Do Your Job Descriptions Lack Impact?

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Do Your Job Descriptions Lack Impact?
Here's How To Change That!

We know that it's not easy to run a business, especially when you have to worry about staffing that business, as well. Getting qualified candidates through the door requires a compelling job description that makes people actively want to work for your company. You most likely have a job description detailing the open positions at your company, but is it compelling?

72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions. 36% of applicants say they have not been provided with clear job descriptions. There are two very different numbers, which means something was lost in translation. Most likely, it's the fact that many hiring managers don't know what makes a job description clear and compelling.

Let's discuss how to avoid pushing applicants away from your open positions with lackluster job descriptions.

The Purpose Of A Job Description
Job descriptions exist to inform potential applicants of what you are looking for in a qualified candidate, what you will expect from them in the position you are describing, and what they can expect in terms of compensation and benefits. Accurately communicating the duties and responsibilities expected of any employee is the only way to ensure that you set a foundation for consistently recruiting, training, and retaining dedicated and professional employees.

Sound complicated? It's far more straightforward than it sounds. However, because it can seem like a complex process, many hiring managers make the mistake of treating it like a complicated process. And if they don't do that, they end up writing an extraordinarily generic and generalized job description that reads like a grocery list of qualifications. 

So, how can you avoid making this mistake? Glad you asked!

  1. Simple Is Best
    A common mistake made by many hiring managers is to assume that their job descriptions need to sound complex and fancy. As a result, they end up using long-winded job titles, an unnecessarily detailed summary, and language so packed with jargon that it almost sounds like a foreign language. If applicants can't read your job description comfortably, they won't engage with it.

    Keep your language clear, concise, and straightforward. Don't fluff up your job titles until they sound like a completely different position. And stick to brief descriptions of what your company does for your summaries.
  1. Make Sure Everyone Is On The Same Page
    There are many instances of hiring managers writing job descriptions without consulting with the people responsible for running that job. Unfortunately, doing so leads to candidates who come in with an incorrect idea of what job they'll be doing. Worse, you could end up with unqualified candidates who don't know that they are unqualified because of a miscommunication on the job description.
    Make your job description a collaborative effort. Ensure that hiring managers and shift supervisors have a hand in what qualifications are needed in a new hire. Be sure to keep the job summary up to date to cover any alterations in the responsibilities of someone in the position being described.
  1. Be Specific About What You Want
    It's easy to throw out a Christmas list of perfect qualifications that you want in a new hire. Of course, we'd all love an employee who is willing to work 24/7, has eight college degrees, is a computer genius, and can speak every Romance language. But realistically, only some of these things will be relevant to your open position. And a long list of complicated qualifications can quickly turn away potential applicants who will feel that they aren't qualified for the job when they might be the perfect fit.

    Take a hard look at the position you are describing and ask yourself what it takes to do that job. If you think that something would be helpful but not mandatory, you should say that. Do not be afraid to remove arbitrary requirements, such as years of education or languages spoken. And while you're at it, everyone "is diligent," "works well with others," "has a positive attitude," and many other cliched phrases that have ended up in every job description ever. Cut out these general phrases.

    But, to make an impact with your job description, you should throw a bigger spotlight on results than qualifications. Instead of telling applicants what you want them to be able to do, tell them the things you want to be done, and let the ones with the skills necessary for doing those things come forward on their own.
  1. Manage Expectations
    People read job descriptions because they want a good idea of what they could expect in the role you are offering in your company. This information is what they will latch onto immediately, so it needs to stand out. Be clear about duties, responsibilities, and salary information. Especially be clear about salary information, because unless you're hiring for a volunteer position, your prospective applicant will be looking to get paid.


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