Raise your hand if you thought the hardest part about hiring a new employee would be actually posting the job online. Nobody? Thought not. The issue of creating an appealing job description is one that few anticipate but all inevitably encounter.
The quality of applications you receive comes as a direct result of the quality of the post. If your job description piques the interest of the bright and talented, you’ll receive applications from the bright and talented. If your job description is bland and bereft of excitement you’ll be receiving applications from — you guessed it — people who reflect the description.
Of course, writing a glowing job description is easier said than done.
1) Treat it like an ad
If you’re trying to drum up business, you’ll likely spend a significant amount of time and effort in putting together a killer ad campaign, right? (If not, you should, by the way.)
You should treat the hiring process in much the same way. Your employees are your greatest asset, and as such, you should put considerable effort into attracting only the best.
When you put together your job description, just as an advertisement sells a product, you’re selling your business to someone who will make it better. Take the same attitude you have when forming ad campaigns and apply it to the hiring process.
2) Junk your templates
Know what a template looks like? A template. Why should anyone who cares about their work apply for a job at a company that doesn’t care to present themselves in an original way?
As you format your job description, do it with the actual position in mind, and not with a preset, lifeless template. What I’m saying here is that a marketing job description should look quite different than that of an administrative assistant.
3) Reflect your attitude
Your job description should tie into the attitude, culture and values of your company. For example, a job description for a paralegal should, if done right, read differently than one for an ad executive.
You’re passionate about your job, and you’re passionate about growing your company, so get excited! Show potential employees who you are and what you’re about, and like-minded people will respond.
4) Use industry-specific tools
Don’t pull any punches, here! Do what it takes and go wherever necessary to find the people you want. The person you’re looking for is out there, and often it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
One way to do this is to use software designed to find the right people for you industry. For example, if you’re looking to hire a dental assistant (and keep them around), utilize onboarding software that will get your name out to the best potential applicants in that field.
No matter the niche, these kinds of tools exist — you just have to do some digging to find ‘em.
5) Have an audience in mind
This may seem obvious, but it bears mentioning. You need to know who you want before you can write in a way that will appeal to them.
This is a concept I’ve already touched on — if you’re looking for an accountant, you’ll approach the description different than you would for an event planner. Similarly, you’ll write a different description for junior and senior level employees, and you’ll need to reflect company culture.
Ultimately, you need to know exactly what type of person you want to fill the role. You need to know what personality type will fit best, what type or work style will mesh best, and for some positions, even what outside interests and hobbies are most conducive to bettering company culture. If you know your audience, you’ll know what a good job description should look like.
6) Represent yourself honestly
When it comes down to it, you need to believe that your company is actually a place people want to go to work. As such, allow for an honest presentation of the job and the company to take the leading role in your job description.
Good employees will be able to tell if you’re trying to make yourself out to be something you’re not. Show them that you’re honestly representing yourself and your work environment in the job description.
A final caveat here — if you can’t honestly represent your company in a positive and appealing way, you likely have some internal work to do before you even think about trying to bring in a high quality new hire.
The right employees are out there …
I’m fairly confident in saying that somewhere out there, there’s someone who’s a perfect fit for your company. Odds are, they’re out there looking for a job right now.
Remember — high quality employees won’t be attracted to a low quality job description, because they know their worth. It’s incumbent on you to make it worth it for them.
Luckily, with just a bit of time, reflection, and effort (and the above tips), this shouldn’t be a problem.
Best of luck on the hunt!
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.