How to Write Job Descriptions that Attract Top Talent

Recently, we shared some tips for recruiting top talent in today’s highly competitive job market. Before you can really ‘wow’ your prospective employees, however, you have to capture their attention. In a time when there are more open jobs than qualified employees, this can be quite the challenge. One way to improve your odds is by creating compelling job descriptions that can help you stand out from all the rest. Do this part well and you’ll set the stage for a much more successful hiring process.

If you could use some help in this area, the following guideline should get you pointed in the right direction.

Essential Elements of an Exceptional Job Description

While each role you are trying to fill may have its own unique requirements, there are certain common elements that should be present in every job posting you publish. Here’s what you need to cover:

Job Title – Be as specific as possible (avoiding vague words like “wizard” and “rock star”) but also keep it short and sweet. Aim to write titles that match what your ideal candidates will be searching for.

Opening Hook – Think of your opening statement as the wrapping on a present. Make it eye-catching and captivating enough that job seekers will want to open it and see what’s inside.

Practice Culture – Before you delve into all the duties and requirements you’re seeking, tell candidates a little bit about your practice. Showcase your culture and paint a picture of what it’s like to be a part of your team. Get prospects excited about the possibility of working for you.

Position Summary – Take a few sentences to describe the role you’re looking to fill and provide a broad overview of its responsibilities, expectations and priority within the practice. Include a few immediate and long-term objectives. Be as clear as possible so job seekers will be able to quickly ascertain what the job is all about and whether they’d be a good fit.

Key Duties and Responsibilities – Below your summary, break down the position’s duties and responsibilities into a bullet-pointed list (so it’s easier to digest). Start by listing out the main activities this role entails and then, if there’s room, you can also include a few extras (aka the ‘once-in-a-whiles’). The goal is to provide candidates with enough information without overloading them.

Qualifications – Envision your perfect employee for a moment. What experience, skills, aptitude, training and knowledge does he or she possess? The more a candidate matches your preferred qualifications, the better the fit will be. Just be sure to include only the must-haves here – not the ‘nice-to-haves,’ or else you could potentially scare away an otherwise great candidate in the process.

Educational Requirements – Depending on the role you are looking to fill within your practice, you’ll likely want to include some specifics about the level of training and education your candidates should have. Be clear about what is required (i.e. a degree or license) and what is preferred (i.e. a certificate).

Other Qualities/Attributes – Finding the right candidate isn’t only about experience and education. It’s also largely about personality. You want to find someone who will meld with your team and fit in well with your practice culture, so use this opportunity to include other qualities that are important to you.

Compensation – There are different viewpoints surrounding whether or not it’s a good idea to include a salary range in your job descriptions. On one hand, it can save time and limit the amount of negotiating you have to do. On the other hand, it could potentially scare off qualified candidates who may feel your range is too low (but that you might be willing to be flexible for). If you choose not to include salary details, at least let candidates know that what you’re offering is competitive. Be sure to also highlight any other benefits and perks you provide as these can often be more attractive to job seekers than salary.

Landing top talent in today’s saturated market can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Knowing how to create job descriptions that are compelling and comprehensive will not only make this process easier, but it will also set the stage for your new hire’s success right out of the gate.