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How to Write Job Descriptions That Attract Great Candidates
Does your organization struggle to pull in high-quality candidates during hiring cycles? There can be a few reasons for this, but one of the most common (and easiest to fix) stumbling blocks are the job descriptions your company puts out.
What do your job descriptions look like? Are they just laundry lists of vague duties? Do they ever dive into the company’s values, mission, or personality? Many organizations diminish the chances of success of their hiring efforts by putting out job descriptions that turn candidates off and fail to meet recruitment goals.
Here are our seven tips for writing winning job descriptions that attract top talent:
Focus on the candidates you want, not the ones you don’t.
Many companies use their job ads to discourage or weed out the types of candidates they’re not interested in. Instead, focus your job description on the types of candidates you are looking for. Use specific language that speaks to your ideal candidate. What are they looking for? How can you meet their needs in a mutually beneficial way? Know the essential skills you’re looking for in a candidate and emphasize how the position impacts your organization.
Understand the position.
Before you write up the job description, familiarize yourself with the role and what it will entail. Talk with the hiring manager or team members to get a better idea of the responsibilities and daily tasks required. What education is required? What knowledge and skills are needed to succeed in the role? How many years of experience are required? When you know the job inside and out, you’ll be able to write a more accurate and targeted job description.
Include relevant keywords.
Be clear about what the job entails.
Clarify the duties of the job as explicitly as possible and explain which programs and technologies the candidate is required to be familiar with as well as how they will use these technologies on the job. When responsibilities are not clear enough in a job description, your HR team or hiring manager will find themselves sort through many resumes of unqualified candidates. Use easy-to-understand language in your job descriptions and consider adding percentages to let candidates know how integral each skill or activity is to the overall job.
Explain your company culture.
Top talent often wants the values of the company they work for to match their personal values. Job candidates want to know what your company stands for in addition to what you do. Include information about your mission statement, or a link where they can learn more. By explaining your company culture and values, you’ll be better positioned to attract candidates that are a match and will be more likely to succeed within your organization.
Additionally, write your job description in the "voice" of your brand. This is more interesting to read than boring copy or confusing jargon, and it also gives another look into your organization.
Make it readable.
Your job description should be easy to scan. Separating the job description into separate sections and using bullet points increases readability and allows candidates to quickly scan for important information.
Include application instructions.
Don’t forget to include specific instructions on how you want candidates to apply, whether it be via a job board, your company website, by email, or another method. Clearly explain the steps you want candidates to take. This can also help you weed out candidates that don’t follow directions or show a lack of attention to detail.