When we’re writing job descriptions for our clients, there are a number of important insights we need to gain to ensure they’re fit for purpose and will succeed in attracting the right candidates.
Here are five to get you started:
It goes without saying that a job description needs to make clear what technical skills and experience a candidate needs, but many job descriptions don’t mention ‘soft skills’. Softer, more personal qualities, can make all the difference when it comes to finding someone culturally compatible and choosing between equally qualified candidates.
Developing a clear and unified definition of all the qualities required for the role can help your organisation define exactly what is needed. In addition, making the requirements clear on the job description makes preparing for the interview process so much easier.
This is arguably the most important consideration. By understanding who is likely to be interested in the job, you can better understand what other opportunities might be open to potential candidates and, therefore, what their expectations are likely to be in terms of salary and benefits.
Armed with this understanding, the job description can be more accurately tailored to attract your ideal candidates, for example, in the details provided about the company culture, working patterns and benefits.
However, it is important to ensure the job description doesn’t accidentally use discriminating terminology or clauses. You can get more specific guidance on this on the acas website.
One of the key things that many job seekers are interested in is the prospects the role has to offer for their career, so a job description which addresses this is essential. Including information about the organisation’s structure is also really helpful.
It’s vital to think long-term when writing a job description.
It’s important to consider both the day to day and one-off tasks the role is likely to entail. A job description should contain sufficient detail, while giving scope for additional duties too. It should also make any line management responsibilities clear.
This detail will make it a valuable document for goal-setting, employee reviews and deciding on salary increases. It’ll also protect your organisation should it ever find itself in the unfortunate position of being faced with a legal dispute. However, the likelihood of such a dispute is reduced by having a detailed job description in the first place.
Knowing how you’re going to use the job description to attract candidates is vital too. The best way to decide what to put in a job description is to know your target audience, and that’s only possible when you have built relationships with some of them. Frequently, employers don’t have the capacity or network to build such relationships, and may resort to promoting the job via a direct advert.
While adverts have their place, they can limit the pool of candidates when used in isolation. A good recruitment partner on the other hand will be able to invest time in more proactive routes, and will have a great deal of insight into the job description that will work.
At Sitka, when we’re approached to fill a role, we will often know candidates who fit the bill already. This makes it much easier for us to put together a job description which does the organisation justice and is more likely to succeed in recruiting the right candidate.
Writing job descriptions for organisations that work with us exclusively is just one of the great value-added services we offer to organisations in search of the best talent.
Sitka took the time to understand me, my experience and my aspirations. Sitka had clearly done the same with their client and was able to put together a good match.
The process was thorough and very individual – time was spent finding out about the culture and style of the organisation and the exec team. Sitka worked with the candidates well to find the best fit for both employer and candidate. There was a sense of strong relationship building to ensure that this happened.
We liked Karen’s personal approach to finding the best candidate. She spoke to them in depth, matching the person to the business and vice versa, rather than just advertising the role to an existing database of job seekers. The process was very efficient and well-communicated from start to finish.
The recruitment process was seamless. From our initial meeting, when we thought we wanted a certain person, Ita guided us through the type of person we needed initially, and who we would ideally like to recruit for the development of the business. She found us both in quick succession.
Ita’s communication skills are second to none. She kept us informed at every step. I would definitely recommend Sitka.
Ita took the time to understand my objectives and needs as a candidate also – something unusual for a recruitment agency.
Information was provided quickly, in full and was very clear. Ita also took the time to follow-up post interviews to understand how things went and confirm next steps/timeframes. She has also gone the extra mile of checking in with me since starting in my new role.
Ita approached every stage of the recruitment process in a professional, honest and open manner. It was clear she was committed to finding the right candidate for her client
Sitka wanted to know about the organisation, our culture, our plans and aspirations. This meant they could be really confident talking about us and I’d like to think they were proud to be working on our behalf.