Writing a Good Job Description
A job description serves as a toe in the water for applicants as much as employers. Creating a well- constructed job description is important on several levels, but perhaps the most important is that it helps secure a motivated employee who shares your vision for their role at the company. Finding the right candidate means representing your brand as precisely as possible, as well as creating a flexible job description to encourage applicants who desire growth and upward mobility. Employees who grow foster companies that grow. Attract the right ones by following the tips below.
Targeting the Right Candidates
The structure and language of your job description is the first tier of catching that right-for-you employee’s attention. Keep in mind that prospective employees are likely perusing multiple job listings a day or even at a time. You’ll want to keep the description concise and “scannable” so the major highlights stick out. One way of doing this is by using bullet point. Also aim for sentence structure that leaves out the subject and forms an explanatory phrase of duties, like “Greet clients and answer questions in a friendly and engaged manner.” After all, your prospective candidate is the subject. Phrasing their duties this way helps them visualize themselves in the role.
Organization of the information is crucial. After listing off the duties utilizing the structure referenced above, explain the qualifications you expect in an employee, both those that are the baseline necessity for a job well done and those that are not essential but preferred. Feel free to go beyond the baseline and into whatever territory you feel would benefit your company. Hoping to snag a candidate with a PHD when a Masters will do the trick? List it, but make sure to be clear that a Masters is all that is needed.
You’ll also want to make sure you’ve included enough information about both the macro and micro level performance expectations. How is the position perceived in the greater scheme of your company? Who else does the prospective employee interact with on a daily or weekly basis? Whenever possible, name names. This empowers potential employees to do some extracurricular research and assess for themselves if the job is a good fit.
Presenting your Brand
Who are you as a company--suit and tie, slacks and polo, shoulder pads and glitter? This is where you give your prospective candidates the opportunity to see you how you see yourself. Don’t stop there, though. Whenever you hire a new team member, you’re investing in your future as a company. Therefore, it may be relevant to also explain where your brand is going. Employees want to know about corporate culture and what you can offer them in terms of support. This too, is part of your brand. It’s never just how you present to clients, it’s how the home team feels and wants to continue feeling. Will this new employee measure up? Help them have as much information as possible so no one’s time (or money) is wasted.
Creating a Flexible Job Description
You may think that a job description is static, that it’s about what’s happening now or what needs to happen upon hiring. But, just as you present where your brand is going, consider explaining the room for initiative in your job description. Employees with intellectual confidence can often grow into employees that take the initiative to build your company up right alongside you. Giving a potential employee that sense in the beginning helps cultivate a better interview environment down the road. Those that took the time to imagine themselves in the role, to see where their unique skills can be utilized to the benefit of the company, will rise to the top, making your job easier, once again saving you time and money.
A job description is the first essential piece in finding the perfect new member of your team. What are your best practices when it comes to writing a clear and effective job description? Add to this conversation in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.