Best Practices in HR

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Elyse Schmidt
  November 26, 2017

How to Write an Epic Job Description (in 500 Words)

With the average candidate visiting between 12-18 sites before they even get to your jobs, it’s exceptionally important to use that job real estate wisely once they do. Candidates are doing most of their research in the Zero Moment of Truth phase (credit to Google for this amazing concept), so when they’re finally ready to make a decision, they have to choose a job and apply.

In that moment, it needs to be a homerun.

Recently, I polled 300 talent acquisition professionals about their job descriptions: a whopping 74% said they didn’t like theirs. I’m sure you’re reading this because you don’t like yours either. So, it’s time to change them by simply writing better job descriptions. Here’s how:

Write like a person!

Most job descriptions sound like we are requisitioning a computer from IT and not Emily for sales. Emily is a person. And while we need Emily to have a skillset to do the job, she is still a person that laughs, smiles, cries, gets excited, reads, learns, etc. And we don’t speak to those emotions or needs in most job descriptions.

  • Inject some life! Be funny. Be clever. Use your brand voice and company culture in these descriptions. Talent acquisition is moving into more and more branding and content across their recruiting channels, but job descriptions seem to be the last touched.
  • Avoid internal language, jargon and acronyms. Keep in mind that they don’t know you well enough to speak your language; to assume they can is off-putting and will lead them to abandon the process.
  • Do not write a page-long job description with long paragraphs and endless bullets! A great job description errs on short: one because candidates all have short attention spans, and two because companies need to be concise.

Be “you” first. Not you.

When you’ve done a masterful job of attracting people based on your brand, you have a big opportunity to seal the deal on the job description when you can answer for candidates: “Why you?” “Why here?” “Why now?” It means writing this based on the “you” for candidates, not you as a company.

Make it easy to see that the candidate is in the right place for their skills right now. Tell them the impact they’ll make; share how your employees with similar skills and characteristics have made a difference and developed in the company. Hey, might as well include a short video of those employees explaining it themselves.
  • Put the focus squarely on the candidate. Don’t open with all the things about you as a company, talk about them. Actually use “you.” Instead of saying, “We need four years of inside sales experience,” say “You should have four years inside sales experience.” It allows them to write themselves into your story, which is what will make them click.

Because we spend a pretty penny and so many calories driving our candidates to an ideal job, it’s crucial to paint a picture they can really see; one that gets them excited enough to update their resume and continue through the entire application process. A human approach is far more likely to attract, well, a human. If you wouldn’t read it or get intrigued, neither will they.

The post How to Write an Epic Job Description (in 500 Words) appeared first on SmashFly Blog.

Written by Tracey Parsons