How to Craft Great Job Descriptions

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Job Descriptions

Job descriptions. Wanted ads. Job Postings. Whatever you call them, they’re the first step toward getting a new member of your team. They’re the first step to finding exactly the person you need to get things moving forward. They’re the first step on the way to plugging all the gaps in your organization.

Or at least they should be. Sometimes things don’t work out that way.

You’ll put up your job posting and nothing will happen. Or maybe you’ll get a bunch of copy/pasted cover letters and resumes written in a language that isn’t quite English. Whatever the reason, you’re not getting the results you want from your job posts.

You already know the kind of candidate you want for the position. You can already imagine the kind of dedicated, the forward-thinking worker you’d like to have applied. Why can’t you get somebody like that to just apply so you can hire them?

There could be many reasons. But one reason you should consider is that your job postings might not be getting seen, or they might even be driving away the top-quality candidates. This is a serious recruiting problem for you and your organization. Let’s look into a few possibilities for solving it.

Make Sure Jobseekers Can Find Your Postings

The best job posting in the world won’t do you any good if nobody ever sees it. So the first task is to make sure it actually gets seen.

How do you do that? First of all, you should make sure to optimize your post for SEO, identifying the keywords that are most likely to matter for the candidates you want.

You should also post your job descriptions in multiple locations. This includes job sites like Monster and Indeed, niche sites within your industry, and social media sites. LinkedIn and Twitter can get some of the best results for businesses—especially if you use your hashtags effectively!

Ask Advice from Top Performers in the Field

Look at it this way: let’s say you’re hiring a sales executive. Do you think a hiring manager is likely to automatically know exactly the kind of job posting that will attract a high-quality candidate? Or do you think it would be a good idea to ask the top salespeople in the company what they would look for in a promising job posting?

I’ll get a little deeper into this in the next point, but it’s valuable to keep in mind that the top performers in the field can offer real insight into what other top performers in the field think and care about.

Include the Information Jobseekers Care About

Here’s the point: when you’re writing a job posting, you’re selling the position to the top candidates. The best candidates can work wherever they want. You need to know what they want so you can show it to them in your posting.

This can mean an effective job posting includes some information you would like to keep quiet. Top-performing candidates are often very interested in salaries and salary ranges and may be discouraged from applying if they see a posting that doesn’t include this information. On the other hand, offering a truly competitive salary in the posting can help to attract hesitant high-performers.

Cultivate Your Employer Brand

Remember: when you’re writing your job posting, you’re selling the position to the candidates. The best candidates out there can work just about anywhere they want. So that means you want to treat them with the same care and concern that you would treat anyone else you’re trying to sell to.

When it comes to job postings, this can be done through formatting. It can be done through eye-catching visual design. It can be done by setting up a certain brand style. Make sure candidates know when they’ve read a job posting from your company, and make sure they remember who it came from. 

When in Doubt, Talk to a Recruiter

When all is said and done, we’re talking about getting the right candidates to your company. Sometimes the right job posting is the way to do that. On the other hand, sometimes it’s better to call in a professional.

The right recruiter has spent a lifetime bringing the right candidates to the right connections. The business of recruiting deals with exactly the kinds of problems we’ve been talking about in this post. And the right recruiter is working on problems like these all the time. So if you’ve been struggling to bring in the top candidates, it might be time to talk to a recruiter.

About The Author

Jeffrey Audette is the President of VMG Recruiting. With over 25 years of experience in recruiting, Jeff has partnered with small, medium, and Fortune 500 firms, helping them to find the talent they need. You can learn more at VMGT.com or contact Jeff at jeff@vmgt.com.

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