Job descriptions are a cornerstone in recruitment, and a lot of what I do is intertwined with their effectiveness. They’re a common thread throughout the industry that can either attract or repel the very talent my clients are searching for. Far too often do I see laundry list type job descriptions; bullet points of qualifications that offer zero insight into the day to day responsibilities of the position. Recruitment has evolved completely in the digital age, and it is important that job descriptions evolve with it. Job seekers are online researchers, and make snap judgements based on the data that’s out there.  Poorly written, vague job descriptions are potentially the very first impression a candidate will take away from a client. If companies invested in creating enticing job descriptions to strategically engage potential candidates, they could be boosting their brand simultaneously.

My idea of a great job description combines a few things,

but the most important has got to be length. Most job seekers are on their phones these days, and big blocks of text or endless lists can deter them. Write simple sentences and be conversational. The opportunity to attract online candidates happens within the first few sentences, and I find the most effective job descriptions are short, but punchy.  It’s about striking a balance between informative and inspiring.

I also believe that great job descriptions should show how the role ties into the company culture. This can be done by providing details on exciting initiatives candidates will work on. Top talent will want to understand how this position adds to their skillset and impacts their overall career; this is the opportunity to showcase that.

Another pet peeve of mine is the use of business jargon in job descriptions. Companies should not assume that all applicants are privy to this language, in fact, it creates a hidden barrier. Some companies feel this helps screen out candidates, but I think this is an outdated technique that actually intimidates job seekers from applying. Keep things clear and concise, littering job descriptions with technical jargon is needlessly complicated, and could be negatively impacting hiring initiatives.

Writing the perfect job description requires a certain amount of finesse and practice.  Companies who recognize the value in a well-crafted job description could drastically impact their brand perception and increase their chances of connecting with individuals who are culture fits for their organization.

By Danielle Engstrom | People Science Team Lead