Writing an awesome job description!
For many employers, not being able to recruit good people often stems from an inability to create an awesome job description. For what should be such a simple process, it can often baffle the most seasoned employer.
Below is a short and simple guide on what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to writing job descriptions.
The job title is all important!
You will often hear companies say that ‘job titles really aren’t that important here’ or that ‘what the job is called really doesn’t matter.’ What they mean is there is much more to the job than just the title and, more often than not, this is very true.
However, when it comes to recruitment, the job title is all important!
Finding a new job is an aspirational thing! Job seekers are either being pushed away from where they are, or they need to be pulled into your company. A new job gives job seekers a chance for the recognition that they were lacking in their previous job. And a new ‘snazzy’ job title is often right at the pinnacle of this recognition.
Think about it. What sounds better: ML Programmer or Senior Machine Learning Expert? Perception is important to most and job titles are all about perception.
So, use this to your advantage and boost applicant levels with important-sounding job titles.
One of the most common things that get overlooked when deciding upon a job title is searchability. Come up with as many creative and wacky job titles as you like. But make sure it is something a job seeker in search of that job would type into the search bar.
Why is this? Well, recruitment is all about pigeonholes. While no-one ever likes to be put in one, almost all of us find it much easier to find a new job by grouping new jobs or potential employers together, i.e., into a pigeonhole.
In an age when we have so much data at our fingertips, screening out irrelevant or unsuitable jobs in Cambridge is an essential part of streamlining the job search process. Fail to do this, and most job seekers will give up before they have started.
For most job seekers, the first step in this process is searching for jobs by title. Thus, as an employer, if you want the right job seekers to view your adverts, you need to ensure you use the correct job title.
There is entirely no point calling your latest sales job a ‘Sales Development Representative or SDR’ if everyone else calls it a Business Development Executive. No one is going to find it and, therefore, apply for your job.
Be careful not to over complicate things!
Some would argue the job titles should be kept simple. Job seekers might be turned off by a potential employer that over-complicates the application process with fancy job titles, especially if they are not commonly used and could lead to ambiguity about what the job really involves.
You’re welcome to take a little more creative liberty within the actual job description, but the titles themselves should abide by other industry standards.
Conduct your own research and see what other companies are advertising for. While standing out from the crowd is a good thing in attracting new talent, being so different as to not even get noticed is not. Leave all the funky, creative stuff for the actual advert!
Don’t mislead job seekers
Clearly, job titles should reflect the jobs to which they apply. Job titles shouldn’t be overinflated or deceiving, and they should allow job seekers to gain a conventional understanding of the position from the title alone.
Every company is different and has its own ethical or moral compass. Some might not mind lying to applicants and are happy to do so knowing they will be getting excellent people on board.
Just remember that while this strategy will probably not affect your recruitment process adversely, it will lead to disgruntled employees and, ultimately, having to recruit more people to replace them once they leave!
Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to advertising new jobs.
Online job adverts or postings
Posting your jobs online is a vital step in making sure you get the right applicants interested. If you use an online board such as the Cambridge Jobs Board and you describe a job poorly, you’re going to have a lot of un-suitable or under-qualified candidates messaging your careers inbox, wondering when they can interview!
Job postings should, ideally, include everything an applicant would need to know to have a proper understanding of the company and job.
A decent online job advert should be made up of multiple parts. This will include:
- A brief description of the company and how this job fits into the overall company structure.
- An initial summary of the position and why it is essential followed by a more in-depth list (often bullet points) of what the job involves on a daily, weekly or monthly basis (The job description).
- A list of personality traits and/or strengths the ‘ideal’ applicant will display (The person specification).
- A list of requirements about job experience, education, and skills needed to be successful in this job. These might often be broken down into ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ to help potential applicants decide if they have the right mix of skills for the job.
- A summary of the company culture, perks and benefits and a clear set of reasons why applicants would want to apply to the company and what they would get from working there.
Now that you are armed with all this very obvious but essential information take time to go back over your existing job descriptions and make sure they are fit for purpose. If you have a job that you are really struggling to fill, look at the job description again and squeeze every last drop out of it. This could be the difference between finding the perfect applicant now, and not in 6 months time!