How to Write Great Job Descriptions to Attract the Right Talent

As a business, you want to attract the best of the best. To do that, you’ll want to know how to write job descriptions that get job-seekers excited!

More than 11 million people handed in their resignations during the months of April, May, and June 2021. From all indications and a surging COVID infection rate, it’s likely not over. After a year of suffering through a global pandemic, the world is no longer the same place it was before. 

The workforce is changing. It seems that for once, the power is in the hands of the labor force. Employers are using job descriptions to cater to the workforce.

The reason for what’s being dubbed as the Great Resignation are many. Some employers are demanding that employees come back to the office. After embracing the greater flexibility of WFH policies, many workers know that it’s easy to find a job that will let them work remotely. 

Other reasons include employers that behaved poorly during the pandemic, employees moving due to population dispersal, and more. Employers are grasping at straws to try to make sense of this new reversal of power. 

Sometimes, it just boils down to bad job descriptions. When you’re trying to attract and retain top talent, the job details are everything. 

That’s why we’ve assembled a guide to help you write job descriptions that attract the right talent for the job! Armed with the right knowledge and a little luck, you can attract employees in no time.

Streamline the Process

Recruiters and hiring managers are starting to spill their secrets. LinkedIn has become a place where professionals are trying to promote transparency. 

That’s how job seekers know that descriptions can be complete nonsense. Often, they weren’t written by someone in your industry or department. They could have been copy-pasted and reused dozens of times over the years.

They might not even be up-to-date. The truth is, inaccurate job descriptions are costing you the top talent you would otherwise attract. 

Does someone need a Bachelor’s Degree to excel in this position? And is having ‘computer skills’ —to fill out an application that already requires a fair amount of digital comfort—a necessary bullet to list?

Job descriptions can stop the right candidate from even applying. But job details are crucial because they set the baseline for expectations. 

The employer is outlaying what they want to see. No matter what is said or explained in job interviews or in onboarding, it comes back to the job description. 

After all, performance is often compared to the basic activities outlined in the job details to determine promotions or raises. It’s crucial that those details be correct. 

Everyone expects their role to eventually expand beyond the bare-bones description. But at its core, the description should be accurate. 

If it’s not, you will attract people who are the wrong fit for the role. You’ll waste money hiring and firing, or hiring and receiving resignations because expectations don’t match up.

Treat Candidates with Respect

In the past, mocking job candidates was something of a pastime for some recruiters. Potential candidates who wrote their resumes in Papyrus fonts or who added gifs to their skills description were lampooned.

After reviewing thousands of resumes, a little levity on behalf of the recruiter is perhaps deserved. But many companies are equally deserving of similar treatment. 

For instance, some jobs require you to upload your resume. Then, they ask you to painstakingly fill out each entry into tiny boxes to rewrite your resume into their form fields all over again. 

Or, you’re forced to weed through company jargon with words like ‘rockstar’ and ‘wizard’ and ‘work hard, play hard’ to disguise a toxic company culture without clarity when it comes to expectations. 

For some time, the expectation was that potential candidates were beggars. They were lucky to get anyone but a robot to read their resume, much less get called in for an interview. 

This culture of disrespect on the part of some recruiters led to a dramatic reversal. Challenging the perception that ’employers just don’t care’ is key to attracting the right talent that fits your culture.

What Does It Include?

If the last person to fill this position is leaving on good terms, why not partner with them to ensure the description is accurate? For instance, maybe your receptionist always greets patients when they enter the room, asks the relevant questions, and walks them back when it’s time. 

You may hire a new receptionist that does none of that. Instead of feeling disgruntled or ready to call the new hire out, look at the job description. Your last receptionist was going beyond the job description they were hired to do. 

It’s also important that you don’t just describe the responsibilities. What skills are required? For instance, being a receptionist involves much more than just answering the phones. 

You need good interpersonal skills, an ability to de-escalate conflict, attention to detail, good organizational skills, and more. Don’t just list out these traits, because most people tend to assume they either have or can learn these traits. 

Instead, write your description in a way that combines traits and actions. This implies that one relies on the other, which is true in the real world.

It’s also important to be honest. If you’re trying to attract entry-level workers, and are paying an entry-level wage, stop requiring three years of experience to apply. 

You’re already stacking the deck against applicants. While three years isn’t a significant amount of time in career terms, it’s not entry-level. This type of frustration is what discourages the right candidate from even applying. 

Writing Good Job Descriptions

It can be tempting to dismiss the role of job descriptions when you want to attract employees. After all, it’s one piece of the overall pie when you’re trying to see if someone would be the right fit for the job and the company. 

It’s important to remember the old proverb, though. First impressions are everything, and the first impression isn’t meeting you at the interview. It’s the job description that provides an initial impression of your company.

If you enjoyed this article, why not learn more about matching the right people to the right job? Contact us today—we’d be happy to help!

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