How to Write the Perfect Job Description and Attract Top Talent

Attracting and hiring the best talent is hard to do even in the best of times; but learning the secrets of writing a great job description is the first step!
Write the Perfect Job Description

Attracting the right talent for your jobs can be difficult! Let Visium help!

As the new year marches on, many hiring managers have noticed a growing difficulty in attracting the best talent to their positions. In face of these challenges, crafting a compelling job description is more important than ever. With so many jobs being posted to online platforms such as  Indeed, ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn, a thorough job description will help your posting to make a greater impact, allowing you to market both your company and the job for which you are looking to hire.

The key to writing effective job descriptions is to find the balance between providing enough detail, so that candidates gain an understanding of both the role and the company they are applying to, while also keeping the description concise and easy to understand. At Visium, we see many different job descriptions for our clients, and we have come up with some tips that can help your company create a compelling job listings.

What is a Job Description?

Before delving into the art of crafting the perfect job description, it is important to understand what they are and how they are used by candidates. A job description summarizes the essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications, and skills for a role.

A good job description should include important company details — company mission, culture, and any benefits it provides to employees. It may also specify to whom the position reports and salary range.

An effective job description will provide enough detail for candidates to determine if they’re qualified for the position. According to an online survey, 52% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is very or extremely influential on their decision to apply for a job.

The Basics of a Job Description

Job Title

One of the main things to focus on when writing a great job description is to make your job title as specific as possible. Targeted job titles are much more effective than generic ones, so be precise by including key phrases that accurately describe the role. In fact, a 2020 Indeed survey found that 36% of job seekers that use job sites to search for opportunities search for a job using the title of the job they’re looking for. When considering the title for your description, you will also want to eliminate the use of internal lingo which may confuse the job seeker. Stick to clear, common descriptive words like “senior” to describe a higher-level position.

Job Summary

Similar to  most online materials, it is extremely important to open with a strong, attention-grabbing summary. Your summary should provide an overview of your company and expectations for the position. You may wish  to begin by hooking your reader with details about what makes your company unique. Your job description is an introduction to not only the position you are looking to fill, but even more so your company and your employer brand. Use this space to Include details about your company culture to sum up why a candidate would love to work with you. An online survey found that 72% of job seekers say it’s extremely or very important to see details about company culture in job descriptions. It is also important to include an exact job location. This will help to optimize your job posting so it appears higher in job search results.

Responsibilities and Duties

This section is the meat of the job description, and where many hiring managers tend to make the largest mistakes. There are three key things to focus on when conveying the responsibilities of the position.

Outline the core responsibilities of the position. Make sure your list of responsibilities is detailed but concise, as potential employees will want to know what is expected of them. Make sure to emphasize any duties that may be unique to your organization. Including these details helps to ensure candidates understand the requirements and can determine if they’re qualified.

Highlight the day-to-day activities of the position. This will help candidates understand the work environment and the activities that will be expected to be a part of their day-to-day operations. This level of detail will help the candidate determine if the role and company are a right fit, helping you attract the best candidates for your position.

Specify how the position fits into the organization. Let the candidate know who the job reports to and how the person will function within your organization, which allows candidates to see the whole picture and understand how this role impacts the business.

Qualifications and Skills

When it comes to qualifications and proficiencies, we recommend including a list of both hard and soft skills. Of course, the job description should specify education, previous job experience, certifications and technical skills required for the role. It is also important to include soft skills, like communication and problem solving, as well as personality traits that you envision for a successful hire.

Keeping your list concise is recommended. It can be tempting to list out every requirement you envision for your ideal hire, however including too many qualifications and skills could dissuade potential candidates. According to a 2018 survey, 63% of candidates said they chose not to apply for a job because they were unfamiliar with the specific tools or skills listed in the job description. A further 47% said they didn’t apply because they didn’t have the specific years of experience listed in the job description. Unless a specific program is required and unable to be taught it would be wise to list in a more general way. This is why it is important to clarify between the must-have and nice-to-have skills and qualifications for the role.

Salary and Benefits

We recommend that companies include a salary range in their initial job posting whenever possible. Quality candidates always look for opportunities that meet their salary needs. However, according to a 2019 Indeed survey, almost 70% of candidates said they never or only occasionally saw job descriptions that included salary information. You can stand out from other employers by adding the salary band to your job description to help attract best fit candidates.

In addition, list out your top perks and benefits. What’s in it for the candidate? Most jobseekers (83%) agree that a company’s benefits and perks have a significant impact on their decision of whether or not to accept a job offer there. Encourage more people to apply by sharing the attractive rewards and benefits you offer your employees, such as:

  • Unlimited PTO
  • Flexible hours
  • Medical, dental and vision coverage
  • Office snacks
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Dog-friendly office

In Conculsion

Writing and posting a well thought out and successful job description for your open position is challenging – but well worth it, as a job description is an effective means of advertising your company and an opportunity to market to potential candidates.

 Finding the best fit can be a challenge, but that is why working with a company like Visium Resources to help you find the most suitable candidate for your team can be a great benefit. Through actively sourcing for top-tier talent, Visium can help you expand your potential candidate base further than ever. Contact us today and see how we can help your organization be more efficient and successful than ever before.

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