How to write job descriptions that will attract the right candidates

How to write job descriptions that will attract the right candidates

At first glance writing a job description may seem really easy. Just make a list of skills and experience needed. Of course that’s a great start, but a list of skills requirements won’t tell prospective candidates about what’s really involved in the job, how they would use the skills required and how they might be able to apply their knowledge.

Why is this important? Because candidates are not just looking for a job, something that brings home a pay cheque. They are looking for a career, something that will give them a sense of purpose and make going to work on a daily basis something to look forward to. So how do you write a job description that tells candidates what they want to know?

Instead of starting with a list of required skills, start by listing the tasks that the person would need to do on a day to day basis. Then once that has been outlined, then you can start to list the skills they need in order to complete those tasks. On the back of that you’ll want to consider what systems or software programs they will be working on and what level of proficiency in these systems will be needed.

The next step is to consider the company culture and what type of person would fit in well. What is the work atmosphere like? Are the people in the office young or is it a mix of all generations? Is it a company focused on targets and results? Are flexible working arrangements possible such as flexi-time or working from home? Are there elements of work that could be completed remotely if people wanted to work from home, or would that leave a gap in the company operations that’ll make things difficult? Now allowing for flexibility may seem to go against business sense, studies show that making these allowances can actually make employees more productive and more loyal to a company.

Now that you’ve thought through all these things, it’s time to write the job description. Think about it as a conversation you’re having with your ideal candidate, telling them what the job is about and what’s expected of them. Don’t forget to include a bit about the company and the benefits you can offer. Then as a final check once it’s written, read it through and consider: Is this a job I’d want to apply for?

We trust that you’ve found this information to be useful. If you have any questions we’d be happy to help, call us on 01924 365680 or respond to this email.

Kate and Louise

The Bagnall Hopkins Team

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