A brilliant new job vacancy is not just going to fill itself. To attract the right calibre of candidates- who may not even be actively looking for a new challenge- a job description is important to sell the role and company. Besides, how will candidates know what they are applying for- or why they should apply- if they do not fully understand the scope of the job and what is on offer?
The job description can serve as the first impression of your company to potential candidates; how you convey your company and the role will influence how they perceive you, in addition to how they talk about you to others.
These are our 9 simple steps for writing a job description:
1. Who the company is and what they do
Although it may seem obvious, but stating the name of your company and providing a description of what you do can mean the difference between a candidate applying or not. Stating the name of the company- if possible- allows for candidates to conduct research prior to applying, giving them a greater understanding of the company; useful when it comes to the application process, as well as identifying how they would fit within the company.
2. Job Title
The job title is usually what people are searching for when they are looking for a job. When writing the job description, it is important to research similar roles competitors are advertising for, as a benchmark for similar responsibilities and how they are being showcased in a job title. In addition to aiding in attracting the right candidate, the way a job is presented in a job title can influence the way candidates approach the role.
3. Job summary
A brief overview of what the role is, main responsibilities and its importance within the team and company is beneficial as a glimpse of what is on offer. The summary should be relatively short and concise, but convincing for candidates to read further into the description.
4. Key responsibilities & main tasks
Outlining the key responsibilities and tasks of the job role allows for potential candidates to match themselves to the job, in order to gage their relevance. It is important to keep the responsibilities as short as possible, remembering to still be outcome based; containing an action, object and purpose.
5. Person specification
The person specification is a profile of the ideal person to fill the role. Specifying in detail the type of person you are looking for, including the desired skills and qualifications, not only avoids any potential problems with a poor cultural fit once the candidate has started, but also will aid in justifying how suitable they are for the role.
Including the location of the job is another indicator of a candidate’s relevance to the role. Along with job title, location is a key search criteria candidates use when identifying suitable roles to apply to; thus likely to attract a candidate in a viable location to travel from. In addition, if travel is involved in the role, this should be outlined along with the amount of time the candidate could expect to be travelling for.
7. Scope for progression
Potential for promotions and career progression can be key selling points of a job and company, with 60% of candidates considering it the most attractive perk of a job. Including scope for these potential opportunities can further entice applicants to apply.
It has been argued that disclosing the salary in the job description can put a company at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating a salary, and other companies woo-ing your candidate with a different offer. Discussing the salary in a face to face conversation instead of including it in a job description allows for the company to get to know the candidate better. This also allows room for variances of the salary according to the calibre and fit of the candidate to the job.
9. Company culture
The company culture is important to include in a job description by providing candidates with an indication of what it is like to work in the environment; where candidates can compare it with a company culture they favour. This can be beneficial in the long run as employees are often most satisfied and motivated when their culture and values are consistent with those of an employer.
If you have a new job vacancy opening up in your company, WorkAdvisor can assist you with finding the right candidate for you.