We don’t need to tell you how important first impressions are, and a job description is the first introduction potential hires will get into your company. So, never underestimate its importance.
A good job description should be straightforward, clear and easy to follow. It’s essentially the first stage of the recruitment process, so it plays a very important role in gathering a group of potential candidates. Take the time to get it right.
Here’s Some Of Our Top Tips To Write The Perfect Job Description:
The Job Title
Make sure the job title is an accurate description of what the job entails. Think of it as an attention-grabbing headline. It’s what will draw the candidate in, so it’s arguably the most prominent point. Avoid obscure titles; job descriptions are not the place for creative writing, doing so you risk alienating people, meaning you could lose out on the perfect candidate. Think about the job titles people will search for.
Explain The Position
Paint a picture of your company, the team and the types of projects they’ll be working on. It’s important to get the balance right here; you don’t want to waffle but you do want to provide enough information, so that the potential hire can engage with it. Too little info and your description could be overlooked. Too much and the candidate will lose interest or overlook important points.
The Working Environment
Be sure to talk about the working environment, so that potential hires can visualise themselves within it, whether that’s quirky offices based in Camden, an industrial centre, a call centre or a home-based role. Will it be quiet or noisy and full of buzz? Will the employee need to operate any equipment as part of the role or do any heavy lifting? Is travel required? These details let the candidate know what to expect and whether the job is a good match for them.
Location & Flexibility
Being clear about the location of the role is really important. It sounds obvious, but lack of clarity could eliminate the perfect hire. State the geographical location of the role, but if you would consider flexibility and remote-working, spell this out. Thanks to technology and the way the world works these days, location doesn’t need to be a barrier to finding your perfect hire.
Similarly, state if you’re open to flexible working patterns and discussions, so that it doesn’t become a sticking point for candidates at interview stage. But, be sure you are equipped to follow through with these promises of adopting flexible working practices.
Focus On Skills In The Job Description
Spell out the top three to four skills you expect your candidates to have. These are the key ingredients to the role and the bare minimum that’s required. Missing one of these is like missing a key ingredient from a recipe.
Qualifications And Education
Don’t underestimate the importance of qualifications and education; it needs careful consideration. It’s clearly important to have the “must haves” in your description but be careful not to include something that would be an advantage, unless of course you highlight it as that. If you’d happily consider someone who has years or practical experience, spell this out in your description.
Candidates will want to know what their work life would look like on a daily basis, so explain the day-to-day duties of the job. Make sure this important point is included in the job description.
Tell your potential candidates what’s expected of them and what success looks like in your company. What standards will they be expected to meet if you bring them on board.
Salary In The Job Description
Include the compensation package in the job description, even if it’s a range or salary band. “Salary dependant on experience” won’t generate the same amount of interest. From a candidate’s point of view, no mention of salary, implies that the employer either doesn’t know or doesn’t value the outputs the role produces. Why would they waste their time applying for a role that could possibly pay way under what they feel they should earn? Consequently qualified candidates who are potentially the right fit for the role could dismiss the role.
Other Points To Keep In Mind When Writing A Job Description
Keep language friendly and gender-neutral, write in the first person e.g. “You will be proficient in…”, proof-read and spell check.
When you write a job description read it out loud and ensure it makes sense. If there’s any point that doesn’t flow properly or is tricky to understand it, change it. If you don’t understand it, no-one else will. Test the description; ask people in your business or organisation to read it before it goes live. Chances are that someone else, who is not as close to it as you are, will spot something you won’t!
Avoid long paragraphs and lengthy descriptions, candidates will lose interest. Keep the job description clear, concise and spell out the main points.
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