9 things to consider when writing a job description
Traditionally, job descriptions haven’t always made for engaging reading. But in the face of talent shortages, HR professionals have been compelled to make these more enticing to stand out from the competition when attracting candidates.
Your job ad is a necessary part of the recruitment process. Your advert is usually the first touch point in the hiring journey, so it needs to resonate with the right candidates.
When writing a job description there’s a range of considerations to factor in. It needs to convey all the necessary information about the role, whilst also engaging the reader and inspiring the right candidates to take action. We outline our top tips for creating a job description that does just that.
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Naming your role
Whilst it can be fun to name your vacancy something creative, you need to make sure people will be able to find it. Essentially, your job ad needs to be searchable! Take some time to consider what people will be searching for online and tailor your language to suit, using the popular keywords in your job title. If you don’t, not only may your ad not be found, but it may also be confusing about what it entails.
Keep the company intro brief
Job searching can be a big task, and applicants will be sorting through hundreds of job ads, so you need to get to the point quickly. Assume your prospective candidates know nothing about your company. Innately, people just want to know what the role entails, so skip the long company introduction at the start of the job ad, and dive straight into the good stuff. Brevity is key. Mentioning your culture and any perks may help keep your candidates interested in reading the rest of your ad too – more about that later.
Include all the information candidates need
The structure of your job ad may differ depending on your industry, but there are a few key bits of information candidates will always want to know. Remember to be as honest as possible when putting these together.
With the shift in working patterns, more people than ever have been working remotely. In fact, 86% of employees want to keep working remotely at least part time. Therefore, it’s necessary to put the job location and hours on your job ad. If this is a mix of office and remote, be sure to mention the split as well.
61% of candidates want to see compensation shared in a job description. So, tell people what they can expect to earn, and put this at the top of the job ad too. It’ll help candidates quickly decide if the role is for them or not. Include if you’re open to negotiating the salary for those looking for something slightly different but who otherwise would be a great fit for the position.
Job responsibilities & requirements
This is one of the most important parts of the job advertisement. What someone will be doing 9-to-5, Monday to Friday could vary hugely between companies, even when the job title is the same. This is the area where you explore why the role is the right fit for the candidate. Will they be spending their time working on the skills they want to develop? Will the work be engaging and challenging for them? Get advice from people doing the role already, so you can build a really clear picture of why the role you’re advertising for is exciting!
Reflect your culture and benefits
Focus on the reasons that someone would want to work at your company, how can someone know they’ll fit into the role and the company? Differentiate yourself from the competition by focusing on the culture, any mission and values you have, and any benefits your company offers. The recruitment landscape is competitive, so highlighting attractive perks can help encourage top applicants.
Use active language
You want to grab the attention of your prospective candidates, so adding some energy into your writing and using language which directly talks to the reader can help engage them in your job ad. Instead of repeatedly saying “the ideal candidate”, say “you”! You are speaking to people at the end of the day! Be conversational, direct and personal.
Make it reader-friendly
Readability is something people often forget about in a job ad. Job hunting requires skimming through many ads to find the right one, so you want the key information to jump off the page, rather than be buried in a long paragraph. Keep your language simple and to the point. If you don’t need a particular qualification, cut it. Brevity also helps in mobile searchability, and with mobiles becoming an increasingly common device for job searching, it’s important to consider how every line is important. Finally, consider your formatting. Use sub-headings to engage your reader, add colours, graphs, different font sizes, and even a video. In fact, candidate application rates increased by 34% when the job post included a video. It just goes to show, that doing something different has its benefits to standing out.
A job ad is only one step in the recruitment process. If you’d like to find out how your recruitment and retention processes could benefit from the power of all-in-one HR software, book a demo with our friendly expert team today.