In the last post, we discussed the cost of a poorly written job description; now we’ll get into even more specifics in terms of putting together the actual description. As you put everything together, keep these dos and don’ts in mind. (Some of them may echo from the previous post, but they’re worth mentioning again!)
- Consider a “Three Bears” approach when writing it: Not too vague but not overly specific, either. Too vague, and you’ll attract candidates that don’t fit what you want because the description is too broad…or you won’t bring in candidates you do want because you haven’t added any keywords they would use to search. Too specific and you might drive away qualified job seekers who feel they don’t have the specific skills or experience needed, when in reality their background could work quite well.
- Use the job description for more than just the search: Create a job description that clearly defines duties and requirements of the employee —write an accurate description for the department’s needs. Then use this after hiring to help the new hire understand his role and manage expectations as time passes. Management can use it later during performance reviews as benchmarks and tweak it as needed.
- Consider language: Write in complete sentences, use a professional tone, and use action verbs that describe well (“advise” or “facilitate” versus “prepare” or “assist”). Keep the language simple and concise, and use words such as “occasionally” or “may” carefully and consistently when describing how often a certain duty will be performed. Stay away from acronyms and proprietary names.
- Exaggerate your requirements: Avoid writing inflated requirements for education and experience needed to do the job. Write down the minimum desired and then add a section about “preferred” background to cover your bases.
- Stray from the professional: Avoid getting too narrative or too “fun” with the job or the company description. Consider whom you want to attract. It’s fine to give an impression of a creative place to work, but remember to focus on the professional end of things. Also refer to job titles rather than names.
- Lose focus on the purpose of the description: Make sure you don’t end up writing a manual on how to do the job, and avoid adding any requirements not pertinent to that particular position. And do not write the description based on a specific individual’s qualifications. You want to cast a wide net — who knows what surprising talent you may find?
This may seem daunting to keep in mind — after all, it’s just one little job description. But it’s much bigger than that. Consider it as part of a whole and a way to add personnel who will help your company grow and prosper. If you take the time and follow these dos and don’ts, you can create a description that could help bring in your next rising star. Contact Creative Staffing for more tips or to being working with our experienced recruiting team today.