Update job descriptions prior to posting

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Attract the right candidates with engaging job descriptions.

Want to find the best talent for the job you need to fill?

Be sure to give the job description a second look. One of the easiest ways to promote a cool job with your company to prospective candidates is the job description, but if it’s out of date, or just doesn’t accurately depict the role you have today, it isn’t helping you attract the “right” talent. To quote the long-used computer science principle: garbage in, garbage out.

image of job description on paper under magnifying glassAs professional recruiters we see hundreds of job descriptions yearly. I am always surprised on how good companies spend so little time with a job descriptions and then have expectations of great results.

On a purely practical level, if the job description doesn’t clearly articulate the key elements of the role and the qualifications required (education, certification, demonstrated skill-sets) how can hiring managers hope for a great return on investment from their ad placement?

Want the best outcome for your postings?

Follow these four golden rules:

  • Ensure the job description is up to date. For best results, have both the functional manager (such as Marketing, Finance, Operations, etc.) and HR review and update the job description prior to posting.
  • Does the job description truly reflect the scope of the position you have today? Are the essential skills and responsibilities listed? Are the “preferred” qualifications listed? If it would really make life easier to have a candidate come from a certain industry or possess specific software expertise, be sure to list that.
  • Use the latest jargon, vernacular for this role. An obvious example in the human resources world: if we see a job ad for a human resources professional with the word personnel used instead of HR, we know immediately this company is not up to speed with latest HR trends.
  • Is the job description engaging? I love the ads that add a little company personality or humor to the job description. Not only do they make me laugh, but it shows me someone took a little extra time with their job description to capture attention, and are giving me a closer idea of what candidates might be most successful.

Related: How your business hires the best recruiter

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