Workplace Evolution


The Dos and Don'ts of Writing Job Descriptions: Captivating Candidates from the Start

candidate attraction candidate experience candidate screening crafting compelling job ads effective recruiting hiring mistakes hiring tips hr templates job ad language trends job ad optimization job ad tone and language job ad writing best practices job descriptions job market trends job postings job search job skills Aug 02, 2023

Writing a job description is one of the first steps in the recruitment process. It's more than just a list of duties and qualifications; it's your first opportunity to attract high-caliber candidates and showcase what your company has to offer. Crafting compelling job descriptions is an art form that requires a balance of information, persuasion, and clarity. Here are the dos and don'ts that will help you get it right.

The Dos of Writing Job Descriptions

  1. Do Be Specific: Clearly state the job title and role within the organization. Include a detailed list of responsibilities to give candidates a realistic idea of what the job entails. Remember, vagueness can lead to misinterpretation, so be as specific as possible.
  2. Do Highlight Key Qualifications: Clearly list the skills, experiences, and qualifications needed for the job. Make sure to distinguish between 'required' and 'preferred' qualifications to give candidates a clear understanding of what's expected.
  3. Do Use Clear and Concise Language: Avoid industry jargon, acronyms, or complex phrases that might confuse the candidate. Write in a clear, concise, and straightforward manner.
  4. Do Showcase Your Company Culture: The job description is an excellent place to highlight your company culture and values. Explain what makes your company a great place to work, as this can attract candidates who align with your culture.
  5. Do Include Compensation and Benefits Information: If possible, provide details about the salary range and benefits. This transparency can increase the perceived value of the position and attract serious candidates.

The Don'ts of Writing Job Descriptions

  1. Don't Use Discriminatory Language: Avoid using language that could be interpreted as discriminatory based on gender, age, race, religion, disability, or any other protected characteristics. This not only ensures a diverse applicant pool but also keeps your company compliant with anti-discrimination laws.
  2. Don't Overload with Duties: While you should be thorough, avoid listing every conceivable task. Focus on core responsibilities and expectations, which should make up about 80% of the job.
  3. Don't Neglect Soft Skills: While technical skills are crucial, soft skills like communication, problem-solving, or leadership are just as important. Including these in your description can help attract well-rounded candidates.
  4. Don't Forget SEO: With many job searches beginning online, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital. Use relevant keywords that potential candidates are likely to use in their job searches.
  5. Don't Be Negative: Even if the job is challenging, try to maintain a positive tone. Instead of emphasizing the tough aspects of the job, focus on the potential for growth and the impact the role can have on the organization.

In summary, a well-crafted job description is your first impression on potential candidates. By clearly outlining the role, highlighting necessary qualifications, and showcasing your company culture, you can attract top talent and make the recruitment process smoother and more efficient. Remember, your goal is not only to inform but also to entice and engage your prospective new hire from the get-go.

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