Hiring managers often say that one of the most difficult steps in recruiting new talent is writing the job description. The problem is that the folks doing the hiring aren’t usually writers by trade and they don’t always have the technical background of the person they are trying to hire.
The recruiting professionals at The Creative Group recently surveyed over 400 executives to find out what they struggle with the most. The biggest challenge, it turns out, is in identifying the interpersonal and soft skills necessary to do the job. 28% of respondents said that they have the hardest time communicating these in job descriptions.
Executives were equally split at 24% each over being able to accurately describe job duties and being able to determine between essential and ‘nice to have’ qualifications for the role.
10% of bosses surveyed said that coming up with the proper job title was the hardest part of writing a job description.
Tips for writing a successful job description
Use industry standard job titles. There’s not need to get overly creative with the name of the position, as that will only make your job harder to find in online searches.
Use clear and concise language. Explain the essentials about your company and what the job entails. There’s no need for long paragraphs or compound sentences. The point of the job description is to clearly disseminate information, not impress with the power of your prose.
Sell the job. It is even more important for your job description to attract than to inform. The more enticing it sounds to work at the job you’re posting, the higher quality of applicants you’ll receive.
Be realistic with the must-haves. While some qualifications really are essential, some hiring managers list every skill and experience that an absolute dream candidate could possibly have as necessary for the role. This wish list can scare off a lot of qualified, talented performers from even applying. Focus on what you really need.
Feel free to steal. Do a job search yourself, and read the way job descriptions for similar roles are written. Many requirements and duties will be common for the position across employers. Also, when you’re posting a job on Workopolis, there is a huge library of pre-written job descriptions that you can choose from to get you started.
What do you think? What is the most challenging part of writing a job description for you?