How to write an effective job description that will attract and identify the most talented candidates

An effective job description has the power to attract and identify the most talented candidates for your company. Job descriptions also play a vital internal role by justifying the need for positions, defining the specific functions of roles, setting the hierarchy in the workplace and providing legal protection during employee terminations.

With this much power, you want to make sure you draft job descriptions that provide the maximum benefit to the employer. Here’s is a look at several tips and tools that can help you develop effective job descriptions.

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7 Top Tips and tools to develop effective job descriptions

1. Perform Industry Research on the Job or Position

Before you even start writing a job description take some time to research job descriptions from top companies in your industry. Check out several online job boards and review job openings in your specific industry. Also, read some of your competitors’ career pages on their websites to see what they are offering. This not only gives you an idea of what job openings your competitors have available but provides insight into what types of job options today’s candidates are seeking.

2. Gather Internal Company Data on the Job

Gather as much internal data about the position as possible. Talk to current employees, supervisors and department heads to make sure you have a clear understanding of what the job entails, what the work environment is like and the demands of the job.

Short, direct pulse surveys offer a quick, effective method of collecting valuable data about the position quickly.

3. Set Job Duties and Responsibilities

Once you have a clear picture of what the job involves then determine the specific job duties and responsibilities of the position. You should list duties as short, concise bullet points. The primary goal of this section is to give the candidate a sense of what the job is really like.

4. Determine Desired Education and Experience Skills for the Postion

Employers typically have strict sets of educational and experience requirements that all candidates must meet. Many times, these same employers have sets of desired education and experience skills that they want candidates to have. It is vital to keep the required and desired skills separate in the job description. This will avoid the risk of top-talent candidates not applying because they thought that they weren’t 100 percent qualified for the position.

Learn How to Align Pre-Employment Assessments with Job Requirements.

5. Identify Key Behavioral Traits to Look for In a Candidate

You should identify key behavior traits, such as motivation, problem-solving and multitasking, that your “ideal” candidate should possess. Incorporate these traits into the job description. Equally important is to have a pre-hire assessment process in place that lets you identify which candidates have the characteristics your company needs.


6. Set the Right Tone and Language in the Job Description

The tone and specific language used when writing a job description is crucial. You want to avoid any type of bias, such as gender, age or racial bias, in your writing. Online recruitment tools can instantly analyze your job descriptions and detect any risky language that may send the wrong message to prospective candidates.

7. Use Targeted Keywords

Just as with any type of marketing, you must incorporate target keywords into your job descriptions to make sure you attract the right type of candidates. Online tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you find the keywords that are right for your job description and industry.

Writing an effective job description will help with recruiting, onboarding and in-house management

Writing an effective job description will help with recruiting, onboarding and in-house management. Some of the most important things are to gather all the facts before writing the job description, keep your points as concise and transparent as possible and to develop a hiring process that helps to identify “ideal” candidates. Learn more about creating effective job descriptions and how to develop a pre-hire assessment process by contacting FurstPerson today.