Writing job descriptions can seem like a daunting endeavor, especially when you are tasked with finding the ideal candidate for your organization. I see many companies struggle in this area for several reasons. Sometimes the focus seems to be geared towards the technical skills the candidate will need to perform the job, and while that is certainly an important aspect of any IT role there is so much more information candidates will want to know. Below are a few key areas, other than technical skills, to include in your job descriptions to help attract the right fit for your company.
It is important to note the reporting structure of any position, both in terms of who this person will report to and who would be reporting to the potential candidate. How many direct reports will this person answer to? Are there any management or supervisory responsibilities with this position and if so, how many employees would that include? Providing this type of information upfront will greatly reduce the odds of wasting time interviewing candidates that don’t fit your organizational structure.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have seen “Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience” in a job description, only to find out after screening and submitting multiple candidates that a degree is in fact required. Be specific as to the minimum type of educational background a candidate must possess. If equivalent experience is indeed acceptable, explain what the means to you. Is it 4 additional years of experience on top of the “3-5 years” the position might call for? Does this experience have to be in your specific industry? Will it have to be in the same exact role or is a similar, more junior level of experience something that is acceptable? Setting these expectations beforehand will go a long way to attracting the type of candidates you want, the first time.
A job description that states you are seeking a “Business Analyst with 3-5 years’ experience” doesn’t do much to make your position stand out to candidates. It is vital to hit on the actual reason you have this opening and what the specific purpose of the position is. Is this a brand new opening for someone to join your team? Was it created due to an internal promotion? Candidates need to know the primary purpose as well as the essential duties and responsibilities of the position. Will there be goals they are expected to reach/achieve and if so what are they? Are there specific duties that must be performed daily, weekly, etc.? This type of information is of great interest to all candidates, but especially that passive candidate who is on the fence about making a career move.
This is an area that can be tough to encapsulate in a job description, however little details about what makes your company a great place to work can be the extra push that gets a candidate from “casual” to “serious” interest. Do you have a brand new facility? A state of the art cafeteria onsite? Do you have company events or gatherings? Is your company truly a family oriented environment? Is this position more independent or oriented around team collaboration? Is there opportunity for advancement, do you offer tuition reimbursement, other employee incentives, etc.?
In summary, writing a job description is certainly not easy and it can be difficult to accurately put into writing your idea of a perfect candidate. But with a little forethought around some of these areas you will see a noticeable difference in the types of candidates that apply to your positions and spend more time interviewing solid candidates as opposed to screening people that don’t fit the bill. Good luck in your searches and the pursuit of the next great addition to your company!
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