A bad job description can either prevent you from getting applicants, or worse, attract the wrong sorts of applicants. A good job description brings in qualified people. A great job description attracts vibrant, enthusiastic talent.

Unfortunately, job descriptions are often recycled from past postings or thrown together in a hurry to get a job listed. Given that the job description is usually your first point of contact with a prospective employee, apply some thought and marketing skills to the task. After all, you’re essentially selling the job. You want to attract as many of the most suitable candidates and as few of the wrong ones as possible.

Surveys show that the top five things candidates look for in a job description are details on:

  1. Compensation
  2. Benefits descriptions
  3. Basic company information
  4. Details on what makes the company special and
  5. The company’s mission, values and vision.

These five things are a solid foundation on which to craft your job description, but if you really want to stand out in the market, consider these other tips:


Be Specific with Titles

In the digital age where job seeking is primarily done online, job titles are undergoing a transformation. Instead of just a single word representing the position, many HR leaders are changing the title to include the projects that the person will be involved in. For example, rather than simply “office manager” the job may be better described as “remote worker coordinator,” a title that literally describes what the candidate will be doing.


Show How Success is Measured

While a list of tasks is great, people need more than the “what”. They also need the how and the why. Be sure and describe the role and responsibilities in a way that helps the candidate understand their place in the larger context of your operations. Consider highlighting the top five priorities of the role along with the metrics that will be used to measure success.


Reveal the Path Forward

If you’re looking to attract talent who will stay on for the long haul, make sure your job description shows at least an overview of the path to career advancement. Maybe that means you’re offering on-the-job training or career advancement training. Maybe when describing the culture, you talk about how you value growth and having everyone working in their areas of strength. Make sure prospects know they have plenty of room within your company to stretch their wings.


Exhibit Some Personality in Job Descriptions—But Not Too Much

Be professional of course, but also keep in mind your company is made up of people. Demonstrating the tone of the workplace in the messaging of your job description can help you attract people who will connect well with your existing team. If your team likes doing yoga in the mornings before work, mention it. If they’re a humorous group, weave some humour into your description. Craft the language into a representation of you and your team.


Keep the Mission, Vision and Values Statement to a Minimum

While culture is included in the top five most important aspects of job descriptions, it’s low on the list. Some heatmaps have indicated that culture is the least attractive aspect of the job description. So, while your mission and values do have a place in the job description, it’s best to keep it brief and focus on the role itself.

Job descriptions are too important to simply recycle old copy from previous postings. Putting in the thought and effort up front can pay off in the long run, allowing you to attract the best possible talent for your company.

Contact us and see how we can support you in building high-performing hybrid teams where trusting leaders and highly engaged employees are laser-focused on achieving common goals.