Is Your Job Description a Failure or Success?

Have you ever read a job description that seems to be an endless stream of consciousness? – A very long paragraph which seems more like an impossible eye chart.  It’s a bit puzzling considering this single document could be the first impression made by your business, and ultimately determine the quality of the candidates who opt to apply to an open position.

Write job descriptions for quality applicants, not quantity

With over 20 years of experience, CultureFit recruiters have found there’s a better way to write a job description – generating quality vs. quantity candidates, and functioning as an effective marketing “pre-sell”  for the company overall.  The following is a quick overview of 7 categories every job description should include to compel the most qualified candidates to share their resume:

  1. Company Description – this is your opportunity to brag, promote, and share all of the great reasons your organization is an ideal place to work and grow a career. Don’t be shy, but don’t overstate the truth.  Today, almost all organizations have public reviews from past employees or customers.  Check out Glass Door .
  2. Core Functions and/or general job description– placing this category under the company description will help candidates quickly assess a potential match to their experience and skill sets.
  3. Required Experience – include a list of mandatory experience and/or skill sets deemed necessary to fulfill the responsibilities associated to the position. However, use caution when generating this list – many candidates will take this information quite literally and withhold submitting their information if they don’t meet each requirement.   Use the litmus test of “must have” vs. “nice to have” to determine criticality.
  4. Preferred Experience – This list can be a little lengthier than the required experience category, and falls into the “nice to have” bucket. Preferred experience is generally associated to length of ramp up time needed for the selected candidate to become fully productive.
  5. Character Attributes – One of the most commonly missed categories in a job description.  This is the hiring manager’s opportunity to define the type of person that will quickly integrate into the company and team culture – almost as important, if not more important, than required experience.  We’ve all seen the new employee who has a resume that appears to be a perfect fit based on experience and skill sets, they interview with finesse, but once they join the team they quickly become an “odd man out” due to their approach to work, their personality (the team is type A, the new employee type B), or overall demeanor (challenges everything, or perhaps they’re a follower when the role requires a proactive leader).  Spending time on this category with direct reports and cross-functional peers will prove to have both monetary and productive value.
  6. Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – this is another commonly missed category, however the value of including this criteria eliminates any short and long-term confusion when it comes time for performance reviews regardless of the management level.
  7. Legal Requirements – consult with your attorney(s) to determine any legal disclaimers that should be included with your published job descriptions. This information should also be located within your website under policies.  At minimum, most companies will include “<<Name of Company>> is an equal opportunity employer.

A good job description needs to be easy to read – and should be used as a reliable check list for both potential candidates and the hiring manager.   At CultureFit Technology Staffing we recognize this part of the recruitment process can take additional time to an otherwise hectic week-call us today at 847-945-7600 to discuss filling your next contract or permanent Technology role.