Write Better Job Descriptions to Attract Best Talent – 16 Tips



What types of applicants do you want to attract?

To inspire the best candidates to apply for your opening, there are at least 16 strategies to incorporate in your job description.

Don’t make the mistake of designing a job description merely to screen out applicants. Instead, focuses on attracting the type of people you want working for your organization.

High performing applicants want to work for a winner. That means explaining your company culture, what the position entails, and what it means to the applicants’ future.

franky242Here are 16 strategies:

1. Know the position well

Don’t take shortcuts. Know the position well. Understand that this new job description is an opportunity to increase the value of your human capital.

Check with the employee currently working in that position. Talk with the other people who did the work. Ask them all to give you a list of their daily responsibilities.

However, anticipate the possibility that you’ll need a better-performing employee. So analyze the strengths and shortcomings of these people. Don’t just take their understanding of the job requirements.

It might seem to be premature, but start thinking how you’ll screen resumes to hire an impact person. Visualize what you want to enhance your culture, and the attributes needed to upgrade the skill levels.

2. Think about the tone of the job description

Make sure it’s a friendly tone of writing that will also mirror your organization’s brand.

For example, if you want to fill a position that requires creativity, walk the talk. Don’t just indicate you want a creative person. You must also be creative in your description.

3. Use an updated template

Even though you are stretched for time, don’t be in a rush. Avoid the tendency to merely using the original job description for recruiting the new hire.

Think about how the job has evolved and how it will evolve in the future.

4. Start with a captivating title

The title should be written first. You should consider what will attract the right applicants.

Make the sure the rest of the copy supports the title. The best applicants will be curious how the position will impact their careers. They want to be challenged and add skills.

5. Highlight your company values

Your copy should immediately appeal to high performers to let them know your organization shares their personal and professional values.

An academic study shows that many job postings are gender biased. A diverse workplace leads to innovation, problem-solving and enhanced enterprise communication. Make certain your recruiting enhances diversity, not sexism.

Think like a marketing professional as you write. Give the readers a feel for your company culture. Describe your company well in telling why the organization is a great place to work.

6. Make your post easy to scan

Job seekers are busy, too. They’re quickly scanning job postings. Use an economy of words – verbiage that’s succinct.

Make your job description is readable – easy to read and understand. Separate the paragraphs of your sections with headlines. And use bulleted lists.

7. Avoid jargon and abbreviations

Don’t assume every applicant will be familiar with your organization. They might not know your industry’s idioms and abbreviations. Provide ample context about your company.

8. Seek accomplished applicants, not just experience

People with the most experience aren’t always the most talented. You’ll risk hiring someone who only delivers mediocrity.

Don’t screen out applicants who have the most talent. Be lucid about the talents that are required. If you can, even use percentages in detailing each of the responsibilities.

9. List specific skill requirements

Avoid using broad or generic phrases. Be specific in your language. For instance, mention the specific program and technology knowledge the successful candidate must have.

10. Ascertain whether to insert salary information

If you’re looking for a high level person or executive, you probably don’t want to publicize salary information.  Typically, sophisticated people prefer confidentiality.

However, if it doesn’t matter include a salary range and benefits. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation.

11. Capitalize on mobility

These days, many people, especially Millennials, primarily use mobile devices. They don’t like scrolling down unnecessarily.

So anticipate how your posting will appear on mobile devices. Get a competitive edge with other employers by getting to the meat of your listing right away.

For instance, if you must include internal codes and requisition numbers, put them as low as possible in your listing. They might not be an obstacle to quick reading on a large screen, but they are on mobile devices.

12. Refrain from using red flags

Don’t waste space with extraneous copy. Write a classy listing. Don’ include obvious red flags – verbiage such as, “This is not a scam.”

13. Call to action

Make it easy for applicants to apply — give directions on how to apply with a call to action.

Many people aren’t able to follow directions or who aren’t detail-oriented. Your directions will help screen out undesirable applicants.

14. Proofread your copy

Again, in this case, walk the talk. Quality people want quality employers. Fix any grammatical errors and typos to attract the best people.

To enhance your chances in checking your copy, try reading it aloud. It will help you to spot errors.

15. Share the listing with your employees

Consider the phrase: “Birds of a feather flock together.” Similar people tend to associate with each other. Leverage your best employees as centers of influence – to attract other high-quality applicants.

Encourage them to share the information within their networks. Budget permitting, incentivize them to post on their social media and consider paying finding fees (especially if they know you pay fees to recruiters).

16. Post in relevant arenas

Referrals often yield the best candidates. If you have a specialized opening, use LinkedIn. Find the right groups to launch a discussion.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more recruitment strategies:

Need to Hire a Professional? Advertising Tips to Attract the Best Talent — Whether your business has grown so you need to hire a key professional or you’re replacing a person, there are certain advertising-recruitment tips to use.

Management/HR – How to Increase Profits via Employee Turnover — As cost centers, human resources have opportunities to shine whenever they act as profit centers. And employee turnover presents opportunities for companies to make money.

HR Management: Think Like a Sales Pro to Recruit the Best Talent — One-size-fits-all approach to recruiting employees is not a strategy. You and your peers in human resources might be enamored with technology, but job candidates want more focus on the personal touch. That necessitates thinking like a sales professional.

Increase Profits by Hiring Talent with the Best Trait — Enthusiasm — You’ll increase your odds for profits with high-performing employees with the right culture — if you hire for the right personality trait – enthusiastic people. That’s right. Look for people who have the makeup to being committed and who will care for the welfare of your company. You’ll increase your chances for the strongest results.

Recruiting an IT Professional for Your Small Firm? 6 Tips for the Right Skills — Are you looking to add information technology personnel? You want to hire for a competitive edge, right? IT is a crucial position for you. The difference between failure and success requires reflection to hire for the right competencies.

Diversity: Political Correctness or the Right Thing for Your Business? — Whenever you hire a new employee, you surely want a return on your investment of time, energy and money in your recruitment and hiring process. But in affirmative action plans you might face obstacles — primarily, from your culture. Here’s what to do.

“Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus”
-Jim Collins


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of franky242 at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.