Knowing how to write a job description can make all the difference in attracting the right applicants to the position.
This crucial piece of text is not only an outline of the role on offer, but it also offers valuable insights into what the person’s working life might look like, the skills they should possess, interpersonal qualities they need to manage the position, and what your organisation’s unique drawcard might be to get them to join it.
How To Write A Job Description – Best Practices To Keep In Mind
Keep It Concise
According to a report by LinkedIn, it’s the job descriptions with 150 words or less that tend to get the most attention. Compared with listings that have between 450 to 600 words, these shorter descriptions attract 17.8% more applications. As you can see, it’s in your interest to keep it short and concise and give your candidates all the relevant information in as few words as possible.
Another point in favour of keeping it short is, due to mobile recruitment being popular, candidates often look for jobs from their phones. If this is the case, your job description needs to be to the point, otherwise, candidates may lose interest in reading and move on with their job search.
Focus On Key Details - Job Title, Location, Responsibilities, Salaries, and Benefits
The candidates need to know what kind of tasks they will be doing, how much compensation they will be getting, and whether it is worth investing their time in the application. Therefore, your job listing should include the following information:
- A job title – this should be simple and easy to understand. Don’t try to use fancy words. The job title is the first thing that will capture the candidate's interest, and you do not want to be vague about what's essentially on offer.
- Location – include the physical location of the office, as some candidates may be willing to relocate while others wish to focus on a position that lies within a specific geographical location.
- Responsibilities – write down a set of work responsibilities that the candidate will be required to fulfil. This can be in bullet points as it makes it much easier and faster to read.
- Salary – include the salary bracket in the job description. Hiding what’s on offer can result in chancers sending in applications. It may also deter your ideal candidates from applying as they won’t know whether it’s in line with industry benchmarks or competitive.
- Benefits – for many people, benefits such as flexible working hours, medical aid, and relocation packages are important when considering a job. Make this information available on the listing as it’s a drawcard they will be looking for.
Emphasize The Company Culture
Your company culture should reflect in the written job description. Be honest when you write it, for example, if the general working environment is professional and serious, choose words that will mirror this in the description. Just as corporate is not for everyone, neither is an open-plan tech office. The point is to ensure that people will feel comfortable in the space they work in.
Don’t try to give candidates a false image of life at the organisation. It won’t be beneficial for either party and may result in the candidate resigning early on in their tenure. You’ll be out of pocket, out of talent, and in the position of having to start your recruitment process all over again.
How to write a job description that gets the company culture across? Briefly mention the pertinent details and hyperlink to the relevant section on your website for the rest of the information. Candidates can then read more about your organisation should they wish to know more.
Use Gender-Neutral Language
If building a diverse company is one of your business' objectives, and it should be if its chasing success, use gender-neutral language when you write your job description.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has revealed that women are less interested in applying for a job which uses masculine words, although it does not make them any less qualified or skilled.
As an example, using pronouns such as he or she will come across as gender-biased and eliminate potential qualified candidates from applying. Instead, when writing your job description, use ‘you’ or ‘S/he’. The line could read, as Research Engineer for ABC, you will be responsible for setting the research objectives and strategies.
In this article, we have shared some of the best practices on how to write a job description. It should be concise yet contain all the key details such as job title, location, responsibilities, salaries, and benefits. It should also reflect your company culture and contain gender-neutral language.
Follow these tips and you will be able to write a to-the-point description that will attract the right candidates to your organisation.