? Who is it? Will they have people report to them and, if so, how many? Spell out the duties that this person will have and what projects they might be responsible for. In this pandemic-changed world, be clear about whether this position is fully on-site, remote, hybrid, etc. Talk a little, too, about where this person will spend their day. Will they be at their workspace most of the time, or will they need to move around a lot? Is there travel involved? Is it mostly sedentary or will there be physical demands?
- Make it enticing. Include information on what makes this position at this company exciting and different from a similar position elsewhere. The goal is to attract a talented person to bring their skills to your company, so keep in mind you need to tell them why your company is great. What do you offer people in terms of growth opportunities? What’s special about your company? What do the people who work with you now like about their jobs?
- Be clear about the requirements. If you’re looking for someone with three years’ experience for an entry-level job, you’re going to reduce the number of people willing to apply. If you need someone to have a particular skill, training or ability for this job, state it. If there’s a difference between what an ideal candidate must have and what it would be nice for them to have, skill-wise, state that. If someone would be disqualified for a job for any reason (for example, a candidate must have a clean driving record for the position because it requires driving a company vehicle to meetings), state that plainly. Include both hard and soft skills — those that are needed for the job and are 100% relevant to it, and those that are more general and transferable.
- State the salary and benefits. Some states and municipalities are requiring job descriptions to include a specific salary range. This helps candidates as much as it does employers: A candidate who makes it through the interview process only to find out the salary is substantially less than they were expecting, their time has been wasted as has the time of the people involved in the interview process.
Before you publish the description, it’s important to make sure someone else reads it to check for accuracy, but also to see whether any language is used that might be accidentally sharing a bias of some kind. For job descriptions that haven’t been updated in a while, language might be used that exclude or dissuade some candidates from applying; that further reduces your potential candidate pool and could result in strong, highly-qualified candidates bypassing your job for a place that sounds more inclusive.
If you’re looking for additional advice, or need some short-term help to fill positions while a new candidate is found, call Davis Staffing. We’re standing by to help and have talented candidates who are ready to start working right away, on a temporary or permanent basis. Contact Davis Staffing today and let’s get to work!