As the power and reach of the Internet has exploded over the years, the job search process has likewise grown at a breakneck rate. All it takes is one click of a button and voila! You’ve applied for a new position.
On the receiving end, employers like yourself are bombarded with hundreds of resumes. As if it wasn’t bad enough before everything went on line … when chances are, you still would have been faced with overwhelming response to a posting for even a single vacancy.
Faced with this daunting challenge, how do you craft a job description that elicits, not this avalanche of paperwork and jammed inboxes, but responses from the right candidates to fill the job on the table?
Brad Farris of Enmast.com summarizes the solution by recommending that you “write a compelling posting highlighting the challenges and opportunities that a successful candidate would face. Position the job as hard work, but rewarding … then sell the opportunity with your company. This will attract candidates who want to make a difference.”
Clarity and Detail
Start with a clear statement of what you’re seeking in a candidate. Throughout the job description, be as specific as possible regarding the position, the title, the responsibilities and expectations, and what your company has to offer.
- Make sure your language is crisp and clear. Use verbs in the present tense. For instance, when hiring for a receptionist, a strong descriptive statement would be “Greets clients, vendors and visitors in a friendly and sincere manner.”
- Be as specific as possible with your job title. “Northeast Regional B2B Sales Manager – Plumbing” tells me a lot more about the position than a job described simply as “Sales Manager.”
- Use explanatory phrases if they add clarity. If that receptionist has other duties, clearly outline them: “Collects employee time sheets on a biweekly basis for payroll purposes.”
- Use detail in stating your needs. If you’re recruiting a software developer who knows Ruby on Rails and your post simply says “Candidate should know the latest programming languages,” you’re opening yourself up to misinterpretation, frustration and lost time.
Flexibility and Growth Potential
Every job description should have an element of flexibility, to appeal to candidates seeking an opportunity where they can contribute and grow within their new role. (This works for you too, right?)
This is not your father’s job market – so toss out traditional job description formats and focus not solely on desired education and experience, but also on what defines success in the position.
- For solid performance, candidates need soft skills. Along with that post-graduate degree and top corporate experience, your ideal hire for most positions should have interpersonal, communication and general organizational and time management skills. Be sure these are included in your job description.
- Include more than just the minimal qualifications required. If you describe a job in mediocre terms, chances are you’ll draw mediocre applicants. Just because a person meets experience requirements doesn’t mean they can deliver value-added results.
Finally, be sure to clearly inform candidates on how to apply. Provide the correct contact person, address, deadline and format. Then, let success happen!
Partner with the recruitment experts at Employment Professionals Canada to design your successful hiring strategy, from job analysis and description through hiring and ongoing talent management.