Hiring great talent starts with attracting the right talent. Therefore, an effective, engaging and inclusive job description is key. With a little effort, you can craft just the right job description to bring a wide range of highly talented candidates into your pipeline — and ensure you’re not turning off talent before they even apply.
In addition to the standard role description and skills and experience required, you should place an emphasis on culture, mission and values to avoid making a bad hire. To ensure you are attracting a diverse pool of highly qualified applicants, you must also make sure your descriptions don’t alienate others.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Get the job title right
Job seekers search for roles that match their skills and experience. Therefore, using certain terms like ‘ninja’ and ‘rockstar’ in job titles and descriptions can confuse job seekers and put them off from applying.
As best you can integrate industry-standard language into your titles.
Keep in mind that your company and the open job have to be found. In order to do that, step out of your own company’s mind and internal terminology. If you call it ‘client relationship manager,’ and they’re searching for the more commonly used ‘account manager,’ you’re going to miss out on those candidates.
2. Start with a short, engaging overview of the job
This overview should include a description of the job’s major function, how it contributes to larger company objectives and why it’s important not just to the company, but to society as a whole.
3. Avoid superlatives or extreme modifiers
Avoid using language that describes a singular focus on a narrow set of abilities, for instance, “perfectionists” or those who are “forever tinkering.” Again, you risk turning off the highly qualified talent that could excel in the role without these traits, or that doesn’t self-identify with these terms.
4. Focus responsibilities on growth and development
Describe the key job functions in five to seven bullets.
You should also explain how the job will contribute to business objectives, the potential for advancement, and how candidates’ achievements can contribute to that.
Start by including a bit about what the company’s doing within the larger industry, how technology enables that, and how the company, the role and their skills and knowledge can further their growth and development.
Because you want to attract candidates who are goal- and action-oriented, make your job description reflect that.”
5. Create urgency for the position
Even if you’re not desperate to fill an open position, you want candidates to feel a sense of urgency and be compelled to apply, even if they’re currently happily employed. Posting specific start dates can help, as will including contact information for an individual person rather than a generic e-mail address.
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