Organizations must overcome some pretty intense challenges. You must adapt to the ever-changing marketplaces and typically wear many hats in order to keep your organization running efficiently.
One hat in particular that can make or break the future of a company is the role of hiring manager. One of the easiest way to get ahead of the competition here is to start with an effective job description.
By investing the time and effort into writing a strong job description, you will enable your organization to accurately announce the opportunity and obtain the most qualified applicants.
For organizations who are new to the hiring game or those who want to tweak their process to attract greater talent, use the following tips for inspiration:
Craft a perfect title.
For job postings, you have a small window of opportunity to gain someone’s attention. Some candidates will simply quickly scan and move on if they don’t think your job title is what they’re looking for.
Get descriptive, thorough and get real. Skip nouns like “superstar” or “hero” in the actual title as those words can decrease your credibility and chances of appearing in a search engine. Give the job seeker a considerable amount of information in the title to motivate them to read more.
Hint: Don’t know where to start? Do a little competitive intelligence research. Search the titles of similar open positions and gain inspiration from the best approaches.
What to include.
A good job description should include an overview of the responsibilities, requirements of the position (including skills, education or special certifications), and whether the position is full-time, part-time or seasonal.
You will also want to represent your brand in a way that the candidate can learn a bit about what you do in the creative way you would want to portray it. But don’t start with that. Begin the posting with details about the job and then mention your company towards the end. It’s not all about you. It’s about how the person can help the company reach its fullest potential.
Customize for culture.
Describe how the particular role plays into your company’s mission and culture. You not only want to hire a person who has the right technical skills, but you want to also ensure he or she will be a great cultural fit.
Mention upcoming projects the candidate will be able to work on to showcase the opportunity for career growth in your organization.
Experiment with different approaches that speaks to the type of role you need fulfilled. Hiring a customer service representative? An opening line could be: “Do you love interacting with people? Great. Keep reading.”
Depending on your industry, you may have more opportunity to get creative in your writing without going overboard.
Flexibility in requirements.
Printing an exhaustive list of requirements and skills may deter a great candidate from applying. You don’t want to scare away applicants who might lack a few skills but don’t lack the enthusiasm and desire to learn and grow. List your most important requirements and be open-minded if you decide to take the discussion further.
This one is simple. Think about it. Would you feel comfortable applying to a job where the company spelled its own name wrong? Don’t rush things and publish just to get it done. Have a second or third set of eyes read over your posting.
Keep mobile in mind.
Many job seekers are using their phones to look for new positions. To keep this audience in mind, stay away from lengthy paragraphs in your posting and instead opt for bullet points and subheaders. This is a great way to break up the content for those who are simply scanning.
How to apply.
A great job description means nothing if you don’t have a quick, yet detailed explanation on how the candidate should apply. Do you want them to call, email or visit your career page? Don’t forget this small step so your efforts will not be wasted.
To avoid the astonishingly high cost of turnover and keep amazing people working for you, begin with a standout job description. Remember, a job posting is a great opportunity to make a good impression online; be sure that your brand is properly represented.
Ready to hire?
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Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your own plan.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.