Job descriptions play a critical role in the recruitment process. An effective job description can attract the right candidates, set expectations for a role, and ensure a more efficient hiring process. However, poorly written job descriptions can deter qualified candidates and result in a bad hire.
This blog shares helpful information to help you craft well-written and structured job descriptions that attract top talent.
What is a Job Description?
A job description is a document that outlines the duties, responsibilities, skills, and requirements of a specific role within an organization. It serves as a tool for both employers and job seekers and provides a clear understanding of what the position entails and what a new employee can expect.
Job descriptions are essential to the recruitment process, as they help attract and identify the most suitable candidates for a position.
How to Write a Job Description
A job description typically consists of several key components that provide essential information about a specific role within an organization. It typically includes the job title, a position summary, an overview of responsibilities, necessary qualifications, and other pertinent details such as working conditions, compensation, and company culture.
The job title should be specific, concise, and accurately describe the position. Include any important keywords that jobseekers would use in a search.
According to LinkedIn, job titles with 80 characters or less receive the most clicks.
It's imperative to adhere to industry standard job titles, avoiding any internal jargon specific to your organization. Using common terminology can make it easier for candidates to find your job post and reduces the risk of confusion.
Begin your job summary with an attention-grabbing introduction that communicates the role's responsibilities and an overview of the organization.
Use this section to showcase what makes your organization unique and why candidates should want to work there. Include your mission and values, the number of employees, and any other details that describe your organization.
Make sure to include specific information regarding work location and whether this is a full-time or part-time position. These details make it easier for candidates to filter through job results.
Job Responsibilities and Expectations
This section should outline and briefly describe the position's functions, including job duties, key responsibilities, and objectives. In list format, include:
- Detailed list of job duties in order of importance
- Day-to-day tasks of the position, including insight into the work environment and typical activities
- Reporting structure and how the job impacts the business as a whole
- Supervisory responsibility, if any
Essential Qualifications and Requirements
List the essential qualifications and requirements for the position. This includes:
- Education: What type of degree or area of study is needed to perform this job successfully?
- Years of experience: Include the minimum number of years of experience required and the type of experience you seek.
- Technical skills: Specific skills needed to perform the job, including certifications or licenses.
- Soft skills: What kind of personality traits are you looking for? (Communication, critical thinking, team player)
Make sure to distinguish between "required" and "preferred" qualifications. Doing this will give candidates a clear understanding of the minimum qualifications they need for the job.
Salary and Benefits
Although listing compensation is optional, it is highly recommended.
Including salary ranges in job descriptions demonstrates your company's commitment to transparency. Plus, it can help reduce the number of unqualified applicants, saving time and resources for both the hiring team and the candidates who would not have been a good fit.
In addition to the salary and compensation package, highlight the company’s benefits and perks. This can include PTO (Paid Time Off), insurance coverage, 401(k) or retirement plans, and flexible schedules.
Keep in mind that your list can go beyond the benefits typically listed. Include any other appealing aspects of the job that can attract candidates. These details can have a big impact.
83% of job seekers say company benefits and perks significantly impact whether they accept a job offer.
Additional Information and Application Instructions
Provide any other information that the applicant should know. Do they need to submit documents with their application? Provide a URL to their LinkedIn. Etc.
Additional information could include physical requirements and efforts (lifting, standing, walking, etc.), travel requirements, or potential hazard exposure.
The application can conclude with contact information, instructions, or required documents. Keep it brief and informative.
Job Description Best Practices
In addition to the critical information listed above, there are a few other key things to remember when crafting your job descriptions.
Use Inclusive Language
Writing a job description with inclusive language is essential in ensuring your organization attracts diverse candidates. You want to use language that is welcoming to all job seekers.
Try using gender-neutral terms like they, them, and their or job titles like "Salesperson" instead of "Salesman." Be mindful of using language that someone could interpret as biased such as "young and dynamic." These terms can create a perception that you're only interested in hiring a certain type of candidate.
You can also include a statement in the job description emphasizing your company's commitment to diversity and inclusion. This statement can encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply.
Keep it Concise and Easy to Read
It's essential to keep your job description clear and concise. Your job post should use short sentences and bullet points to break up the text and make it scannable. Make sure to proofread your description and keep an eye out for redundancy.
The job descriptions that perform the best typically contain 300 - 600 words.
Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, acronyms, or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to candidates outside the field. The description should be as informative as possible without adding too much "fluff," which can deter the ideal candidate.
Ensure Job Description is SEO Optimized
Creating an SEO-optimized job posting is critical in today's digital age. Optimizing your job description helps candidates find your job listing on search engines and job boards. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Include relevant keywords or phrases candidates are likely to search for
- Write an engaging job title
- Use subheadings in the description to make it easy to read
- Include links to your company website where applicable
- Use a tone that reflects your company culture
Finally, use a tone that reflects your company culture and employer brand. If your organization is laid back and informal, use a conversational tone. If it is more professional and traditional, use a more formal style. The tone you choose will help candidates get a sense of your organization's personality and determine if they are a good fit.
Following these tips can help you create job descriptions that clearly convey a position's responsibilities, requirements, and benefits while appealing to a diverse pool of candidates.
Interested in learning how an RPO partner can support your talent acquisition needs? Connect with us today!