4 Tips for Writing Amazing Job Descriptions
Posting jobs doesn’t guarantee applicants—especially in today’s tight labor market. Candidates with the specific skill set you need are skimming through hundreds of listings, stopping only when something catches their eye. You need to have engaging job descriptions to make your jobs stand out. Make sure your open positions get the attention they deserve with these four tips:
1. Standardize Position Titles
Creativity in job listings can promote your positive company culture, and setting a casual, amusing tone can be effective when used correctly. However, the position title should be clear and straightforward. Pizza Hut’s “Dean of Pizza” and Buffer’s “Happiness Hero” are cute—but ultimately unhelpful for job seekers. Make sure top talent spots your openings immediately with a headline that succinctly describes the position—for example, Barista, Waiter, and Chef. However, you should feel free to add some creativity to the job title within the job description, as this can be an effective way of increasing employee engagement.
2. Inject Personality into Job Descriptions
Once you get into the body of your job description, it’s okay to have a little fun. As long as you list the responsibilities of the position, feel free to give candidates a taste of your company culture. Southwest Airlines has mastered the balance between informative and attention-grabbing job descriptions. For example, their description for Ramp Agents begins: “Warriors who work mostly outdoors loading the bags and cargo, directing our airplanes in and out of the gate, and assuring safe, on-time performance.”
3. Differentiate Between Skills and Competencies
Once you have outlined the position, it is time to describe the candidate you are most interested in hiring. In this section, you should list the must-have qualifications for the job. Employers often struggle with the difference between skills and competencies, but it is an important distinction to make.
Skills are the tangible proficiencies of the ideal candidate, while competencies refer to qualities that will support the successful application of skills. For example, typing 100 words per minute is a skill, while being “detail-oriented” is a competency. One is measurable and objective, while the other falls into a gray area. Strong job descriptions focus on listing skills over competencies to attract the most qualified candidates to apply.
4. Think Twice Before Listing Pay Rates
Some jobs have cut and dried pay rates, and employers know exactly how much they can offer. If there is no leeway in pay, add it to the job description—you will save time when individuals who require higher rates opt-out of the process.
When there is a bit of flexibility in pay, and you plan to make an offer based on experience, education and/or skill level, think twice about including rates and ranges in your job description. If you advertise the lowest possible rate, you may lose qualified applicants, and if you list the highest possible rate, candidates who receive lower offers will be frustrated. Instead, include a generic statement like “competitive pay” or “pay commensurate with experience” and save salary negotiation for later in the process.
Writing job descriptions can feel like a chore—especially when positions seem self-explanatory. However, they serve an important purpose. Through job descriptions, you are able to communicate your employer brand, attracting highly-qualified candidates who might otherwise pass you by. Let us help you find the candidates you need today!