5 Tips for Writing Job Descriptions That Don’t Suck


by Brie Reynolds, Recruiter.com

In the past, hiring managers had their pick of candidates to choose from. Even with ho-hum job descriptions, your average hiring manager often found themselves inundated with job applications from eager job seekers.

Not so anymore.

Ask any recruiter, and they’ll tell you that today’s talent market isn’t what it used to be. Sure, there is a wealthy of potentially amazing job candidates to choose from, but here’s the rub: As the recruiter, you now have to work to attract these candidates. They’re not as eager to please you as they used to be!

Top-tier candidates know that they can pretty much pick and choose positions as they please, and today’s high-performing job seekers want a lot from employers. It’s up to a recruiter to ensure that their company’s job descriptions can woo a rock star job seeker.

Use These 5 Tips to Write Job Descriptions That Don’t Suck:

  1. Tell a Story

Does your job description do an accurate job of portraying what your company is all about? Probably not.

“You have one minute to put your best foot forward in a very compelling, yet clear and informative way,” says Kristin Thomas, director of employer partnerships at FlexJobs.

Take the time to help job seekers get to know your company by including a bit of history, some accolades, and more importantly, information about your company’s mission and culture. Those latter two factors are especially important to today’s job seekers, and they may carry enough weight on their own to attract some A-level applicants.

  1. Flaunt the Flex

Because more and more job seekers are looking for flexible work, it makes sense for you to include information about potential flexible work arrangements in your job description. If the job you’re hiring for allows telecommuting but you don’t include that information in the job description, then top-tier telecommuting candidates will probably skip right over your advertisement.

Make it a point to showcase potential workplace flexibility in every job description (i.e., full-time or part-time telecommuting, job sharing, compressed workweek schedules, etc.), and you’ll be guaranteed to have a larger pool of candidates to choose from.

  1. Do Some Digging

While some recruiters might think that job seekers need to jump through hoops in order to earn the privilege to work for their company, the opposite is actually true. In order to secure (and retain) the very best talent out there, you’ll need to find out what your ideal employee is looking for in a position. Does your company offer remote work options? Will it pay for additional training or allow your employee to go back to school? Does your company have a stellar company culture that nurtures its employees? Do some research to uncover what job seekers are looking for — and then be sure to include that information in the job descriptions you write.

  1. Write It the Right Way

Sure, everyone can write, but some people are naturally better at it than others. You don’t want your job descriptions to sound stilted, or worse, like a machine wrote them.

It might be a good idea to ask someone who is a good writer — preferably one of your employees — to help you write or edit your job descriptions. A well-written job description can help you reach the right type of job seekers and vastly increase the number of qualified applications you receive.

  1. Highlight the Differences

You may think that your company is a well-known name in the field, but you have to assume that a potential candidate has never heard of your company before — no matter how big it is. That’s why it’s important — particularly if there’s a job candidate you really want to bring onto your team — that you make your company stand out. Without directly naming your competitors, you need to showcase what makes your company the best choice to work for.

“Why should they pick your company? What makes you special? What’s in it for them?” are just some of the questions that Thomas recommends you ask yourself as you write your job descriptions.

If your job descriptions suck, you’ll never find the right talent. Make sure your job postings are stellar by implementing some of these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to hiring the most qualified candidates out there!

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