The Importance of a Good Job Description.
Taking the time to develop a detailed and accurate description of your vacancy, will help you attract the best candidates.
Why is your job description so important and what things should you consider?
There’s been a continuous stream of dialogue over the past few years that the IT industry is struggling with a skills shortage, and failing to attract enough new talent to fill all the open vacancies.
So, in a time when the candidate appears to be holding the “ace card”, how do you attract new people into your business?
It’s been argued that a large proportion of candidates will form an opinion about the suitability of an organisation simply by reading the content in a job description. Therefore, it’s very important that you’re able to convey your wants, needs and company culture via your job description, just as you do when releasing other PR and marketing messages.
So, where to start!
In advance of placing job ads and speaking with recruitment agencies, it’s advised that you spend time evaluating exactly what you require from a candidate. Take time to develop a detailed description of the role, including all responsibilities, objectives and requirements. Spending the time now to consider exactly what skills and experience is required for your role and the type of person you want will save you time and energy in the future.
Before crafting your job description, you may want to consider the following:
- Try to capture the company’s values and culture in your writing style. Choose words that best reflect the organisation. Be as accurate as possible as the goal is to attract people who are right for the position and the company.
- Use bullet points where possible.
- Be as specific as you can be when describing the vacancy. It’ll help candidates identify with the role and picture themselves in it.
- Be clear about the responsibilities and qualifications necessary for the job.
What should I include when writing a job description?
- The “job title”. Be sure to choose a job title that reflects the position you’re looking to fill. The title should be recognisable in your industry and in the organisation’s culture and structure.
- Location. Include details on where the position is located. If travel is necessary, note what percentage of time the employee will spend travelling and where he or she will be travelling to.
- Key responsibilities and accountabilities. List the essential functions of the position. Depending on the seniority of the role, it’s advised to list 5-15 points. Try to avoid any more than 15 points as the job description will begin to look overly fussy. Be as open and honest as you can as it’ll allow candidates to picture themselves in the role.
- Skills/qualifications. Which are essential and which are desirable. List all qualifications that are mandatory, along with those that are preferred. Such qualifications should include skills, years of experience, certifications, education level and necessary technical proficiencies.
- Salary and benefits. Listing the salary and benefits will undoubtedly attract more candidates. If you’re not comfortable including a fixed salary you could opt to include a salary range. This will provide the scope to attract candidates with varying levels of education, skills and experience. Don’t forget to include other such benefits, holiday days, medical cover, gym membership, child care facilities etc.
- Personality traits. What kind of personality would be the ideal fit for your team, and with your organisation’s culture and values?
- Company Overview. It’s helpful for potential candidates to have an outline of the company, what it does, and why someone would want to join the business. Additional information you may want to consider including; mission statement, impressive stats relating to growth, company values and culture.
- Contact details. Include contact information so that potential candidates know how you would like them to apply, or, who to contact if they have any questions.
A well written and concise job description will provide the reader with a very clear understanding of the position, the company and the skills and experience required to be a success in the role. The more specific and transparent you can make the job description, the more likely it is you’ll find the perfect candidate.