what is a job description?
A job description is a document describing a position's tasks, functions, and responsibilities. It also explains what qualifications a prospect should have before applying.
Job descriptions are necessary for business success since they present your job opening compellingly and appeal to top talent.
In the following sections, we explain everything you need to know about writing good job descriptions to attract top talent.
what are the key qualities of a compelling job description?
The success of your hiring process starts with your job description. The key qualities of a truly compelling one are:
- A summary of roles and responsibilities
- A list of employee benefits
- A realistic amount of experience you're looking for
- An explanation of why employees should choose your organisation over the competition
It’s also important to include the salary with 98% of candidates believing this is important.
how to write a job description that attracts the right people.
When you’ve got an open position to fill, writing a strong job description is key - not only to attract top talent, but to find the applicants who will best perform in the role and fit in at your organisation.
step 1: find out what you're looking for in an employee
Writing vague job descriptions will attract unqualified prospects, and you'll waste precious time scanning through their CVs. So before writing a job description, understand what you're looking for in an employee.
To do this, consider:
- Interviewing current employees and learning about the open role
- Gathering a list of everyday tasks
Once you have a list of responsibilities, it's time to establish the necessary experience and qualifications.
step 2: establish necessary experience and qualifications
It’s important to establish what experience and qualifications you'd like the perfect employee to have. This narrows your talent pool so you won't have to file through thousands of unqualified candidates.
Don’t follow this set of criteria too strictly or it will limit your talent pool. For example, if you’re hiring a front-end developer, you could add a bachelor’s degree to the list of requirements, but is this really necessary? Does not having a degree prohibit someone from being able to deliver in this role?
Many top employees are self-taught, and even Google started considering employees without formal education. Although this example is in tech, this rule of thumb applies to many industries.
step 3: organise your job description so it's easy to follow
Businesses will write job descriptions that are illogical and hard to follow, which turns prospects away. Instead, follow a job description structure like the one provided below:
Job title: The name of the position
Salary range: The pay rate a successful employee can expect
Benefits: Health insurance, paid leave, a flexible work schedule, etc.
Summary: A quick roundup of daily activities
Competency: Knowledge and skills necessary to complete this job
Position type and regular work hours: Full-time, part-time, freelance, casual, etc.
Required education and experience: The type of degree or other certification an applicant needs (if any)
Additional qualifications: Any additional qualifications that will make an employee stand out
step 4: write like you're writing an ad
The most important step is writing your job description like an ad. Many businesses create job descriptions with the mentality that candidates need to sell their skills to them. And while this is true to an extent, if you want to hire the best employees, you must also market your business to candidates.
You can do this by emphasising job benefits like healthcare, transportation, paid time off, flexible work schedules, and paid family leave. This separates your organisation from the competition because you're looking after a candidate's well-being instead of being just another job that pays the bills.
On top of that, ensure you have an eye-catching hook or introduction. Like all forms of copy, job descriptions must stand out to prospects, or they won't bother reading the entire thing.
step 5: engage jobseekers
Many adverts fail to engage jobseekers as they “talk at” the reader rather than “talking to” to them. You want the reader to start to imagine themselves in the position and start to think about what working in this role might feel like. So sentences like “If you join us, here are some of the tasks you will be involved in” works better than “requirements of the role”.
Step 6: inform, engage and maybe even entertain
We’ve spoken about providing the reader with the information they need (informing them) and also thinking about your copy and tone of voice (engaging them). However, in today’s busy world adding a little personality and humour to your adverts can really help show the lighter side of your company culture.
Please note: Taking a low key, humorous approach to your job description only works if this is a true reflection of your company culture. If your workplace is a serious and formal environment you could be sending the wrong signals.
attracting top talent is easy with hireful.
A good job description is necessary when trying to stand out from the competition and hire the best talent. If you want to find out more about how to attractive job descriptions then check out our webinar on this subject and this advert guide we created.