A clear and concise job description is key in order to attract suitable and qualified candidates to your business. If a candidate isn’t sure what the job entails then they will be unsure if they should apply for the position. Here we offer some tips and advice on writing an effective job description.
It’s worth noting that most job seekers are now using mobile phones or tablets to search for vacancies so avoid large blocks of text, instead break the job description up with headings and bullet points so the reader can skim over at their leisure,
Be direct and personal
Don’t say ‘the ideal candidate’ or similar phrase/s. Be direct and personal and make sure the applicant feels as if you’re talking to him/her. This conveys the message that your business puts their trust in the reader while simultaneously showing the human side of the company.
The job title should accurately describe the nature of the job but be generic enough to be compared to similar jobs in your industry. Use clear, simple, descriptive words and stay away from jargon or unnecessarily flowery language. According to studies, the ideal length for a job title is 50-60 characters.
Many readers tend to skim the job description so make sure you avoid long, wordy paragraphs. Instead, use bullet points and shorter lines of text that include important keywords so that the eye picks up on these when scanning. Summarise the job responsibilities, including the purpose and objectives. Positions in small companies usually involve multiple tasks, so include everything you expect the employee to take on.
To attract the right candidates, make sure you ‘sell the job’ and show how exciting working for your company can be, but at the same time don’t oversell it either. Misalignment of expectations is a common cause for early employee turnover which starts with the job description. Include exciting details and benefits about the day-to-day operations within your company, as well as opportunities for growth, but stay true to yourself.
Potential applicants will want to know who they are applying to so include a brief overview of the business, the core services and products, the markets the business operates in, any notable achievements, its unique selling point and hopes for the future. Also include a relevant website address for further information.
Skills and Qualifications
List all of the skills necessary you want the employee to perform at the highest level. Some on-the-job training is of course to be expected, however you will want the new employee to hit the ground running. It is also advisable to include other more general competencies that you may require such as good communication skills, team player, initiative, leadership etc. If the job requires specific qualifications, professional certification or a minimum level of education you need to also make this clear.
You obviously need to include a salary however a salary range can increase the number of applications you receive. If the salary will be based on experience, provide a range that can give applicants a better indication of whether or not the job is right for them. This then saves you the time of interviewing candidates who are looking for more money. Also include any commission/bonus that could be offered to raise the OTE.
Include any benefits your company offers in addition to the salary such as company car/allowance, flexible working, child care support, clothing, meals, transport, medical insurance, health club membership etc.
End with a powerful call-to-action
Include a strong call to action at the bottom of the job description encouraging high quality candidates to submit their application and remind them how they can apply.