How to write the ultimate job description

You’re ready to recruit a new team member, you know exactly the type of person you’re looking for so all that’s left to do is reach out and get candidates to stop and take notice of your vacancy.

The most important tool that hiring managers and employers have in their recruitment arsenal is the job description. But writing one that will stand out and grab the attention of the right candidates is easier said than done.

Just sitting down and emptying your head on paper is a mistake that can seriously jepodise your chances of finding that candidate and encouraging them to apply for your position.

You need an accurate, compellling and attractive job description and a solid strategy to help get you there.

Follow our checklist and you’re well on your way to creating a job description that will really speak to high achieving candidates.

Company background

Cover the basic information of your business in two concise paragraphs that will grab the reader’s attention. Briefly cover what you do, your mission and how long you’ve been in business.

Feel free to include any awards or acheievements and try and emphasize any particular features of the company that your ideal candidate would find interesting.

Consider the tone and overall feel of these two paragraphs, would your audience think it was too formal? Or will you adopt a more casual approach?

Role Description

This is the section that all job seekers hone in on, so give your role an accurate yet compelling job title to pique their interest. In a succinct paragraph, cover the basic responsibilities of the role with a brief explaination.

Try to give it some ompph and inject some excitement into the text, because if you’re not excited about the position then its unlikely the candidate will be either.

Follow this up with another paragraph on the day to day aspects of the position to give more detail, include any tasks or projects the successful candidate will be involved in and talk about the working environment and company culture to give them a real feel for the job.

Finally, keep in mind what top performers care about most in a job (learning, having autonomy, and making an impact), and emphasize those aspects of the role where possible.

The ideal candidate

Here’s where you can set out your candidate ‘wish list’, but be careful not to make the specifications too strict or you could stand to lose out on talented candidates who may be just short of some of your requirements but have skills and experience that’s easily transferable.

Try to cover this in two to three paragraphs and use bullet points in the following areas to make the text easy to digest.

I recommend that you use lists to identify the key and desirable traits you’re seeking. For example:

  • Skills and competencies
  • Strengths and talents
  • Style and approach
  • Experiences and accomplishments
  • Background if necessary

The Package

What you’ve included in your ideal candidate wish list is going to pretty much dictate the benefits package that’s on offer. But by listing a realisitic salary range you stand to gain the interest of a wider cross section of applicants.

Don’t forget to detail any other benefits such as childcare, pension, company car, development opportunities and any other company perks to help make your vacancy stand out

How to apply

Finally, once you’ve excited the prospective candidates enough to want to apply for your role you need to tell them how to do it.

Making the application process as easy as possible is guaranteed to provide you with more applications, so take the time to consider the process and timescales involved.

Make sure you give clear instructions on the format and channels you wish candidates to use and don’t forget to include a closing date for applications.

Once you’ve got all of these details ironed out, why not run through the job description with someone outside of your immediate team to gain some initial feedback. A few tweaks later and you’ve got yourself a killer job description, ready for you to move on to the next stage of the recruitment process – the job advert.