What’s the first step in assembling your dream team staff? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not coming up with killer interview questions or even crafting the perfect training program—it all starts with writing the perfect job description. You see, before a potential hire even enters your office walls or chats with you on the phone, the job description is that person’s first interaction with your company. Taking this first opportunity to make a lasting impression is key.
Whether you’re a small business looking to make its first hire or you’re just not much of a writer and aren’t looking forward to the process at all, rest assured: writing a killer job description isn’t as daunting as it seems. The best part of this process is that practically everyone has been in a job seeker’s shoes before and can relate to the reader, which is a great place to start from.
Read on for everything you need to know to write a job description that will keep the applications rolling in.
What needs to be included in a job description
Recall the last time you were looking for a job. What were the things you wanted to know? You’ll want to provide as much information as you can about the gig, from daily tasks and responsibilities to the salary range and any perks and benefits associated with employment. For more information on building the perfect compensation plan, continue reading here. According to Indeed, here are a few key elements that every job description should include:
- A specific job title
- A summary of the job that catches seekers’ attention
- Details about what makes your company unique
- The exact job location
- The core responsibilities and duties of the position
- A more granular look at the day-to-day activities of the position
- Include information on how the role fits within the organization
- A list of the necessary hard and soft skills needed to get the job done
Writing an inclusive job description
As LinkedIn explains, “even something minor—like a word—can affect whether or not you are attracting a diverse talent pool. And, with diversity and inclusion among the biggest and most important trends in talent acquisition, companies need to make sure the job descriptions are inclusive, too.” A few things you can check for to make sure your job descriptions are as inclusive as they can be are:
- Avoid gendered words. Even if the word isn’t outright gendered, certain words like “ninja” and “guru” can turn some applicant’s off, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Limit job requirements to only the essentials. Men tend to apply to jobs without meeting all of the requirements while women won’t unless they meet 100% of the qualifications.
- Don’t use jargon. It can be intimidating to applications who have the skills but come from less traditional corporate backgrounds.
- Mention your commitment to diversity and inclusion in the job description. Eliminate any confusion about whether or not diversity matters at your company immediately.
- Highlight inclusive benefits. By focusing on things like maternal and paternal leave- it will show that your benefits extend to all.
Don’t forget to think about your pipeline
While it is tempting to think about all of the business needs you plan to meet with your new hire, it’s essential that you keep your pipeline in mind as your craft the job description. At the end of the day, it’s easy to list 1,000 responsibilities you need support with, but it will be more effective in the long run if you zero in on key needs and deliverables for the role.
How can you know what your potential new employees are looking for when perusing job descriptions? It’s impossible to know exactly, but one thing you can do is focus on speaking to your candidates as you write. As Workable explains, “effective job ads are professional and relatable. Candidates tend to skim job descriptions, so jargon and confusing phrases will turn them off. Before publishing, double-check your description to ensure clarity and accuracy.”
Think about it—if you’re trying to decide whether or not a job is for you, if you can’t even decipher what the job is because the job description is so confusing and poorly worded, chances are you’re going to skip right over it in favor of something you can understand right off the bat. If you can, it never hurts to bring in a professional writer; there are pros who specialize in whipping up the perfect job description. Once you’ve selected a new hire, discover everything you need to include in a welcome email for their most positive onboarding experience to date.