Hiring the right team members is so important when you’re in the initial stages of growing and scaling your company. You want to work alongside people you trust to execute your vision and genuinely like and respect on a human-to-human level. The best way to ensure your team members all fit this criteria is a strong, clear job description that states exactly what you are looking for in a future employee.
If you’re not familiar with the hiring process, a job description will, of course, describe the role you are hiring for, in addition to listing the tasks and responsibilities of that role along with the skills and experience needed to qualify for the position. At a glance, it should give potential applicants an idea of whether or not they are a good match for the job.
But not all job descriptions are created equal. If you aren’t ultra-specific, you run the risk of attracting applicants who are unqualified or otherwise unaligned with the position. To avoid this, keep reading for my top eight tips on how to write a job description that will attract your DREAM team members!
Every day, millions of people are searching for and applying to new jobs. This makes SEO an extremely important factor when crafting your job description, and the best way to nail your SEO in the case of a job description is to be extremely clear and literal. You may think it’s fun and creative to give your open position a funky title, but doing so is actually making it more difficult for your ideal candidates to find your position and apply.
Consider the job search process from a candidate’s point of view. Serious candidates aren’t searching for terms like “social media magician.” They’re searching for “social media manager” or “social media specialist.” When writing your job descriptions, try to home in on the EXACT keywords your target audience is searching for, and consider adding in words that will clarify the seniority of the position. It seems simple, but posting the position under a recognisable, keyword-friendly title really will help bring in qualified applicants, as that’s what candidates will be searching for.
If you want to attract qualified applicants who are a good fit for your company culture as a whole, it’s a good idea to include a well-crafted company summary using language that will resonate with the type of candidate you wish to hire. Then, briefly summarise what the role is while highlighting the greater impact of the work as a whole.
Once you have the candidate’s attention, you can continue to excite them about the position by detailing the included benefits package. Instead of simply listing all of your company perks, use examples to help candidates envision how the benefit can bring value to their lives. If there’s no dress code, you can mention how relaxed and comfortable the office vibe is. If you offer work-from-home flexibility, touch on how that can improve work-life balance.
When it comes to compensation, it’s best to provide an honest range that isn’t too wide so that your applicants have an idea of what they can expect. Avoid vague descriptors like “competitive” or “commensurate with experience.”
If your company offers better-than-average benefits or salaries, this section can be a real differentiator and drive many more candidates to apply — so definitely don’t leave it out!
This section is usually the one that applicants dread reading the most (because it can occasionally create stress or overwhelm). You definitely don’t want this to be the first or last thing they see for that reason, so sandwich it right here in the middle and keep it only as long as it needs to be. The more trivial your prerequisites are, the more qualified candidates you’ll scare away.
If you aren’t sure what requirements make sense, consider:
- What skills and experience does this person need in order to be able to execute their tasks independently? Is this reliant on an amount of time or an ability to complete certain tasks to a desired standard?
- Are you looking for specific levels of completed education? Why?
- What type of personality profile would best fit the role? Is it fast-paced and quick-moving or slower and more relaxed?
When crafting the list of responsibilities your applicant will be taking over, remember that the wording and language you use has the potential to generate a ton of excitement and promise in your most passionate, promising candidates. For this reason, use strong, empowering verbs to describe the responsibilities of the role. It can also be helpful to candidates to break tasks down by percentage so they can see where the bulk of their work will lie.
You also need to be REALISTIC about the scope of the job responsibilities. When we’re hiring for a position we haven’t actually done ourselves, we often have a tendency to overestimate what is possible for one person to realistically take on. To avoid this, you should not only be researching what the responsibilities of this job role are on a larger scale, but actively reaching out to people with similar positions to seek feedback on reasonable expectations.
Finally, don’t forget to be extremely clear about the level of responsibility the role requires. Will this person make solo contributions or are they leading, managing, or collaborating with others? Where do they fall in the organizational structure and within the context of the team or the department?
Believe it or not, the use of jargon, gendered language, culturally-specific expressions, and insider language can actually alienate great candidates.
For example, words like “go-getter” or “driven” could suggest you prefer younger candidates. Job seekers see “nurturing” and may wonder if the company is looking for a female. The safest way to stop this problem before it can occur is to read through your job description and remove any language that would historically suggest one type of person is preferred over another.
As the CEO of your company, you’ll be doing yourself a MASSIVE service by reframing job descriptions as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and attract highly qualified dream candidates who are excited to work with your organization – rather than ones who are just sending in yet another application they feel “meh” about.
As an expert business consultant, I can help you craft an amazing job description that will have perfect candidates lining up the door to work with you in no time. The best part? We can get it done in under 90 minutes during a strategy session! Click here to learn more about booking yours today.