More Than a Job Description
By Tim Walker
It's a chance to promote your company.
What’s the trick to writing a good job description? Why does it even matter? Will job seekers even read it?
These are questions that have plagued hiring managers forever. Well, probably not forever…but at least since Gutenberg rolled out his printing press and people started mass producing written materials. The advent of mega-job board sites like Indeed or Careerbuilder means that millions of people could potentially read your job description. That’s why it matters. If 100,000 people gathered in a stadium to hear about YOUR company wouldn't you want to have a clear, concise message prepared?
In total, jobs posted at www.mforcestaffing.com get more than 400,000 impressions each month. That’s like 1 car driving by your business each second, 24 hours per day, 5 days a week. If that were the case, I bet you’d have a pretty good sign on your storefront!
Here are three simple things you can do to improve your job descriptions.
Clear the Clutter
Keep things simple. Use bullet points to organize your description into short, consumable bits of information. In a world of 140 Characters, you've got to make sure consumers can digest your message. Keep your sentences short and separate thoughts with bullet points.
We organize our descriptions into 3 sections: Job Summary, Duties and Responsibilities, and Education and Experience. The job summary contains a pithy review of the job. Duties and Responsibilities lists the regular things that the applicant will be responsible for each day. Education and Experience lists any degree and experience requirements.
Cut the Fluff
Too often, companies get in to the habit of treating their job description as a laundry list consisting of every possible task the job may involve. It can be overwhelming. Stick to the basics. What are the things that are really necessary for your new employee to know? What are the duties that are most important to you?
This will help you avoid plunging into bullet point hell. Avoid things like “Must be a team player” (who doesn't want a team player?) or “Other duties as assigned.” These things only distract an applicant.
Good business have a Unique Selling Point. This is the one thing they’re good at. The product, service or feature that sets them apart from the competition. Your job descriptions should be the same. What are the essential skills and qualifications that will make someone a success? What do they NEED to know?
Show Your Culture
Make your job description reflect your company culture. Do you offer full benefits? Maybe you’ve got a cafeteria on site or provide free gym membership. Talk it up! Anything helps when candidates are wading through hundreds of job descriptions that all sound the same.
Remember, most of the time the top job seekers aren’t really job seekers because they probably already have jobs. You’ve got to give them a reason to make a move. Money doesn’t always cut it. You’ve got to show them what sets you apart.
What do you think? Have you ever wanted to work for a company solely because they wrote an awesome job description? Does a job description even have the power to influence your perception of a company?
Tim Walker is the Marketing Manager for M Force Staffing, an Engineering/3D CAD and IT staffing company based in Knoxville, TN. They can be found at www.mforcestaffing.com