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For every one amazing job description out there, there are easily a hundred that fail to make the grade. Whether they’re poorly written or fail to accurately encapsulate the realities of the role, standard job descriptions do little to entice and inform talent. And given that the primary purpose of these posts is to hook a job seeker’s attention, it’s vital to transform your approach.
So it’s time to turn your back on the standard, copy & paste method and revolutionize how you market your positions. Candidates will read hundreds of job descriptions, and if yours don’t stand-out it massively limits your ability to find star talent.
Humble yet mighty, well crafted job descriptions can be a huge differentiator for any recruiter looking to improve quality of hire. And they can also set the tone for a positive candidate experience. It’s a no-brainer!
Here are three imperative tips to help you write great job descriptions:
1. Construct your job descriptions with inclusivity in mind
Talent comes in all forms, and if you’re not optimizing your job ads to attract candidates from underrepresented or minority backgrounds, you’re missing a massive trick. Given how in-demand certain skills are and how difficult most organizations are finding it to fill critical positions, you must make sure you’re not alienating anyone before they even get to the hiring process. These are some key things to look out for:
- Avoid any gendered or ableist language. Keep things neutral. You can even use free online tools like The Gender Decoder to help you with this.
- Don’t include superfluous requirements – if a particular skill or qualification isn’t essential, leave it out.
- Invest in some DEI training to really understand how inclusion works and why it’s so important.
- Be transparent and inviting. Include salary ranges and CTAs that encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.
- Don’t include stock imagery if it does not actually represent the culture of your organization.
Remember: inclusive job descriptions = great job descriptions. Don’t create any unnecessary barriers to entry.
Learn more: How to write more inclusive job descriptions.
2. Keep things clear, concise, and accurate
According to Indeed, 52% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is extremely influential on their decision to apply. Given our limited attention spans, it’s so important to ensure everything you include in the posting is relevant, easy to understand, and compels the target audience to take action. Here’s our top tips:
- Include a precise and specific job title. Think about the keywords talent will be using when looking for the role.
- Avoid company-speak and jargon – anything that could confuse or alienate.
- Be aligned with your hiring manager on ‘what good looks like’ for the position and include this in your opening summary.
- Don’t include any superfluous skills, responsibilities, or qualifications.
- Show your candidate how to be successful in the role.
- Include any perks and benefits. But be sure there’s no confusion in how they could be perceived.
The best job descriptions can be consumed quickly and easily. They evoke a strong sense of what’s needed for the role and don’t leave job seekers questioning why certain requirements are included. It’s always good to sense check these things with other people.
3. Write job descriptions that focuses on them
With all of the focus on showcasing your company, fine-tuning your employer branding, and sprucing up your job descriptions it’s easy to forget this one simple rule:
It’s not about you!
Your focus is the applicant. You want to concentrate on attracting job seekers and enticing them to click that all important APPLY button. Instead of droning on about “we, us, and our” try switching the language to focus on “you, your, and yours”. This allows the applicant imagine themselves at your company and they can feel themselves being drawn to the idea of being part of the team.
Remember, there’s a human being at the other end of this process. One who is excited for new opportunities. They aren’t faceless numbers against a particular requisition load.
The ultimate aim of the job description is to catch the attention of that one, amazing candidate. Write for that person – who do you want them to be? Concentrate on that and your job descriptions will jump off the page and shine bright in the sea of mediocrity.