When you need to hire a new employee, either because of company growth or to replace a department employee, writing a good job description often gets tossed to the wayside. The hiring process can be time-consuming, as managers screen resumes and set up interviews. An existing or very abbreviated job description may seem like a time-saving efficiency.
Good job descriptions are an essential part of the hiring process. First, job descriptions can attract outstanding employees. Second, they create a template for the job, so that both sides know what the job will be. Third, they can help to ensure that only qualified employees apply. Fourth, descriptions can be a road map to the expectations of the job once an employee is hired. All of these elements help make your company stand out from the competition.
Here are four tips to writing a job description that stands out from the pack.
1. Write a clear job title and description.
You need to set expectations by writing a clear job title and description. Why? Well, it’s surprisingly common to see job postings with titles with “Office Ninja” or “Corporate Rock Star.” These titles likely started as a way to grab attention over more prosaic office titles, like “Office Manager” or “Salesperson.”
But look at it from the employee’s perspective. Does “Office Ninja” really fairly tell them what they’ll be doing all day? The best way to retain employees is to make their job satisfaction high. A crucial method is to be clear about what their job entails. The job title and description have to clearly outline what the job is.
2. Itemize the major functions and qualifications.
After a clear title and approximately one paragraph of description, outline the major functions and qualifications for the job. It doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list, but the employee should be able to tell if they are a match. Do you require two years of scheduling experience, for example? A job description needs to say so, in order for the prospective application to ascertain whether they are qualified.
Again, make job satisfaction and retention the goal. An employee should be able to tell what they will be doing if the first weeks and months of a job by looking at the functions and qualifications.
3. Represent the company culture.
Company culture is a key part of fit. Employees who fit the culture are more likely to do a good job than those than don’t. Use the job description as a way to represent the company culture.
Cultures can vary. If you’re a family-oriented company, you may want to mention flextime or parental leave benefits. If you are a company that develops employees, state that there is much room for development and growth.
4. Use inclusive language.
It’s all too easy to succumb to outmoded expectations of what types of people can do particular jobs, especially if you’re using older job descriptions. Jobs as diverse as engineers and warehouse workers, for instance, can be described as if they can only be filled by men.
Be careful not to use specific pronouns, like he or she, when writing job descriptions. Use inclusive language not only for gender, but for race, ethnicity, age, and other categories.
Let a Consulting Firm Help with Job Descriptions
Job descriptions are an essential part of the hiring process. Let a consulting firm like Barracuda Consulting help you craft clear and inclusive descriptions that will attract qualified candidates. Contact us today to get started.