Why is it important to create accurate job ads and job descriptions?
“When a recruiter is told to hire a new employee, he or she should have a clear idea of the type of person to hire—specifically which qualities, skills and experience to look for to yield a solid group of candidates. This can be gleaned from a detailed job description. Without one, the recruiter cannot hope to find a candidate that will match the manager’s expectations for the position.
On the applicant side, prospective employees need specific job ads and job descriptions to decide if the position is a good fit for their qualifications and their desired career. Well-written, accurate job descriptions will ensure that the most relevant, qualified candidates apply for the job” (Robertson Ryan).
Purpose of a job description
According to Laura Thibodeau the following reasons are the purpose of having job descriptions:
- Employee recruiting, orientation, training, and goal setting
- Establishing performance standards and giving reviews
- Benchmarking positions and setting compensation standards
- Meeting legal requirements
Tips for writing an accurate job description
1. Get the job title right
“If you’re having trouble filling vacancies for that critical “rockstar” developer, DevOps “ninja” or digital marketing “guru,” you’re probably turning off candidates with that very language, according to research from Indeed.
“We know that weird job titles can be fun and indicative of a more laid-back culture. However, without a cultural frame of reference, using them in your job listings can affect how well your job posting does. Most people search for roles that match their skills and experience, and so, using terms like ‘ninja’ and ‘rockstar’ in job titles and descriptions can confuse job seekers and put them off from applying,” according to this blog post from Indeed”’ by Sharon Florentine, Senior Writer at CIO.com.
2. Be transparent about the responsibilities:
“You should indicate the essential responsibilities and duties of the job clearly. It is a good idea to list them in bullet point form and begin each point with a verb in present tense. Be clear on how much time and how often a task will be performed, as this will give the candidates an idea on what a typical day at this position will look like. Steer away from fuzzy descriptors, such as “often”, “once in a while” when describing the tasks” (Sophie Deering at Undercover Recruiter).
3. Sell your job
Christina Pavlou at Workable says “Candidates need compelling reasons to leave their current workplaces or choose your job over others. Describe benefits and perks that come with the job (e.g. high-end workstation, gadgets and/or free meals) and explain how this role contributes to the company’s growth.
The fashion company Lyst showcases its employee development benefits in its job descriptions:
4. Promote the company
“It’s also important to show candidates why they might want to work for your company. Describe your company culture and consider including employee testimonials and reviews. You can also include photos of the team and any team activities you’ve done. When combined with the benefits of the position, effectively promoting the company may entice candidates to apply” from Indeed.
5. Use Inclusive Language
The key to getting a prospect to even entertain working at your organization is to establish a connection. The first step in doing this, and reaching the widest possible candidate pool, is by ensuring your job descriptor language is inclusive and highlights both access to opportunity and a positive working environment and culture (which is less of a “want” and more of a “need” these days). – Patti Fletcher, Workhuman via Forbes.com
6. Include any and all education requirements
Career Attraction suggests “Consider these requirements very carefully, though. You want to make sure the level of education you specify in your job description is a “must-have” for the job and not simply something that would be an advantage for an employee to have.
If you would be willing to consider a candidate who has a certain level of education or a certain number of years of practical experience for the position, be sure to include this”.
7. Get feedback from current employees to write effective job descriptions
Fountain says “When writing an effective job description, you need to work with the employees who are currently in the role to ensure that the job description is representative of what is actually required to do the job. If it has been a while since you have recruited for this job position, the job responsibilities and duties may have changed.
You must work with people who are doing the job to get their input and feedback as to whether the old job description is still suitable. This is where you can highlight whether you will provide training for candidates so that they will no longer need to be equipped with a particular type of experience when applying”.
8. Salary ranges- should you or shouldn’t you.
Well, there is a lot to consider with listing a salary range on your job description; legalities, the number of applicants you want to apply vs weeding out applicants, negotiating power, current employees feeling slighted, competition, etc. However, if your state requires posting a salary, then there is nothing more to consider.