The Effective Job Description

This month we focus on Recruitment. In particular, how to attract candidates, how to make a competitive offer, how to interview for increased success and how to onboard your new employee. This week we examine aspects of creating an effective job description.

How to Create an Effective Job Description
Your advertised job description is your chance to highlight the company culture and attract a great candidate pool for your role. This may be the first thing your potential candidate sees and a good job description will impact the quality and diversity of your applicants, allowing you to hire the right person.

Here are things to consider when crafting that job description:

1. Start with a clear job title.
The job title is the first thing your candidates see and plays a crucial role in grabbing their attention (or not). Keep it simple, concise, and make sure it reflects the role’s responsibilities. Avoid company jargon or overly creative titles that may confuse potential applicants. (So don’t use titles like Wizard of Want or Number Ninja!)

Also – consider inclusive language that avoids gender bias and accurately represents the role to a more diverse audience.

2. Define Responsibilities and Expectations.
Clearly outline the key responsibilities and expectations associated with the role. Be specific about the tasks, projects, and goals the successful candidate will be responsible for. But also include outcomes and deliverables expected of your new job holder. This clarity helps candidates understand what the role entails and assess whether they are a good fit.

Make sure that the qualifications and skills you list for the role are essential to the position and avoid unnecessarily restrictive criteria that might discourage diverse candidates.

3. Focus on Skills and Competencies. 
Instead of overly emphasising specific educational backgrounds or years of experience, focus on the skills and competencies necessary to excel in the role. Consider including a mix of hard skills (e.g., technical expertise) and soft skills (e.g., communication, problem-solving) essential for success. You can attract a more diverse pool of candidates with varying backgrounds and experiences when you emphasise skills over credentials.

4. Highlight Company Culture and Values.
Of course job seekers are looking for a pay check, but they are also seeking a company culture that aligns with their values and goals. Include information about your company’s mission, vision, and core values into the job description. Describe the work environment, team dynamics, and any unique perks or benefits offered. This helps candidates determine whether they will thrive within the company culture, leading to better long-term retention and job satisfaction.

Remember, nearly 90% of ‘bad hires’ are due to fit and/or culture issues.

5. Use Inclusive Language and Consider Diversity.
The language you use plays a significant role in shaping the perception of job opportunities and can inadvertently discourage certain groups from applying. Use inclusive language that welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, or other factors. Avoid gendered pronouns and biased language that may unconsciously exclude potential applicants. Consider the specific needs and preferences of diverse candidates when outlining job requirements and responsibilities. These might include remote working, flexible hours, office adaptations, or consideration for specific cultural/religious needs.

A diverse workforce can greatly benefit your company.

By carefully crafting an effective job description you will increase your chances of attracting top talent to your company. By using the tips above, you can create job descriptions that resonate with a diverse pool of candidates and ultimately lead to successful hires.

At HR Ready, we are dedicated to helping companies navigate the hiring process and build inclusive, high-performing teams. Please get in touch with a member of the team who will be able to support you further at info@hrready.co.uk or 01223 641 017.