Writing Effective Job Descriptions: 8 Tips That Will Attract Top Talent

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on July 21, 2017

Competition for top talent is fierce. Companies with the best chance of landing these ideal candidates must capture their interest as quickly as possible. The best place to start is with the job description.

To create job descriptions and postings that will encourage outstanding candidates to apply for the position, keep these eight tips in mind:

  1. Provide a clear, accurate job title and summary. In both the job title and summary, use common keywords to make it easier for candidates seeking similar work to find your job description. Your recruiter can help you find the right words to grab top talent’s attention.
  2. State up front what type of employment you’re offering. Is the job full time? Part time? Temporary? Temporary, but with an option for a long-term hire if the fit is right? Make this the first thing you mention after the title and summary. You’ll attract candidates who want the job you’re offering and encourage those who don’t to look elsewhere.
  3. Concrete descriptions of job responsibilities. Resumes often use bullet points, action verbs and concrete numbers to indicate output, time and other quantifiable variables. Use the same conventions when describing job responsibilities to paint a clear picture of a “day in the life” of the person who fills this position.
  4. Separate “mandatory” and “preferred” qualifications. Create (and label) separate sections for required skills and qualifications and those that are merely on your wish list. Doing so accomplishes two things: It helps clarify what’s essential for the job, and it helps candidates apply only if they meet all the mandatory requirements.
  5. Include salary and benefits details. Including a salary range is acceptable if you don’t have a specific number in mind. Listing available benefits, like vacation days, medical insurance coverage and other offerings helps top candidates answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
  6. Tell a story about the company. Attract candidates who will offer a better fit with your company’s mission, culture and goals by providing some background information in the job description. You’ll encourage candidates with whom the story resonates, and reduce the number of applications from talent with the right skills but the wrong cultural approach to mesh well with your current team.
  7. Don’t forget a call to action. Do you want top candidates to use your company’s application system? Call your office? Mail their resume to you? Make the next step easy for them by telling them what they should do next.
  8. Partner with an expert. Staffing firms are specialists in finding the right talent for your market. They have access to the area’s top talent that you may not be able to reach (even with a solid job description). Lean on your recruiter and their expertise to help you progress through all stages of the hiring process.

At TERRA Staffing Group, our experienced recruiters can help you craft job descriptions that attract the motivated, qualified candidates you need. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in Portland, Seattle and Phoenix.

Categories: HR and Management Advice

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