Recruiter Spotlight: How To Create A Job Description That Sparks Interest
A good job description is priceless in the hiring process. Many hiring leaders struggle to create job descriptions that attract the right candidates. What should you include in a job description to spark interest and find the perfect candidate for the job?
In this article, learn from members of Duffy Group on how to write compelling job descriptions that attract the right candidates. You'll discover practical strategies for creating job postings that effectively communicate job responsibilities, qualifications, and company culture, leading to increased interest and better hiring outcomes.
Develop The Company's "Sizzle"
Hiring leaders often start the recruiting process by developing the mechanics of a job description. However, a job description without attraction often fails to tell a compelling story about the position's value. There are several steps to increase awareness and interest in a post.
First, develop the company’s sizzle. The sizzle is an authentic representation of your company by expanding on the job's exciting features, resulting in the chances it will resonate with suitable candidates. It begins by establishing a framework of critical questions directed to the hiring leader.
At Duffy Group, our framework is built during the first step of the recruitment research process, the strategy development. Recruiters ask targeted questions and assess the new role situation with the hiring manager before marketing any position. The objective is to expand on the duties and responsibilities of the job to create a buzz and bring the job description to life.
Another necessary ingredient is ensuring the hiring process quickly identifies the applicants with the right motivation and gets them anchored on the attractive features of the job as quickly as possible.
Georgia Musgrave is the VP of Strategic Initiatives at Duffy Group. She educates leaders on the value of "passive talent" as a means of attracting the best human capital to their company.
Tell A Story
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I recently met with a group of HR and talent leaders at a conference. One of the pain points they shared was not posting job descriptions that were enticing enough for candidates to apply. They were looking for ideas to not make their job descriptions look so mechanical with the job responsibilities and requirements listed. I began to ask them questions to learn more about the entire opportunity and not just the day-to-day responsibilities and requirements.
Examples of the questions included in addition to salary, bonus, and benefits:
- Describe the company culture, style, values & traits of people who've had success here.
- What are the company characteristics that would entice a candidate to come aboard?
- What are the key strategic issues you are working on?
- What is the hiring leader's background?
- What makes this group attractive to a potential candidate?
- What might distinguish this group from similar departments in other companies?
- What is your leadership style and approach?
- Is the position remote or hybrid?
- Is the position a newly created position?
- Are there direct reports? How many, and what are their titles?
- What are the career growth opportunities?
It is quick and easy to post a job description the way it is written. I suggested telling a story about the whole opportunity will give the job seeker a reason to be interested and apply.
Sharon Grace is a veteran search executive at Duffy Group who helps hiring leaders hire great people because of her proven track record as a strategic partner and advisor to recruit, identify and assess talent.
Utilize The "Location" Section
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If you want to recruit the very best talent, then you need to make sure you have the very best job descriptions to share with candidates. Job descriptions can be used to attract active job seekers by being used in job postings, but when it comes to recruiting the passive job seeker, you need a job description that is going to catch their attention. The job description should include information on the company, the position, the requirements, and if the position offers relocation, the location as well.
Many recruiters and hiring leaders neglect to utilize the "location" section on a job description as a way to attract candidates. It’s important to include a location section that includes the address, as well as a good description of the city and state. It’s important to do some research on the location. The Chamber of Commerce and tourism sites are great resources. Make sure to describe the location in a way that the candidate can picture themself relocating there.
We have had a lot of success recruiting to locations that are not necessarily "attractive" by reputation but when we highlight the positive attributes and share data, statistics, and even photos, we’ve been able to generate interest in traditionally hard-to-recruit-to locations.
Colleen Neese is a practice leader at Duffy Group. She specializes in recruiting executives in non-profit and healthcare.
Share Compensation & Benefits
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Job descriptions can be extremely detailed, with long lists of responsibilities and required skills. Disclosing and promoting pay and benefits in your job description can be a valuable recruiting tool and make the process more efficient overall.
Here are five things to consider when sharing compensation and benefits in your job description:
- Compensation is typically the most critical concern when job seekers search for work. So if they don't find the salary information they need, they may not waste time reading the job description.
- Pay transparency (now required by law in some states) saves recruiters the time and energy of searching through candidates who will never accept the job, as candidates will self-select out when the compensation is too low.
- When companies are more upfront about salaries, it can help create trust. Candidates feel more respected and apply more when there is more information.
- There's more to compensation than what's on a paycheck. List all of your benefits and perks—depending on the candidate, some will resonate more than others.
- Out-of-the-box examples: signing bonuses, stock options, flexible work schedules, mental health benefits, learning & professional development, ERGs, volunteering, dress codes, PTO, holidays, gym memberships, and pet insurance.
Emphasize The Company Culture
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Think back to high school when your English teacher would knock points off your essay because you stuffed it with common cliches. Well, it happens with job descriptions too. “Work hard, play hard,” “Fast-paced environment,” and “We’re all a big family.” The meaning is lost to candidates reading them.
In Duffy Group’s job descriptions, we highlight our core values. One of our core values is to promote work-life balance. Our work-from-home program gives our team members the flexibility of managing their day-to-day activities, with home office support that offers the tools to conduct day-to-day operations. A result of this benefit is increased productivity, team member satisfaction, and retention.
Make sure your social media supports your company culture; candidates are looking at your website and social media to ensure you walk the talk when it comes to culture. Your job description is a piece of your story. You want candidates to be curious to learn more about your company.
Kathleen Duffy is the founder, CEO, and president of Duffy Group. The company's vision is to elevate recruitment research as an alternative to contingent and retained search. Since its founding, Duffy Group has been a remote workplace and a culture of work/life harmony.
Need help recruiting talent for your organization? Check out Duffy Group today.