Imagine you own a terrific beach house with all possible amenities and decide to sell it. Now, imagine that your realtor describes it as follows:
Vacation home for sale. 6 rooms. Made of wood, glass and brick.
Sure, that ad conveys the very basic facts about the home, but would you want to buy it, or even look at it? Or would you bypass that ad for one that read:
Great Beach Getaway! This 3BR home has a glassed-in sunroom with beach and sunset views, a woodburning fireplace & vaulted ceiling in the living room, and skylights in every room. Multiple decks, sunroom, outdoor shower, and a short bike ride to the ocean make this the perfect retreat.
When you write a job description, you need to sell the job by including the details that set the position apart and make it appealing to candidates. Even in an employer’s market, you want your ad to describe exactly what the job entails and why someone would want to be hired.
While some companies use computer programs or basic templates to describe the duties and responsibilities of a job opening, such ads can be full of buzzwords but convey very little about the position. If you stick only to the facts about tasks, methodologies, responsibilities and qualifications, you are only telling half the story.
Go beyond the basics and allow yourself to think: What kind of person do you truly picture in this job? What kind of personality will they need to have? Do they truly need very specific experience, such as knowledge of a particular software package, or can they bring equivalent skills to the job? Decide what is preferred as opposed to required.
Think about the person who most recently fulfilled this role successfully, try to pinpoint the reasons for that success, and try to describe those qualities – but don’t turn the ad into a request for a clone. Everyone brings something different to the table. Focus instead on what the applicant needs to have in light of the organization’s current needs and long-term objectives.
A well-written job description consists of more than a laundry list of the tasks and responsibilities that the job entails. It reflects a sense of priorities and of the type of personality needed to fulfill those tasks as well as to fit into the company.
And speaking of the company, what sets your organization apart from the competition? What kind of benefits do you offer besides the usual healthcare and retirement? Will employees enjoy flex-time, paid educational advancement, or even just free lunch? Is your corporate environment conservative and quiet, or creative and flexible? Letting employees know what kind of workplace you offer can help them decide whether to apply to your company, helping to limit the number of inappropriate resumes.
Of course, your ad should contain basic information such as position title, the person to whom this position reports, key areas of responsibility, qualifications and the terms of employment. A quality job description will attract quality candidates.
By taking a good look at your company and the reality of the open position, and thinking more about the type of person who would be a success in the role, you can create a job description that will attract the strong, qualified candidates you are seeking.
For help finding the right candidates for your job openings, contact Peoplelink Staffing Solutions.