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Why Job Descriptions Suck

Most job descriptions written by employers don’t work – they don’t attract ideal candidates.

Here’s why:

  • They bore the candidate.  Too vague; too dull; descriptions of duties and responsibilities.  Candidates are asleep before they get to your reply button.
  • They don’t describe what you want.  You want performance; your job description describes duties.  That doesn’t compute.
  • They preclude someone who is capable, but different, than what you describe.

Here’s how to make job descriptions help you achieve your goals – a better hire:

  • Make them compelling. You must get the candidate interested.  Write from the job seeker’s point of view.  What is in it for them?
  • Make them relevant.  Fast forward to the end of the first year of the candidate’s employment.  How will you know if they did a good job?  By completing certain specific measurable objectives?  Great – describe those.  The best candidates are attracted to defined challenges.
  • Be open minded and open in your language.  How many Marketing Director positions require strong technical knowledge? Lots of them.  Would you hire a senior engineer who is in front of customers all the time and can translate their needs into new products?  Maybe?  Make sure that your job description doesn’t rule that person out.

It is actually really easy to make your job descriptions speak to the candidate, describe their key objectives, and be open to possible alternative backgrounds.  Change your paradigm, and see a lot better candidates respond to you.