Job descriptions are a key step in attracting top talent, yet most companies don’t give the description the valid time and thought that it deserves. In a study by Allegis Group, 72% of hiring managers claimed that they provided a clear and easily comprehensible job description, yet only 36% of candidates believe that these job descriptions were clear.
There is an obvious disconnect between hiring managers and candidates that often cost companies the candidate pool of the highest talent and qualification. In fact, poor job descriptions are one of the top reasons your company is losing candidates.
When employers approach the hiring process, they sometimes forget to make their company and open position just as attractive as the quality of talent that they are searching for in a new hire. The most talented and skilled professionals will be more drawn to apply for positions that are clearly outlined in the job description.
Drawing in those top applicants is key, so before you post that next job opening on LinkedIn, really consider these seven points. With these tips and practices in mind, your company can write the perfect job description that guarantees your ideal new hire.
Use a Clear Position Title
The first step in writing your job description is to pick a clear position title. When applicants are browsing through job postings, they usually have an idea of the type of position or role that they are looking for.
Many potential candidates type in the job title that they are aiming for in the search bar of platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed. As a hiring manager, you want your posting to end up in front of the right eyes, so it is crucial to use keywords and keep it simple.
Save the extra details for the job description and use a short position title like “Executive Assistant,” “Communications Director,” or “HR Manager.”
Keep the Job Description Short
When writing your job description, it is best to keep it short and concise. According to a LinkedIn study, most people will spend only 14 seconds reviewing the posting before they determine whether or not they want to apply for a position. This is a very short amount of time to grab their attention.
The same study shows that short job descriptions of 1-300 words get the most applications at 8.4% more than average. A one or two-word description is obviously not ideal but descriptions that are too wordy risk overwhelming a potential candidate or boring them.
It is completely possible to lure in the best candidate with only 300 words, you just have to choose those words wisely.
Keep the Ideal Candidate in Mind
When getting to the meat of the job description, you should picture yourself speaking directly to the ideal candidate for the position. What information would they want to know? What top qualities, skills, and experience does this perfect candidate have?
By mapping this out, you can begin to draft a job description that will appeal to the best applicants.
Reflect the Voice of Your Company
When it comes to the voice and tone of your position posting, it should always be reflective of your business or company. If your description is too laid back when your company culture is much more professional, you can risk attracting the wrong types of candidates.
With this being said, candidates don’t necessarily want a ton of background on your company culture or mission in the job description. According to the previously mentioned LinkedIn study, company culture, mission, and company details are among the lowest ranking pieces of information that candidates look for in a job description.
Most candidates just want to know what their role would be in the position before they determine if your company is right for them. This doesn’t mean that applicants won’t still research your business. In fact, over one in four candidates will visit the company’s website or page to learn more if the job appeals to them, according to the same study.
The main goal of the job description is to grab the applicant’s attention and you can still reflect your company’s values with your tone, just save the extra details for them to find on their own time after you’ve got them interested.
Position Overview is Key
The most important part of the job description is the position overview. Candidates expect to have an accurate description of their main job responsibilities in the role and what their typical workday would look like.
Start with a quick summary of one or two sentences about the role and then use bullet points to outline the key responsibilities and daily work tasks. Candidates will likely scan the description and too many large chunks of texts may turn them away.
It’s also good to be specific about certain projects that they will be working on. Generic job descriptions aren’t eye-catching and vagueness can turn prospective candidates away. The more specific and accurate, the better, while still keeping it concise. They want to know what to expect, so give it to them.
It can also be beneficial to include a short timeline in the position of what the candidate can expect to be doing after three months in the role or how they can grow in the position. Potential employees like to picture themself in the role and where it will take them in the upcoming months.
Define the Experience Necessary
After the position overview, you should provide details of the experience and qualifications that you expect your ideal candidate to have. For example, list the expected degree requirements that are necessary for the role or the certain types of technology and business tools that they should be familiar with.
If you’re open to different levels of experience from your candidates and different degrees then that is totally okay, but you should still explain this towards the end of your posting. Even still, listing the minimum qualifications is a good practice.
Applicants want to know if they are qualified candidates or even too overqualified for your open position before they waste too much time in the application and interview process. The same goes for your company, you don’t want to spend time on seriously underqualified applicants if the position requires a specific degree of experience.
Salary Listings Help
Listing the position’s salary range within the job description can be enormously helpful in attracting the most talented candidates. Especially if your company offers a competitive salary and benefits package, candidates want to know.
LinkedIn reported that the highest number of candidates at 61% say that compensation is the most important part of the job description. This type of transparency provides a level of trust between you and your candidates.
The worst thing for an applicant is to get to the second round of interviews, only to find out that the pay grade is far below what they would expect, and if you’re not willing to budge, this will waste your time, as well.
Salary listings are never required for a job posting and it is understandable to not want to include that information, but it is definitely something companies should consider.
With these effective job description practices, you should be well on your way to a strong candidate pool with the perfect new hire in the near sight. Check out our blog for more ways to attract top talent.
We can help your company find those all-star candidates that guarantee a new hire with quality talent. Check out our other blog post on why recruiting is the most important business strategy and look over our recruitment services for more information.
Contact us today to get started on the search for the top talent for your company.