How to write job descriptions that attract top talent

Try not to rush your job descriptions, and keep these tips in mind as you develop descriptions for new positions.

As you narrow down your list of candidates, job descriptions are the first filter point. An effective description will encourage qualified professionals to apply and weed out applicants who are wholly unqualified.

Try not to rush your job descriptions, and keep these tips in mind as you develop descriptions for new positions:

Spend some time on the job title

If there's one part of a job description that should be a given, it's the title. Isn't a job's title set in stone? In fact, job titles can become antiquated or irrelevant over time as the responsibilities of the position change. For instance, a position that was created more than a decade ago is probably not performed in the same manner today. With emerging technologies and optimized operations, titles may lose their accuracy over time, and should be audited regularly.

In some industries, such as the tech field, it's common for employers to create 'fun' or informal job titles: A programmer becomes a code ninja - a marketer becomes a brand evangelist. Though these quirky titles may make the positions seem more interesting to a subset of applicants, they will cause another set of candidates to look elsewhere. Try to keep job titles unambiguous.

An effective job description shows candidates an accurate picture of the position's responsibilities.

Showcase your employer brand

Employer brand is extremely important for attracting quality talent. Professionals who understand their value as employees won't sell their skills, talent and labor for anything less than it is worth. As part of the hiring process, recruiters need to be able to first establish a dollar figure to represent that value, then determine if the organization can afford it. A strong employer brand gives the organization an advantage.

For example, if a candidate views the organization as a great place to work - may it offer free meals or excellent health insurance - he or she may be willing to accept a lower salary. In fact, 77 percent of millennial job seekers look for perks like flexible hours when pursuing a new position, according to research from Bentley University.

Keep language clear, concise and neutral

Job seekers apply to a lot of positions throughout their searches. According to the Balance Careers, it can take six months or more to even land an interview. In other words, the people reading your job descriptions are probably tired of reading them.

"In order to keep a candidate engaged in your job posting, don't be afraid to be creative and add a little individuality," says Huy Pham, Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Denver. "Introducing your ad with a question, such as 'are you tired of just being a coder?', accomplishes two goals – 1) it addresses the candidate's reason for looking and 2) it injects some personality into the description, revealing a little information about who you are as a company."

Keep the language in your descriptions clear and concise to ensure that the most important information is easy to spot. Use bulleted lists to display the job's benefits, responsibilities and requirements. Meanwhile, try to keep the language as gender-neutral as possible. After you write the description, show it to a few people familiar with the position to get their feedback.

Show applicants how the position can grow

People desire more than just a place where they can collect a paycheck. Skilled workers want to see how they will be able to grow in a position. If the job looks like a dead end, many candidates may not even consider it.

Use a few sentences of your descriptions to describe potential career tracks. This will show job seekers that employees at your organization are valued not only for what they can do today, but also for their potential.

Writing an effective job description is one of the first steps to finding the perfect hire. To fully optimize hiring at your organization, connect with the experts at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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