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Writing job descriptions is a constant topic of conversation for HR and hiring managers- and for a good reason.  It can be incredibly difficult to include everything a job entails while also making it attractive to potential candidates.  Over the years, experts have researched what makes a good job description. Likewise, HR professionals have developed and tested methods to see what works (and what does not.) They have found that the best job descriptions include a variety of components that work together to speak to potential candidates and communicate what is most important about a job.

In this post, we will discuss 10 steps on how to create a winning job description that can help you hire the best employees for your company.

  1. Gain an understanding of what job candidates are looking for.

Creating a job description that speaks to potential candidates requires the knowledge of what candidates are looking for.  Current research shows that millennial candidates (the largest candidate group in the workforce) value company culture, purposeful roles, and transparency from a company. Companies that take the time to understand what their ideal candidate desires from a job and explains how the position can meet those needs are more likely to have a successful hire.

  1. Talk to current employees.

The best people to talk to about a company’s strengths are the company’s current employees. They can highlight what attracted them to their job initially and what factors about the company maintain their satisfaction.  That feedback can be used to craft statements for a job description that will successfully attract new employees. 

  1. Gather information regarding ALL responsibilities of the job.

When creating a job description is essential to communicate the most important responsibilities of the job to potential candidates. To include the most critical responsibilities, however, an HR manager must understand the big picture of the position as well as the day-to-day tasks.  Gathering information regarding all of the job responsibilities also ensures that no information is omitted from the job description that might entice a potential candidate to apply.  

  1. Craft an engaging yet realistic title.

When potential candidates search for a new job, they typically do so by job title. Recently, many employers have been taking a more creative approach to job titles in hopes that they would attract young, talented employees. Unfortunately, some job titles are too innovative and create confusion surrounding the responsibilities and potential of the position. Winning job titles, on the other hand, are attractive and realistic keeping in mind that candidates desire a title their peers and other professionals will understand.

  1. Keep all potential candidates in mind.

Many job descriptions fail because they are too specific.  Although it is valuable to speak to the ideal candidate, job descriptions should be crafted as not to exclude any potential candidates.  For example, if it is not imperative for the candidate to be outgoing, phrases such as ‘show off their skills’ or ‘gain company-wide recognition’ should be omitted as they might detour a candidate with a more reserved demeanor.

  1. Focus on responsibilities related to innovation and growth.

Employees want to know that their skills and expertise will be appreciated in a position.  The best job descriptions include an invitation for candidates to improve the company by utilizing their skills and knowledge.  Furthermore, companies also see success (especially in entry-level positions) when they highlight how the position they are advertising offers the opportunity for growth.

  1. Highlight the purpose of the job.

Candidates desire to know the purpose of their job and how it makes a difference for the company and the world around them. To attract the best candidates on the market companies should not only focus on a list of tasks for the position but also a description of why those tasks are beneficial.  Doing so helps candidates to see the purpose behind even the most mundane aspects of a job. 

  1. Highlight company culture.

The top five priorities millennials look for in a job are money, security, time-off, great people, and flexible work schedules. Each of these priorities plays a significant role in the big picture of a company’s culture.  By highlighting important aspects of company culture and what sets them apart from others, companies can attract talented employees that desire more than just a place to unpack their desk.

  1. Be honest.

When it comes to job descriptions, honesty is the best policy.  When creating a job description, companies should steer clear from including any false information about the company or creating a job description that is attractive but untrue.  If a candidate is hired with a false impression of their responsibilities it is highly likely they will be unsatisfied and leave the company after a short period. 

  1. Be friendly.

Instead of cold and full of lists, winning job descriptions are personal and offer the opportunity for a candidate to ‘get to know’ a company. HR managers can craft friendly job descriptions by creating a strong voice that speaks using human language instead of stuffy jargon.  

Job descriptions are the gateway to an employee’s livelihood. They open the door for a relationship that has the potential to be life-changing. The best job descriptions understand and communicate that. When you write your next job description, use these 10 tips on how to create a winning job description and see how your outcomes change.