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How to Write Effective Job Descriptions

A job description is at the crux of your entire hiring process, playing a key role in attracting a strong candidate pool. These good candidates generally know that they are in demand and won’t jump through unnecessary hoops to apply for your job.

Keep in mind that the current contemporary hiring process, in a way, takes a marketing approach. To get the best person for the job, you must first get prospects interested. You will have to make the position seem attractive first. But how?

An effective job description is the only way to grab the attention of top candidates for the job.

With this article, we break down some of the most important elements of a good job description. If you wish to know more, read on!

Essential components of a job description

To be able to write an attractive job description, you need to know what elements to include. Once these elements, if executed perfectly, come together, you will have successfully crafted a job description that:

  • Strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and excitement
  • Filters out and attracts some of the best candidates for the role

To be able to do this, your job description must include the following components:

Precise information regarding the position: The job description must be skimmable and highlight all key information for the candidate. This includes the title, role, responsibilities, salary, organizational hierarchy, etc.

Company information: A good job description essentially markets your entire company. Why would they want to work with your company? Answer this question for the candidate by including your brand image, industry position, achievements, work culture, etc.

A good structure: All of this vital information must be condensed in a very skimmable structure. Try and include bullet points to make things easier for the candidate. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Builtin, 83.33% of all the excellent job descriptions they have read included bullet points.

A well-crafted job description is very important for all types of hiring methods, especially referral hiring. In fact, a study once concluded that 82% of employers who participated in it said that referral hiring yields a better return on investment (ROI).

Therefore, a strong referral hiring program with the perfect job description can bring in some exciting talent. The final piece of this hiring puzzle is automation. Suitable AI can bring this automation element into your referral hiring process. The idea is to streamline the recruitment process through one consolidated platform.

So, let’s go back to the question, why would the candidate want to work for you? Here’s an example to answer that question.

Suppose you are a tech company looking for an experienced individual to fill a particular job role. Simultaneously, Microsoft makes the same position available.

Now, the only way an experienced candidate would even consider your job application is if the job description catches their eye. Once you have them hooked, you reel them in and usher some more talent into your company.

4 tips for writing an effective job description

Now that you know what an effective job description must include, here is how you must put it all together:

1.    Begin with an engaging overview of the position

This is where you sell the position to an in-demand candidate. You need to introduce a brief overview of the position, including the following points:

  • The overall role and function of the employee.
  • Their contribution to the company
  • Their contribution to the whole industry

Note: Try and use bullet points in this section. Moreover, do not make this section too long. Shorter job posts receive 8.4% more applications per view, so keep them concise.

2.    Get the position title right and avoid superlatives

Make sure you present your company in the best light. Companies often make mistakes by including superlatives to convey laid-back company culture.

Use simple language, and strike the perfect balance between professional and friendly. Try not to tip the scales too heavily on either side.

3.    Listed responsibilities need to focus on the idea of growth & development

Please do not follow a monotonous flow while listing employee responsibilities. Here are some things you must remember while drafting the responsibilities section:

  • Avoid long bullet points and focus only on the critical aspects.
  • Group responsibilities together only if the candidates clearly understand the role.
  • Candidates need to feel a sense of excitement when they read the list of roles and responsibilities.
  • Include future company projections as an opportunity for them to grab.
4.    Create a sense of urgency and promote company culture subtly

You need to create a sense of urgency to bring in prospects immediately. Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind:

  • Include starting dates even if the requirement isn’t urgent.
  • If you miss this detail, there is a chance the candidate might take the position for granted.
  • Highlight all the available amenities, flexible schedules, etc.
  • Include a list of things that the employee can expect from the company.
Additional things to avoid while writing a job description

Here is a list of things to steer clear of while writing an effective job description:

  • Stay away from biased and discriminatory language. (e.g., 10-year experience as a requirement eliminates younger candidates)
  • Never use a negative tone in your job description. Instead of: ‘Individuals with less than X experience will not be considered,’ you can include something like ‘A senior level position that requires prior and proven experience in the role.’
  • Using jargon in job titles
  • A never-ending list of responsibilities
  • A job description that is not optimized for search engines. In order to apply for your company, candidates need to find it.
Wrapping up

An effective job description is vital for a successful hiring process, especially if you have shifted your focus to referral hiring. As we mentioned earlier, you need something to hook the top candidates and reel them in.

But to do that, you will need bait (i.e., job description). Only the quality of the bait will determine how many fish it attracts.

So, include all the essential components, follow the above steps, and make the perfect job description—one which will make the candidate want to promote themselves to your company.

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