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Writing Better Job Descriptions In 2020

Writing better job descriptions in 2020

In 2020, the recruitment market will become an even more competitive space, and with Brexit fast approaching, and the unknown impact this will have on our country, line managers and recruiters need to invest more time and thought to the content of their job descriptions. They need to become creative and write even more compelling job adverts which will help their vacancy stand out above and beyond rival job vacancies.

Below are 5 keys aspects to consider:

1. The Job Advert is Poorly Written

When a job advert is poorly written, or if there isn’t enough information given about the job, it will probably fail. When a job description is poorly written, a job seeker will very likely ignore it, so ensure the job description is well organised and with a strong and enticing overview, by providing an accurate description of the job and of the requirements.

A job description is a representation of the company, the management and the job itself. If a job description has been written well, there is a strong chance that lots of thought has gone into it, that the company is taking the position seriously and that there is pride in what they do. This is your chance to demonstrate that your company operates with a high level of professionalism.

Ultimately, this could be the first impression a person has of your company, so get it right! 

2. The Skills Required Are Too Specific

It is good to have specific skills noted for job positions, but they should not be strictly specific.  Does this make sense? Probably not, let’s explain.

The talent pool of candidates is too small to risk ruling potential candidates out because you have been too specific about what you want. Take time to understand what the ‘must have’ and ‘the nice to have’ skills are.

Consider what skills are transferable, what alternative skills the person can have and what training and support the company can provide to give you a wider range of people to choose from.

3. The Job Advert Has the Wrong Job Title

A simple mistake, and it is one of the main reasons why job adverts fail, is that the wrong job title is chosen, or that it’s not clear what the job is. For most recruiters, when a job combines various responsibilities, they tend to post unrecognisable job titles. 

To avoid a job advert failing, consider that a standard job title in your company might not be ‘the norm’ across the industry, so it is important that you choose something that people target when looking for work and will recognise. 

4. The Company Has a Bad Reputation

A company may have a bad reputation and as job descriptions are in the public domain, this is a good chance to send out the right message. Consider that the job description is, in many ways, the first touch point a person will have with your company and it’s a great opportunity to start with a great candidate experience.

When writing the job description, consider including information that creates a positive impression about the company. When doing so, you should think about:

  • The history. Tell the company’s story since its conception. 
  • Information about the owners & their journey.
  • The company’s values, and the successes of the workforce.
  • The company’s clients. Portray the passion and pride in the work carried out.
  • The market, the company’s successes and the impact that they have had.

5. The Salary is Too Low

Every penny counts and every job seeker is looking for a job that has a good salary.  Many companies believe in being secretive about salaries – sometimes for good reason and other times, possibly because they don’t want to put off candidates by posting something that they think might be too low.

The truth is, by including pay details in your job descriptions, you will receive applicants who are immediately interested in the job; often people who have taken the time to read the job description in full, who have read and understood the requirements and probably made a fair assessment of their suitability for the position, leading you to receive a better quality of candidate. By including the salary, you are reducing the number of people who share their CV with very little consideration about the job and you will receive applicants who are genuinely interested.

There is also a misconception that by omitting salary information, more people will be intrigued or interested and that you will receive more applicants. This is not true, and you will in fact, probably receive fewer candidates. 

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