The Importance of an Ideal Job Description

June 29, 2017

Plopped right in the center of the millennial generation currently overtaking the workforce, I am perfectly aware of the shifting culture associated with the job market in the technological age.

In the few years that I have been in the job market, I have probably applied for more positions than my parents have over the course of their entire lifetime.

Quality employees are moving from job to job more quickly than ever before. More and more information on you and your company can be found by typing a few words into google. Every day, the number of potential applicants you can reach grows.

So, the question you must ask yourself becomes: How can I create an open position listing that encourages the right candidates to apply so I can hire loyal, hardworking employees?



1) Selecting the Ideal Job Title

Be realistic and honest with a job title. If you are looking for a technical writer, don’t title the listing “creative engineer.” You will not get the right applicants. At the same time, applicants have hundreds of listings to scroll through as they decide what positions to apply for, so make sure that your job title is interesting and accurate.


2) Explaining Company Values

No one wants to work for a company that is all work and no play, or all play and no growth. In your job listing, give a realistic description of the work environment. Do not blow smoke hoping it will get you stronger applicants. The people you want working for you will value honesty. Do not describe a fun, ping-pong-playing environment where drinking on the job is normal if you have a typical office space with normal working expectations. Be interesting with your description, not weird. Describing a wacky work environment can limit your audience and scare off candidates.


3) Job Description

Give an accurate job description with detailed goals a candidate will be expected to meet should they work in that position. If need be, discuss it with someone who will be the direct supervisor over that position to get a more comprehensive understanding of the work.

Use positive language and plenty of the word “You.” You will be responsible for completing daily reports on the positive strides your team is making. This allows the candidate to envision themselves in the role and be more prepared for the interview. Write this listing with the top priorities of the position in mind as if you are explaining it to the ideal candidate. Remember to avoid vague or wordy descriptions.


4) Company Benefits

Use high level descriptions of your company benefits. In this dog-eat-dog world of employment, the positive benefits of a position may be the difference between the ideal candidate working for you or one of your competitors. Those who have a comprehensive understanding of your benefits prior to submitting their application may be more likely to stick through the process and even stick around longer after they are hired.

Be honest about your benefits and do not be afraid to include those that go beyond the basics of insurance and 401K. Do you keep a stocked fridge in the break room? Is it an open and accepting work environment? Do you allow employees to work from home? Don’t be afraid to showcase how awesome working there can be!

Be careful! Do not describe benefits that are not readily available. If you are only thinking about getting a ping-pong table or you only stock the fridge once a year, do not include it on the description. Candidates that apply will discover your lies during the interview process and you may see some of the best applicants walk out the door. Lying in any way on a job description is a one-way ticket to getting bed reviews on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn.


5) To Salary or Not?

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule about including salary on a job description. Having this can both encourage and dissuade applicants. However, if you are not willing to pay for a quality employee they will walk away at some point, either when they see the salary listed or when they hear what you are offering face-to-face.

Do some research and see what other companies in your sector are doing. If you choose to offer salary in the description make it a very broad range and make sure that it is something you are willing to pay.


6) Simplify the Application Process

Perhaps one of the most important parts of getting the best candidates through the application process is to simplify it. No one wants to fill out hundreds of questions when they have already painstakingly perfected their resume and worked out a cover letter for you. Their resume has their experience on it, no need to make them fill it out again. If you must, you can have a few questions listed to help weed out the obviously wrong candidates.


7) Posting Your Open Position

Maximize your job posting by listing it in all the proper places. Utilize Facebook networking groups, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and other free places you can post. Send it out to others in the field and those with good connections to possible candidates. If you are willing to hire a new graduate send it to colleges and universities in the area. If you have a budget, some sponsored posts and paid advertising on job websites may be a good route to getting the description seen by as many candidates as possible.


Hopefully you can find your ideal new-hire in no time! If you look at this and think “Wow! That is a lot to do and keep track of, I am way too busy for this!” Do not just leave your open position to chance. Do not be afraid to hire a freelancer or consultant who can do all of this for you. Your time is valuable, but so is having the right people on your team.

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