Most job descriptions are long, boring, desperate pleas for help. If you want to attract top talent you need to know how to write a good job description that compels the right candidates to take action.
4 Essentials of a Winning Job Description
Using these four essentials will make writing a good job description feasible for any business owner or hiring manager.
The problem with most job ads is that they jump right to the job duties and don’t accurately reflect what prospective candidates are looking for in a new role.
Effective job descriptions provide more detail about who the right person for your role is instead of just focusing solely on the job responsibilities. This will attract more qualified applicants for your open positions.
Essential #1: Position the job seeker as the hero.
A good job description doesn’t jump right into a long list of requirements. It starts by seeking buy-in from your potential employee, revealing how their life could be better if they worked with you.
To write a winning job description, it is important to know what your potential employee is looking for.
Although people say they leave jobs in search of better hours, higher pay, or flexible schedules, what truly motivates them are the emotions behind those external wants and needs.
They likely want better hours and flexibility to spend more time with loved ones or for activities they enjoy. Instead of focusing solely on the material benefits of your available position, also describe how working with your company solves these deeper problems.
If you aren’t sure what candidates want, ask your employees what their situation looked like before they worked with you.
- How did they feel?
- What were their struggles?
- How do they feel now?
- What do they enjoy about working with your company?
Your best employees were likely in the same situation that your prospective candidates are in now. Use their answers to craft a story of transformation that highlights what your company offers its employees.
Essential #2: Include Testimonials From Current Employees
Including testimonials from existing employees is a great addition to any job description.
These real-life examples of what it’s like to work with your company show that you are committed to providing an enjoyable, secure company culture. Employee testimonials also add credibility to the promises listed in your job description, building trust with job candidates.
Essential #3: Provide Clear Next Steps
No one wants to apply for a job only to be ghosted and never hear from the company again. It is essential to outline the hiring process so that applicants know exactly what to expect.
Tell job seekers:
- How soon they will hear from you
- What your company’s hiring process looks like
- How quickly you plan to fill the role
If you can whittle your recruitment process down to 3-4 concrete steps, that will make it seem clear and streamlined. More than four steps may overwhelm even the best candidates.
Essential #4: Be Engaging
When it comes to writing, there is no such thing as too long, only too boring.
People are used to dry, lifeless job descriptions. If you can infuse personality, or even humor, into your job posting, (like we did on Stripe A Lot’s careers page) you will instantly stand out from the crowd.
If you describe the things your job candidates care about — the importance of your company’s mission and how working with your company will make their lives better — they will want to keep reading, no matter how long your job ad is.
The best job descriptions:
- Describe the right candidate. Include qualities the ideal person should have.
- Briefly explain what the job entails: core responsibilities, technical skills, desired soft skills, and required qualifications of the role.
- Provide key information about company culture.
- Avoid gender-specific language.
Job Description Template
Now that you’ve got the essentials of a winning job description, let’s look at how to put all those essentials together to write job ads that attract the best candidates.
Here is a template you can use to write an engaging job description:
- Use a clear job title.
- Describe what your ideal candidate wants. List a few elements they are searching for in a new position.
- Outline the job’s duties and responsibilities.
- List the qualities and characteristics of someone who would thrive in your company.*
- Include the job requirements.
- Explain the hiring process in three clear steps.
*Ideal places to include employee testimonials.
Although writing job descriptions can seem rather formulaic, they aren’t one size fits all. Regardless of the length or format, be sure your job description includes the four essentials:
- Position the job seeker as the hero.
- Include employee testimonials.
- Clearly outline the next steps.
- Make the job ad engaging.
Then, make some room in your calendar because you’ll be busy interviewing candidates in no time.
If you don’t have the time to write a compelling job description that will attract the right applicants, schedule a call with Guide MKTG today. We will write custom content for you (based on information you provide) so that you can fill your open positions and get back to work.