To be an effective recruiter, you have to shoulder many responsibilities. Often, in your efforts to get everything done, it can be easy to lose sight of one of the keys to your overall recruiting success: quality job descriptions.
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If your job descriptions are above par and well written, they'll make your job as a recruiter a lot easier. Great job descriptions tend to weed out unqualified candidates and attract applicants who are more likely to succeed.
However, if your job descriptions are weak and generic, you may be struggling unnecessarily to find the talent you need.
With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you write better job descriptions:
1. Clearly State the Job Responsibilities
If the position requires two years of accounting experience, say that in no uncertain terms. If an employee will need to lift more than 50 pounds' worth of product on a regular basis, emphasize that. If the responsibilities aren't clearly stated, you will waste a lot of time reviewing the resumes of unqualified candidates.
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2. Include Relevant Keywords in the Job Title
It's important to include keywords in your job descriptions so that the best candidates can find your roles.
For example, if you need a social media specialist, make your job title "Social Media Specialist/Manager." Including both "specialist" and "manager" means you can attract a broader audience. Be sure to include keywords specific to the location of the job and its industry as well. That way, you'll get better results from your listings.
3. Avoid Jargon
Don't say that your company is "disruptive" or that you encourage "outside-the-box thinking." Be straightforward. Job seekers want to know what your company is like and what it needs in plain English.
4. Explain Your Values and Culture
If your business is environmentally friendly, feature that. If your corporate culture is laid-back, mention that. Explaining your organization's culture and values can help you attract candidates who align with them and weed out those who don't.
5. Outline the Application Instructions
Be clear about whether you accept applications via email, postal mail, or fax. If you want people to actually apply, you have to clearly explain the steps they need to take to do so.
6. List the Salary Range
Do not use a single figure – e.g., "$40,000 per year" – in your job description. You'll limit yourself in terms of negotiation.
Instead, offer a range – e.g., "$30,000 to $50,000 based on candidate experience." If you're open to a wider range of salaries, you'll attract a wider range of candidates.
7. Check Your Grammar and Syntax
Do not simply rely on the spell-check function of your word processor when creating your descriptions. Manually review your job descriptions for grammatical and syntactical errors. Many candidates will be turned off by grammatically incorrect listings.
Simplicity is key when creating your job descriptions. Use industry best practices and get your points across as quickly and succinctly as possible. If you put the work in to create great job descriptions, you might just find yourself with a fully staffed company in no time – and possibly a lighter workload altogether.
Allan Newman helps run an online business where he looks for new talent to recruit.