One thing attracts great applicants to a company (if not the company itself) is simply the job posting or description. From start to finish, postings are often the first opportunity an employer has to make an impression on a job seeker. Poorly written or inaccurate descriptions are costly and will ultimately only perpetuate the void your company needs to fill. Here are three tips for writing a description that will work for you as an employer—not against you!
Keep it fresh
Sometimes descriptions are merely reposted verbatim as they were written five years prior (or whenever the position was last “open”). But, in this economy, who can honestly say that their job or job description is the same today as it was in 2008? So, just as employers expect to see resumes that are tailored to each company and job, applicants have the right to expect the same of employers when it comes to writing a job description.
Possibly the easiest way to make sure the job description is ready (and up-to-date) is to review it each year. Best practices suggest that a review and update be completed during the annual performance review for that position. (You are, of course, conducting annual performance reviews, right?) The review is both a reminder and an opportunity to check the accuracy of the description against the reality of what the present job demands.
Keep it Forward
It’s one thing to keep a good handle on what the job demands at present. But, if you are able to take it a step further and build in what you expect or hope for the job to look like in six or twelve months, you will be even better off! Ask yourself how this position can help you reach your short and long term organizational goals and adjust the description accordingly. If you know where you want to go, why not recruit the talent that can help take you there?
Keep it Fundamental
Going with what we talked about in the last blog, decide what qualities, traits, or functions are absolutely necessary and list those as “requirements” not just “desired qualities.” Let job seekers know what is considered a “must” versus a “nice to have.” You’ll do yourself and potential applicants a favor that way.
This all sounds easy, but truthfully it can be difficult to execute. We’d be happy to advise you through the process if you need help—just give us a call!