In the sometimes hectic world of hiring and recruiting, job descriptions can seem like an afterthought. When it comes to finding and attracting top talent; however, they are a critical part of your hiring process. Just as there are stronger candidates for each position you need to fill, there are stronger job descriptions that can help you attract the right talent. In fact, effective job descriptions can:
- Lead to well-informed, enthusiastic candidates
- Simplify the hiring process by providing thorough information upfront
- Result in fewer unqualified resumes, saving you time and money
Four key tips for creating better job descriptions
To help you craft better, more effective job descriptions, I’ve compiled a list of top tips. Then, I’ll break down a job description to show you those tips in action. First, here are my top four tips for creating effective job descriptions:
1. Use good formatting. At the end of the day, even the most well-written job description will be impossible to decipher unless it’s properly formatted. That means using simple bulleted lists instead of thrown-together, long paragraphs. Short sentences and bullets are also easier to read, especially on mobile devices. Bolded headers help differentiate sections and allow candidates to find relevant information quickly. Proper formatting doesn’t require high technical skills, just a few minutes to ensure your information is presented properly.
2. Include enough (correct) details. For any position, but particularly for temporary or temp-to-hire assignments, thorough details of the job and company are critical for effective job descriptions. This sets realistic expectations for the candidate. When you’re working with a staffing firm like Palo Alto Staffing Services, it’s critical for you to share every detail about a position before we work on finding you the right candidate. By sharing all the details of a position (even minor), we’re able to craft a job description that fully prepares candidates for the roles within your company.
3. Be enthusiastic. Just as you are reviewing candidates to find a match for your open positions, candidates are also “interviewing” your business. The job description is often the first glance at your company and the position, and it is a critical step in relationship-building with your candidates and employees. As such, you want to convey a positive image from the start.
4. Know your audience. Understanding who will be viewing and applying to your job postings can affect the language you use within a job posting. Take a minute before crafting your job descriptions to think about who will be reading them, and use those insights to craft a message that is likely to resonate and drive them to apply. It can be easy to hand off tips on how to create an effective job description, but not as easy to implement them. Let’s take a look at a recent job posting we posted here at Palo Alto Staffing Services, and see those tips in action:
Exciting Inside Sales opportunity for recent college grads!
Palo Alto Staffing has partnered with a leader in Customer Care for Medical Alert Services in Santa Clara, CA to identify an Inside Sales Representative to join their growing team. Apply today! The ideal candidate is a hard-working, ambitious, reliable, team player who enjoys sales and is eager to learn! This is a full-time position for someone with good writing/communication skills, email and internet experience. As an Inside Sales Representative, you will be responsible for high volume cold calling, managing a sales funnel, and working as part of a start-up team.
Nurture opportunities through the sales cycle to close. Building prospect lists, pipeline, cold-calling, closing deals.·
- High volume outbound calls to facilitate sales.·
- Strive to consistently improve sales ability and product knowledge·
- Maintain accurate status information in your customer database
- 0-3 years of work experience in a fast-paced sales or telesales capacity
- Excellent phone/email/customer service skills.
- Prior sales experience and understanding of the sales qualification process
- The ability to “connect”‘ with customers
- A high energy, enthusiastic and effective communicator
- Ability to work as part of a performance-based team
- A self-motivated hustler
- Solid working knowledge of Microsoft Office and the Internet
- Experience with customer relationship management software
- University or college degree
Competitive compensation includes base and commission on the business you bring in.
My colleague Elaine did a great job with this posting! Here’s a breakdown of her success with this job description:·
- First, she uses formatting that makes the information extremely easy to read and understand. Her bulleted points are concise and clear, and her headers are simple to navigate.·
- Next, she provides detailed information about the day-to-day tasks of the position, as well as the skills that will be necessary. Those details are critical when attracting top talent to your opening.·
- Then, she uses strong language to demonstrate a genuine enthusiasm for the position and the hiring process in the opening paragraph, speaking directly to candidates. Finally, by using a headline that attracts a key demographic to the position, Elaine has effectively generated interest from a target group of candidates. Throughout the job description, her language is suitable and enticing for that target group.
I’ve saved one of the most important reasons for making sure you write effective job descriptions for last – they are a key differentiator in the war for talent. Odds are the competition is looking for the same types of talent as your organization. By taking a few minutes to carefully craft your job descriptions, you’ll be a step ahead of other employers when it comes to attracting candidates and demonstrating the value of your organization in helping them reach their career goals.