A good job description should accurately describe the position that will attract the right candidates – in both qualifications and fit. Although job postings are not as comprehensive as a full-on position description, a well-written job description will help measure job performance as well as what is expected in the workplace.
If it seems like we’re asking a lot of a written job description, you’re right, we are. But that’s okay because a properly-written job description will deliver on all counts. Here are 7 tips and best practices to help you write an effective job description that will attract ideal candidates.
How To Write a Good Job Description
1. Write with the Ideal Candidate in Mind
There will likely be overqualified, underqualified, and unqualified respondents to any well-written job post. You obviously aren’t writing this job description for them, so whom are you writing it for? Begin with a clear, detailed understanding of that individual so that you can proceed to write this job description expressly for that person. Do this first.
2. Put Some Thought into the Job Title
Is “Sales Service Manager” a sales position or a service role? Is this opening truly managerial or is it an entry level opportunity? Is this an office job or a field position? The answer to each question isn’t necessarily good or bad but this much is certain: that job title invokes more questions than it answers.
Since most candidates are just skimming titles—or utilizing technology to do so for them—it pays to use a title that is concise, accurate, and uses words or phrases for which the candidate (or bot) is looking.
3. Give an Accurate Job Location
Major metropolitan areas are often too large to be a useful descriptor for all but senior-level job seekers. If the job is in Waukegan, Calumet City, or Bronzeville, tell them that. Don’t say it’s in Chicagoland. But the same holds true for rural areas. Southern Indiana holds a lot of possibilities. By comparison, stating that an opportunity is in Gnaw Bone, Indiana narrows it down considerably.
4. Briefly Describe the Job Environment and Work Atmosphere
What do you wan that ideal candidate to know about what it’s like to work at your company? Tell them that. Of course you want to convey everything with a positive spin, but if you sugarcoat it, you will regret the inevitable outcome. This is the perfect opportunity to include the work culture and team atmosphere.
5. List the Primary Duties Plus Any Special Ones
There is no need to list every task involved. List the essential duties and main responsibilities that are critical to the position. If there are any unusual duties worth mentioning, such as attending a national conference or sitting on a prestigious committee, mention it. Majority of job postings include, “Other duties as assigned.” Are these other duties major or minor to the position?
6. List the Key Required Education, Skills, Experience and Attributes
Here is where you will really want to keep the ideal candidate in mind because the last thing you want to do is scare them off with “preferred” attributes that are not realistic in the current hiring market. You might prefer a candidate with an MBA for a position that’s just one step above entry level the same way a candidate might prefer a six-figure salary for that same position.
That’s not going to happen for either of you. Now what do you really need? What level of application knowledge such as Word or Excel is needed for the position?
7. Get Others to Review and Edit
Just as you notice resumes that contain typos and grammatical errors, your ideal candidates can pass over a job posting with the same careless errors. Our best advice here is don’t try to be your own proofreader. Get two or three other team members review the job description.
The Spring-Green Way
The Spring-Green organization has over four decades worth of experience promoting real growth across our national franchise network. As you might imagine, we’ve developed a few winning job descriptions over the decades and hire great staff to support our franchise owners. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com to learn more.