Writing Job Descriptions that Inspire Great Candidates to Apply!

Our primary purpose at Key Corporate Services is to match great companies with great talent. We work closely with many client companies in this effort. A well written job description is critical to landing top talent. It’s is THE most critical document any company uses when looking for talent. When read, it should immediately generate interest and inspire great candidates to apply! Or, at least make them enthusiastically recommend it to a friend. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of job descriptions that are poorly written, boring and focus on skills and education requirements NOT on what the person in this role needs to accomplish or will be doing. Successfully employed candidates want to know about the C.O.B.S. The Company, Opportunity, Boss and Special Incentives (pay, benefits, income potential, etc.) At least one of these topics should be covered in the description.

This presents a challenge.

applyGreat talent needs to be hooked immediately by what they are reading. Top candidates that are already working and not hugely motivated to change will not be inspired to apply for the same job they have if there is no selling done in the job description. If not hooked immediately, they will turn away from a poorly written description and move onto more interesting opportunities (vis-à-vis – well written descriptions!). To ensure your job descriptions are effective, strategic, and inspiring enough to attract great talent to apply, consider these tips:

• Format the description in a way that will inspire!

You want to hook the reader so they will spend time reading the job description. Knowing that any applicant will likely do their own research on your company, don’t bother packing a lot of detail into the description. Instead, make your focus on inspiring the reader to learn more. The job title should be easy to understand, but compelling, such as “Entry level Sales Associate, be mentored by the best”

• Showcase your culture

Assume most applicants won’t know who you are, so make a GREAT first impression. In two sentences, highlight your employment brand and why someone might want to work for you. This may include writing the description in your company’s brand voice, and/or drawing attention to your amazing perks and benefits.

• Forget the industry jargon

Many descriptions come off as boring because they are packed full of day-to-day industry buzzwords. Instead, describe the position clearly so anyone not familiar with the organization’s vernacular can understand.

• Don’t be too broad

Many job descriptions end up being a lengthy laundry list of every skill a manager could possibly want in a candidate. It’s tiring to read this endless wish list of all the skills that would be NICE to have. Instead, focus on what’s essential for the job. Use keywords/phrases to identify the bare minimum requirements, preferably in four bullet points or less. The list of “would be great to know” skills should not be more than ten.

• Make it a collaborative effort

Just as hiring should not be done in a vacuum, writing a good job description should be a collaborative effort. The contributing input of several people who will be working with the new employee should be solicited. And, be sure to thoroughly edit your job description for grammar, spelling and typos before posting it. Test any links you include to ensure they launch correctly.

In summary, regardless of where your job description is posted, ensure your content is appealing enough to attract the best talent. Thinking outside of the box when writing the description will make it stand out and reward you with that next great hire!

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