Assumption: 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions
Reality: 36% of candidates say they are provided a clear job description
According to HR Dive’s stats, there’s a big disconnect in what hiring managers believe they are providing and what candidates perceive they are getting. If your job postings aren’t getting much traffic or worse, are getting lots of traffic without any credible hits, you may be facing a job description problem.
Filling a job isn’t as easy as posting the job and waiting for the perfect resume. If only it were that simple. It takes time and a bit of experience to attract the right candidates. One of the first things hiring managers must do is adequately and accurately describe the open position. It’s easy to pump it up as something more than it really is, or alternatively, scale it back so as not to scare off potential candidates. Neither is a good idea if you want to get only the most qualified candidates in the door.
Writing a job description is like writing an online dating profile. You can say anything you want, but if your goal is to attract your soulmate, you best not deviate too far from the truth. Job seekers want to know what they’re getting into, what they are qualified for, and what will be expected of them. If your job description is vague, you’ll get random candidates that suck even more time from your day. Nail the description and you’ll find your person much faster and with less effort (or settling).
We’ve put together a short list of dos so you get it right every time.
5 Steps to the Perfect Job Description
You don’t need to hire a professional writer to create job descriptions. What you need is a nice chat with the hiring manager if it isn’t you. Find out exactly what the job entails, what technical requirements would be needed, and maybe the top three to five skills needed for the job. It’s a good idea to discover how the hiring manager (or you) would describe their perfect candidate. Make a list. Check it twice. Start to write.
1. Set Clear Expectations
It’s important to articulate as realistically as possible what the day-to-day activities will be with the role. General responsibilities are great, but when it comes down to it, people want to know what their day would look like if they worked for your company. Be as specific as possible. Not only will you give the candidate a good idea of the real job, but you’ll encourage only those that are okay with those tasks to apply (alternatively read: the candidates who don’t jibe with the listed responsibilities will likely not apply).
2. List Required Skills and Competencies
These required elements are your best friends when it comes to a job search. Candidates will search job boards and search engines using their skills and competencies as filters. Your job will shoot to the top of their list if you use the right qualifiers and keywords. Word of note: don’t list every possible skill. Choose the top six to eight that matter most to the job and leave the rest for the interview.
3. List the “Must Have” and “Nice to Have” Skills
This is a small but important nuance. Break the “must have” and “nice to have” skills into sections so it’s easy for the viewer to read. The more specific you can be, the more qualified candidates will come knocking. “Must haves” are those skills that are inherent to the job and you don’t want to take the time to or make the investment in training them. They should have abundant experience in these skills. “Nice to haves” are those skills that aren’t completely necessary but would save you resources if you had them in-house.
4. Talk about the Culture
Skills are one thing. Cultural fit is quite another. If you’ve hired more than a few people in your career, you know how one does not equal the other. You can have a highly-skilled employee who simply rubs people wrong, doesn’t pull their own weight, or doesn’t work well with others. One ill-fitted employee can change the entire work mojo and cause you to lose good people who are simply fed up. Be sure you paint an accurate picture of the type of individual and mindset you want. You can then whittle it down further during the interview process.
5. If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It
Benefits and perks are often the carrots that lure in candidates. They want to know what their responsibilities will be. They need to know how much they’ll get paid. They want to know they’ll fit in and be accepted. When push comes to shove, however, they want to be taken care of. Glassdoor reported that 60 percent of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering a job offer and 80 percent would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. That means if you have great benefits and perks, advertise the heck out of them.
Another good tip is to imagine yourself applying for the job. What would you want to know about it? If you have the opportunity, ask a teammate the candidate would work alongside to see how they would describe the job. Once you get the particular job description written, keep it handy. You may need to reuse it if your company grows or the job is vacated. Need help creating the perfect job requirement and finding the ideal candidates? Zilker Partners can help.