When was the last time you read a job description or job posting that really stood out? That felt like it spoke to you personally. One that didn’t put you to sleep before you reached the end or you immediately scrolled past? When it comes to hiring, you need a comprehensive strategy to ensure you’re attracting the right people. A compelling job posting is one of the most important components of that strategy. If you want to create the kind of job description or posting that will have an impact, the best approach is to write it as if you are telling a story. You want it to be well-organized and straightforward – sure, but all that information can be and should be within the context of a compelling narrative. One that is persuasive and speaks to your culture and your expectations for your open position. In this blog post, we will discuss the key elements you should include in a job posting and how to properly organize an effective description to appeal to the best candidates.
Key Components of a Job Posting
Back to that concept of telling a story. Your goal is to have a cohesive and natural flow that engages the reader and grabs the attention of the best and most qualified candidates. Follow the steps listed below, where you’ll find instructions that will help and guide you to write an effective job description.
First, let’s talk about the job title. This is not a time to be overly creative. Remember, you want your job to be searchable by people who match your job requirements. Because the same position across various companies can be titled differently, it can be difficult to match a job title with what applicants would actually search for.
So, how do you do that?
The first thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want the title to be lengthy, and you don’t want it to be vague. It should be straightforward and clearly state what the job entails. You also want to be sure you incorporate the level of responsibility of the role to guide how you title it. Use words like “coordinator,” “director,” “lead,” etc. Each of these titles illustrates the level and responsibility of the job.
Next, be sure to describe what the person does in the role. For example, “software developer,” “digital marketing,” “account executive,” etc.
Remember – the goal is to attract as many candidates as possible, especially in a candidate’s market like we are experiencing now. If you aren’t sure about the title, jump on Indeed or LinkedIn Jobs and start your own search using various title combinations. Once you find the one that repeatedly displays the kind of job descriptions that align with yours – you’ve probably found the title that will get you the most hits from the candidates who match your requirements.
Brief Introduction to Business
Next, you want to grab potential candidates with an appealing overview of your organization. Keep in mind that this is the applicant’s first introduction to your company, so you again want to use your storytelling skills to create an intriguing first paragraph. Start with a brief history of the company and a succinct explanation of what you do. This first paragraph is critical to conveying the purpose of the business and the type of company culture you have. Consider including the company’s mission statement if it concisely describes the essence of the company and the environment.
Brief Introduction to the Job
Once you have captured the nature of the company, the next step is to introduce and briefly describe the role. You want to describe the ideal candidate, as well as set up the expectations for the role. This paragraph should only be a few sentences to give the applicant a summary of what the role will entail.
Depending on the state where the position is located, you may be required by law to include the comp range. And if the job is remote, the same law could apply if you are considering candidates from those states.
If not, it’s up to you whether you want to disclose the salary range upfront or wait to have that conversation during the interview process. There are arguments for and against it. It depends on many factors, so give it deliberate consideration before making a decision.
Next, it’s time to give candidates an idea of their day-to-day responsibilities, as well as fill them in on the expectations of the role. This is where you should dispense with the narrative style and use easy-to-read bullet points instead.
Try to be as complete as possible, but don’t make the list exhaustive. You want to give candidates an overview – not bore them with unnecessary details. In this section, it’s best to try to convey how their work will apply to the business as a whole. Explain how they can contribute to the big picture – whether that be within the department, the region, or the entire company. You want to help them envision how they can impact the organization and what they can accomplish. Help create a vision for them.
It’s important to add a point that clearly states that the applicant will also be required to do work delegated by their manager that may not be included in the job description. This way, you avoid any potential dispute that may happen in the future about the obligations of the role.
Experience and Skills
When considering the required skills and experience, think very broadly about what candidates need to bring to the table. The most common attributes are listed below:
- Technical skills
- Soft skills
- Certifications, licenses, or accreditations
- Travel requirements
- Language skills
- Working hours
And don’t expect the best candidates to check off every single box. It’s okay, and even recommended, that you divide your requirements into “need to have” vs. “preferred, but not required” or “nice to have.”
Also, think twice about educational experience. While some professional careers like medicine and science require specific degrees, most other jobs don’t. And you could be missing out on some terrific talent if you eliminate people with significant “on the job” experience. Consider phrases like “bachelor’s degree or equivalent.”
Creating a bullet point list of the prerequisites for the role makes it easy for applicants to determine quickly if they’re a fit and move on if they’re not.
Call to Action
At the end of a job description, there should always be a call to action. While you could simply write a sentence inviting the candidate to click the link to apply for the role, you should instead write a concluding statement asking if the candidate’s values align with those of the company. For example, “Our employees embrace the following values [list of values]… if that sounds like the kind of culture that aligns with your ideal employer, then please apply by clicking the link.” Having a strong and persuasive conclusion is vital if you want applicants to have a reason to invest in your hiring process.
DE&I and EEO Statement
Last but not least, ending with an equal employment opportunity (EEO) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) statement is important. Although this is not legally required, it shows that your company is dedicated to fair hiring practices. By writing a few sentences that encapsulate the requirements for both statements, you send the message that your company values a welcoming and secure atmosphere. Next we’ll share more insight on crafting that DE&I and EEO statement.
Just like that, you have a great job posting that checks all the boxes! If you feel a little unsure about the effectiveness of your job posting, contact us for a consultation. Our team of experienced recruiting experts is pros at refining compelling job descriptions that accurately represent your open role and company culture.