Job Descriptions That Work Best for Recruitment
Searching for potential employees to fill an open role can be a task full of trials and tribulations. But one way to make the hiring process smoother and attract great candidates is to write an accurate, concise job description.
Why? Because a job description is the first thing applicants see when they’re researching a position and company. A comprehensive, well-written explanation of your company’s open role can be the difference between a candidate applying or continuing to look elsewhere. Companies and hiring managers should dedicate time to creating a job posting with accurate, honest information that delves into the basic job responsibilities, reporting relationships, and the culture of the company as a whole.
Below, we’ve gathered our top tips to draft a job description that will attract top talent to your business:
Tip #1 – Don’t exaggerate when describing the job title
A job title is a basic but crucial element of your job description because it shows the level of the position and the basic functions of the job. For example, there is a huge difference between the job title, “Social Media Strategist,” and, “Director of Social Media Strategy.”
When you’re recruiting and drafting a job posting, a job title needs to be clear and concise. Don’t just add misleading content to get people excited about a potential job if it’s not true or pertinent information.
If you’re hiring for a junior, mid-level, or senior position, state that in the job title section. Job titles should give applicants an idea of how much experience they require to be considered for the role.
When applicants are unsure of the job they’re applying for, they might feel confused when writing their cover letter for the position or they’ll simply apply for a role that doesn’t reflect their work experience level. A strong and concise job title will help the recruitment team go right into the responsibilities of the job and guide applicants toward a decision to apply or not.
Examples of job titles:
- Senior Facilities Planner
- Marketing Director
- Junior Copywriter
- Guest Services Coordinator
Tip #2 – The importance of having an effective overview of the job
Well-crafted job overviews help narrow down the right candidate for the position. Here are some essential parts of a job overview you need to include:
- Basics: job title, hours, shifts, pay grade, overtime requirements, weekend availability
- Summary of position: general responsibilities, reporting relationships, and descriptions of key tasks
- Qualifications: education requirements, certifications, and training
- Special additional requirements: lifting requirements, travel, and standing, etc.
- Job duties and responsibilities: Be as specific as possible. For example, “You will be responsible for managing content,” is too vague compared to descriptions like, “You will be responsible for managing our social media content across Facebook, Instagram, and our blog that reflects our brand voice across all channels.”
- Benefits: Paid time off, sick pay, 401(k) plans, health insurance, etc.
Another component that recruiters and hiring managers often forget about is listing soft skills a candidate requires to be successful in the open role. For example, in a sales position, it will be imperative that an applicant has great written and verbal communication skills.
While you can suss out that information during the interview, adding soft skills to the description will help filter out candidates who don’t meet the holistic picture of your ideal employee, making your onboarding process quicker more efficient.
Here are some examples of soft skills you may want to include in your job overview section:
- Positive attitude
- Team player
- Ability to handle criticism
- Time management skills
While these skills aren’t necessarily measurable, they will give applicants a better idea if the open position fits them on a level outside of education and experience. After all, you could interview an applicant who is perfect on paper but whose lack of soft skills end up being a deal breaker.
Tip #3 – Job descriptions need to support the recruitment team
A job description is much more than just a blueprint defining an open position. It’s also a way you can attract more serious applicants. These vague, confusing job descriptions cast a wide net that may apply to an overwhelming number of candidates. A job description lacking critical elements like education experience or time spent in the field means you may be encouraging under or over-experienced applicants.
On the other hand, a descriptive but concise job posting will help filter out those who don’t fit the description. For hiring managers, this will help ensure less time is wasted in the recruitment process because they won’t have to spend as much time and effort weeding out resumes.
Hiring managers have an incredibly important task to complete: find possible employees who will be productive and successful. The recruitment team should be able to rely on the job description to help narrow down which applicants to invite in for an interview.
Accurate, distinct role descriptions also help the recruitment team compartmentalize different job postings and avoid confusion when multiple postings go live at the same time. For example, if you have two copywriter positions with differing levels of experience required, you’ll want to make sure those responsibilities reflect the contrast between a “Junior Copywriter” and a “Senior Copywriter.”
Tip #4 – Be social about it to make recruitment more fun
Sure, there are plenty of job sites where you can post open positions, like Craigslist, Monster, and Indeed. However, one of the best resources to take advantage of when you’re announcing job openings is social media. Not only can you leverage your own network to find a great fit, but you can also open up the possibility of your extended network – aka friends of friends – seeing the post and sharing it.
This is an opportunity to engage the right audience for a position by being active in certain social media groups, especially groups relevant to your industry. In addition, social media provides an opportunity to increase your company’s visibility to the public and enhance your brand awareness.
Pro tip: Make sure that your company or business has an active social media page across popular platforms like Instagram or Facebook so candidates can gain some insight into your company culture.
Tip #5 – A job description should help structure the interview process
The job description should act as the backbone of the interview process during which you can evaluate a candidate’s overall fit. The duties and responsibilities listed in the description are the foundation for questions regarding an applicant’s education, experience, and job history.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a social media advertising position, you can ask applicants about their experience working on a successful campaign and how they’d bring those strategies to your company’s open position.
While your main focus should be examining how well an applicant matches the requirements of a role, don’t forget to evaluate the candidate as a cultural fit as well. This will go a long way toward ensuring work team cohesion and overall happiness on the job.
On the applicant side of things, a good job description also gives potential employees the opportunity to anticipate questions they might be asked in the interview. And in turn, the questions candidates ask from the job description will help highlight their desire to learn if they are offered the job
Takeaways: Tailoring your job descriptions to attract top-notch candidates
The hiring process is not always easy, but you can take certain steps to improve your results and find amazing candidates. Writing a catchy but concise job description will go a long way toward finding the perfect candidate for your company. Remember: create a distinct job title, define the role, and list out hard and soft skills. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to onboarding amazing talent in no time.
Last modified: May 21, 2019