1. Too many companies write three paragraphs about the company and only write three sentences about the job. They have it flipped flopped. Use words to sell the challenges of the opportunity, not the company. Once a candidate begins to think of themselves in the role, then it is easier to sell the company. Job first, company second. Provide a company web address and if a candidate is interested is in the job they will naturally want to know more about the company. This is a particularly effective strategy for smaller to mid-size companies without strong name recognition.
2. The job description should DESCRIBE the job, not the skills required for the job. Many job descriptions, especially those in technology, list required skills and technologies, but never mention that you will be developing a critical new Point of Sale application or that a majority of the work is simply maintaining existing code. Because technology matures so rapidly, candidates usually have a greater interest in HOW technology is being used than in a particular version of software, which will be obsolete in a few months.
Why does a company require 5 to 7 years accounting experience? How exactly is this level of accounting expertise going to be used on the job? Is the position simply running reports – or is the emphasis on analysis and critical thinking? A great job description helps the candidate “see” the day-to-day activities of the position. Another way to help the candidate better understand the position is to break the job down into parts: 50% second-level technical assistance with the Fortune 500 clients, 20% research and bug resolution, 25% remote and class room training for new employees, 5% administrative reports.
3. If properly written, an excellent job description can be the basis for future performance reviews. A performance-based job description highlights the most important deliverables and how success will be measured in time and output. Performance-based job descriptions help frame the interview and provide a context to discuss expected behaviors for superior performance. An effective performance-based job description will help attract A Players and screen out lower performers.