Write a High Quality Job Description
Some employers are under the misconception that writing the Job Description is the “easy part” of hiring. Of course, that might be why so many of them are having trouble finding (and keeping) great talent – they get lazy when it comes to writing their job specs.
A good job description begins with a conversation, not a keyboard.
You may be surprised to hear that everyone within your company has a different expectation and need when they are making a hire. Competing agendas lead to job descriptions with outlandish and unattainable expectations. Ultimately, they end up describing three employees in one… dooming the entire hiring process to fail before it even began.
Long before a job is posted, a hiring committee of key stakeholders should come to a consensus about the core capabilities and expectations. Collectively, they must clearly outline the hard and soft skills of the “perfect hire”, goals he or she is expected to meet, and how performance will be measured. This success profile is essential. Employers cannot develop a job description in a bubble. Stay abreast of the state of the national hiring market, your local unemployment rate, and high demand skills. Consider the latest hiring trends in your field, industry, and role to attract the right kind of candidates. These trends also impact promotion tracks, compensation packages, and other perks – all important pieces of your job spec.
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Now that the foundation is in place, it’s time to draft the job posting. Your job descriptions should replace decades-old headers such as “Requirements” and “Responsibilities” with more engaging language such as “You will be successful in this role if you possess…” and “In this high visibility position, you will impact the business by…” Specifically, be sure to include:
- A clear picture of your corporate culture
- The specific activities the new hire will be charged with and how they will impact the business
- Metrics of success and evaluation
- Demonstrated skills, relevant experience, and education that will ensure success
- Ideal personality/soft skill attributes that match your company culture
When advising candidates on how to draft a resume, we tell them to remember the 3 Bes. Be succinct. Be specific. Be truthful. The same goes for employers. Use job, field, or industry-specific keywords to concisely outline the qualifications and experience you are looking for. Give an accurate account of expectations and outcomes.
Recruiter’s tip: Do not advertise and hire for one job, then expect your new employee to do something else (it sounds preposterous, but we see it happen all the time).