You have a clear idea of who you want to hire and a compelling employer brand. Now what? The next step is to convince high performers to fill out your job application.
That’s where your job descriptions enter the picture. The key is to communicate relevant information and help candidates visualize themselves in a role.
Remember—The job description is written for them, not you. Disorganized or unrealistic job descriptions might make a candidate think the company isn’t organized or credible.
For a quick reference, make sure your job descriptions cover the following:
Clearly outline the responsibilities of the role
Share a bit about the company and its values
Let the candidate know what's expected of them in the role
Lay out a plan for success
With the basics covered, here are some additional tips for writing job descriptions that pop off the screen.
When you post a job description, you’ll also want to consider how they’re coming across your message—through a LinkedIn posting, your company website, or a referral from a friend, for instance. You’ll also want to consider specific demographic criteria—tailor your messaging to millennials and Gen Z, for instance.
The potential for growth is huge for candidates. It’s why many potential employees are open to leaving their existing roles to join your company in the first place. They’re looking for growth, both personally and professionally. In addition to showing what a role is, highlight what one could become and how a candidate can grow in that position.
High performers won’t accept new roles on a whim or leap of faith. In evaluating job opportunities, they want a clear, tangible perspective of what the job entails. They’re wondering, “how is this role going to make me feel?” When writing job descriptions, aim to paint a picture of what your organization looks like. Focus on what’s inspiring. Think about your mission, values, and best moments.
Let’s say you want to build a world-class creative team. Consider creating video and infographic content—recruiting messages that exemplify the same vibes of the end products that you’re producing.
Or, consider Casted, a podcast platform for content marketers. They (obviously!) use podcasts to promote their job descriptions.
Additionally, the LinkedIn Talent Blog has published tactical, research-backed recommendations from its platform to help inform your writing. These tips include:
Most candidates will spend 14 seconds determining whether or not they want to apply to work at your company. Short, scannable job descriptions will help them make the right judgment call. Under 300 words is the recommended length, according to LinkedIn.
Most people work to earn a living. In order to attract the right candidates, your company needs to offer the right level of job-specific compensation. Most candidates (61%) say that details about pay are what matter most.
If the tone of your job posting doesn’t align with your culture, people are 2-4X less likely to apply. Similarly, job posts that are too casual tend to perform worse than generic or formal ones. The bottom line is that people don’t want to risk landing in a bad role. Your company needs to put its true — and best — self forward.
LinkedIn has found that masculine language (words like aggressive, dominant, outspoken, rockstar) tends to push women away from roles. To be more welcoming, use neutral language that won’t repel qualified applicants, including the use of neutral pronouns.
One example to consider is this job posting from Atomic Object, a Michigan-based technology firm that builds custom software. The company publishes story-driven job posts that clearly communicate:
A commitment to diversity
Personality traits of exceptional hires
An overview of the company
A detailed description about the position — and life on the job
Details about what makes Atomic Object a rewarding and fulfilling place to work
A description of benefits
Information about an employee ownership structure
Every career path has the potential to be an incredible life story. A job is just one short stint on a longer, more elaborate professional journey. Vivid, story-based job descriptions can help build a level of motivation and excitement about a role.
We spend a lot of our lives working. So we want to empower people to find work they will love and that will add meaning to their lives.
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