How to Write a Job Description & Attract your Perfect Candidate
Drafting a vacancy announcement is an important stage in recruiting. If your job description is uninformative, has errors, lacks clarity, or contains lies, you may be waiting for applicants’ responses for ages! As practice shows, when you compose a job description, the contents of it are just as important as the style in which you present your information. Fun, memorable, creative job advertisements are gaining popularity nowadays and often attract more promising candidates. This article will teach you how to write a job description in no time.
Determine Your Target Audience and Address Them Correctly
The methods of finding new employees depend on the situation in the labor market and, in particular, on the values that are important for the current generation. Candidates of different generations were born in different periods (the 80s, 90s, 2000s, etc.), they have different values, tastes, and traits. Accordingly, a vacancy advertisement that would have worked perfectly 15 years ago can be completely irrelevant today.
Currently, the main part of the labor market is occupied by representatives of the Y generation, more commonly known as Gen Y or simply Millennials – people born from the 1980s to the early 2000s. Their values are greatly influenced by social networks, information technology, entertainment, etc. They appreciate creative freedom, outside-the-box thinking, team building, and relaxed subordination. Millennials often prefer remote work. When checking job offers online, they respond well to humor, originality, honesty.
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A proper communicative tone for Gen Y is playful, filled with jokes and banter. Modern recruiters take this feature into account in their work – both in live communication at interviews and in the preparation of creative job advertisements. Of course, if you are looking for a more mature workforce, it is best to keep a more plain professional tone, avoid humor and keep irrelevant information to a minimum.
8 Characteristics of Engaging Job Description
Being creative, utilizing unconventional methods of self-presentation generally pays off if you want to attract artistic, inventive employees. It's all about authenticity, self-awareness, and humor. Though it makes the features of creative job descriptions quite vague, there are some general principles that you can implement to make your offer stand out:
1.Interesting job title
You may use metaphors, pop-culture references, figures of speech, etc. Don’t overdo it – gist your offered position should still come through.
2. Keep it brief and to the point
Two or three sentences that reflect the essence of your vacancy are enough to give people an understanding of your offer. Clearly state main job requirements and other important info. If you overcrowd your job offer with vague information, your main points may not stand out.
3. List responsibilities, conditions, advantages, etc.
It is permissible to personally address your future employees, use a more playful tone, a non-standard way of describing the vacancy. However, try being as clear as possible to avoid confusion and misunderstandings in the future. Keep in mind that employees would like to know all the benefits that working with your company can give them, so you should definitely list all the advantages, like that there is a relaxation area with a soft sofa, a gym, free croissants at breakfast, ping pong table, pizzas on Fridays, etc. Listing such features will allow your future employees to better envision themselves within your office, and will fuel their desire to join your team.
4. Take advantage of deliberate primitivism of presentation, use slang
Sometimes using simplified vocabulary and even including mistakes can paint your company as a relatable, down-to-earth employer, who doesn’t take themselves overly seriously. However, it’s important to keep such features to a minimum so as not to attract uncommitted or poorly educated employees.
5. Use acronyms
Abbreviations are coming back into fashion – you can use this stylistic technique to deliver any listed information.
6. Filter the candidates
This technique will allow you to immediately weed out candidates that are not fitting for the job. For example, if you need a translator from Japanese, you can write part of the advertisement in hieroglyphs. If you are looking for a marketing specialist, you can use these 7 Writing Tips for Job Descriptions which Attract Marketing Professionals.
7. Pay attention to trends
When composing a vacancy, look at what is trending today: the most famous videos, jokes, memes may come in handy. If applicable, adding such references will show that your company has its finger on the pulse and isn’t boring. Candidates generally try to stay away from obviously bland and seemingly boring job offers, so keeping up with modern influences may be a good call.
8. Interactive elements
You can add a small test assignment into your job description, for example editing a program code for an IT specialist, finding an error in text for a copywriter, or retouching an image for a designer. When hiring a writer make sure to request a sample of their work, preferably a few small texts for different topics. You can try this if you are looking for some inspiration regarding the topics you can choose.
All Hands on Deck – Utilize All Available Content
Technical means have made more content options available to us than ever before. We live in the age of video and photos – YouTube and Instagram. Nowadays, information displayed on a picture prevails over text, and this trend is being introduced into job advertisements.
You no longer need to make a long description of the company, its corporate culture, and values – you can shoot a small yet vivid video and attach it to the job description. Photos of the office, funny collages, animations, and infographics can also increase the effectiveness of your job offer.
Don’t Try to Seem Cooler Than You Are
The key to effective yet creative recruiting is that it must be eye-catching yet fully comply with the values of your company and position itself.
Withstand from jokes and chilled friendly tone if these statements describe your company: conservative principles, formal communication among employees, strict rules, official dress code. If this is the case, avoid a frivolous tone in your job advertisement, so as not to attract a non-target audience and deceive the expectations of candidates.
Another common mistake is an abundance of jokes and creativity that overshadow the very essence of the ad. Regardless of your tone and overall mood of the advertisement, always state who exactly is needed, for which job, and on what terms. Clever creativity, subtle humor, and maximum information are the three pillars on which the creation of an effective job advertisement is based.
Never Put This in Your Job Description!
There are common prohibitions established by law: discrimination based on sex, age, citizenship, nationality, criminal record, property, etc. Their violation will not be missed by moderators of job search sites. Therefore, try not to include any affiliated requirements in your job description. And, of course, allow no vulgarity, dismissive, insensitive or inappropriate statements.
Also, here are some things you should be mindful of in your job description:
- Don't make unreasonable requests (searching for a millennial employee with 15 years of professional experience);
- Don’t overstate the material benefits of working with your company – mix them with fun activities and interesting features about your business or team, or else you risk attracting only money-driven candidates;
- Don’t over enthuse about your company – mention negatives along with positives (such as high-stress level or remote business trips).
These are just a few challenging aspects of recruitment. If you want to learn more about it, check out these 5 Biggest Recruitment Challenges and Tips on Overcoming Them.
Summing it up
A job description is not simply a work advertisement is not just a job offer – it is the first point of contact between your future employee and the company. Applicants will base their initial opinion and impression of you as an employer on the job offer you post. Therefore, the style and content of a vacancy affect the organization's image, as well as the velocity of finding new employees.
A poorly written job description equals hours, wasted by your recruiter and HR, whereas a good text will help save time, nerves, and attract worthy candidates that will love working at your company!
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