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How to craft the best job description

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When it comes to filling a new role, crafting an effective job description is crucial in order to inspire the right job hunters to apply.

In fact, recent research shows that companies that write better job descriptions attract better candidates.

Great job descriptions turn into great job adverts, and at HR GO we take our information from the job descriptions you provide us. Doing all you can to write compelling text will help you - and us - attract the right candidates for your role.

But there’s more to it than listing the role’s responsibilities and requirements. To stand the best chance of appealing to talented candidates, you also need to highlight your company culture, talk about what the position is actually like, and what you as a company have to offer. Let’s look at ways to make yours shine.

The basic checklist

Some fundamentals to cover off in your job description include:

  •      A clear job title
  •      Key areas of responsibility
  •      The role’s place within the team, department and business as a whole
  •      Where the job’s based, and if there’s extra travel involved
  •      Who the role reports to
  •      How success is measured
  •      The salary range and benefits (see below for more on this)
  •      Necessary education and training
  •      Ideal soft skills and personality traits
  •      Promotion and development opportunities
  •      Your company culture and values

Go big on company culture

Almost as important as the role’s key tasks and responsibilities is painting a picture of your company’s personality, and what it’s like to work there.

Once a candidate is satisfied that they have the right skills and experience for the role, they’ll look to see if the company is the right fit for them.

Giving a feel for your company culture means explaining what your business stands for - its mission, ethics and values - and even what other employers say about working for your business.

Plus, think about highlighting the ‘extras’ staff enjoy, like benefits and perks and social activities - and how this sets you apart from competitors.

Keep it personal

Aim to make it as personal as possible to the reader. Write it as if you’re speaking to your ideal candidate - refer to the reader as ‘you’ and your company as ‘we’.

Also, help candidates see what this role could bring to them. How will it make a difference to their career? Will it challenge them, and how? Will it help them progress and gain new skills, and how?

Make it easy and plain

No matter how you’re communicating in your business - whether it’s an annual report, performance review or job description - it’s always best to write in plain English.

Some people may want to glean the important facts instead of reading it in full, so make your text easy to scan by using bullet points and breaking it up into headed paragraphs.

Be specific

Giving potential candidates as much detail about what they’re expected to do in a role will help them decide if they have what it takes.

Although it’s sometimes OK to use a cover-all phrase like ‘good communication skills’ or ‘computer literate’, it’s usually better to list specific skill requirements. This might be including the specific computer programmes needed, or how and to whom candidates will need to communicate in the role.

Include a salary range

At HR GO, we encourage clients to include as much information as possible about what could make a job attractive to candidates - and this includes the salary range.

It prevents candidates who would never accept a position for that amount from applying for the role, cutting down on wasted time and resources.

Plus, to some people the words ‘competitive salary’ with no mention of range seems suspicious. In an era when authenticity, trust and company culture are so important, a layer of mystery just doesn’t set the right tone.

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