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How to attract top candidates through your job descriptions

Attract top candidates through your job descriptions

A job description is a document detailing the requirements and responsibilities of the role. Also known as a JD, it typically includes company details, essential skills required, company mission, culture, benefits, and the details of reports.

In markets where you are looking to hire in volume with minimum requirements, having the basics as mentioned above is enough. However in markets such as IT, there needs to be more; saturated markets require selling points to get your ideal candidates to sit up and take notice. Let’s use IT again here, in the technology sector there are more roles than potential job seekers so standing out needs to be at the forefront of your mind when you come to write your job descriptions.

You’re probably thinking “these people should want to work for us, why do we need to sell ourselves?” It is absolutely understandable to think like that but bear in mind the reasons why you are looking to hire someone. Typically you are looking to fill a gap left by an employee leaving or you are looking to expand and grow your team. Whatever the reason you’re hiring one thing needs to be the focus – is this individual going to improve us as a business?

If you don’t manage attract the top talent, what is likely to happen? It most IT companies projects will be lost, revenue lost and overall, the lack of top talent can greatly affect the standard of deliverables. So, assuming your aim is to attract the top talent to help your company grow and move you onto the next level then you need to ensure your job descriptions are on point.

Here is how:

Make It Pop

As mentioned above, you are recruiting into your team to make it better than it was so you need to add something which will entice the level of candidate you require.

The quality of candidates you attract is linked to the quality of the job description you put out. Write it with the candidate in mind. You need to work out who they are and what makes them tick. This helps you tailor it to their needs and wants. Remember, this will be the first interaction a candidate will have with your company so you need to make a good first impression. If your JD is dull and boring, guess what they are going to think about the company… On the flip side, if your JD is over the top and unrealistic you will lose trust.

Remember, your JD is the first opportunity for your to sell the merits of working for your company against the others vying for that candidate’s signature, make it count. You have to work out what your ideal recruit would look like and appeal to their needs.

Build Trust From The Start

Trust is the foundation of a professional relationship so you need to be honest from the start.

Everyone likes to oversell on a job description, the humblebrag as it is otherwise known. Try to avoid selling false promises – “we’re the biggest and best tech company in the whole world and you will become the best programmer ever if you work here”. It is misleading and can break down trust before it has even begun. You want to be able to give the reader enough information to allow candidates to picture themselves working for your company – only a true account can do this. As an example, if you are looking at a junior hire you need to keep your skills expectations realistic but make sure you give plenty of insight into the levels of training & mentorship they can expect to receive.

Remember, do not be something you’re not – trust builds the foundations for a positive relationship to blossom.

Prove You’re Right For Them

Consider adverts and their aims, people use adverts to get people to take action or buy something. The aim of a job description is to get your target candidate to apply for your job.

Would you put an advert out which is boring and dull? You need to get them excited about your company, at the end of the day if you can’t get excited about your company then don’t expect your target candidates to either. Showcase your company’s successes, acknowledge those industry awards and share the inspirations of the business. You need to get candidates excited about how they can make a difference and take the company to next level of success.

Remember, don’t mislead or over-promise, be realistic with what you’re promoting and selling to the candidate – don’t try to oversell.

Specify What You Want

Creating a long list of technical skills isn’t going to do it and can actually deter people from applying..

You have to get people excited, not overwhelmed. Simply specify the 3-5 KEY skills you need the applicants to have and to what level they need to be at with them. And beneficial  skills should be stressed as not a necessity. Most people seek out pastures new because they want to a new challenge and that typically starts with the ability to learn new skills they have yet to be exposed to. If you expect the candidate to have every skill on the job description most people will not want to apply as they will feel they won’t be able to learn anything putting the position in the “sideways step” category.

Remember, most candidates do not want to flatline in their career they want to grow and they need to be confident they can do it working at your company.

To conclude, job descriptions are the first point of contact between your business and your ideal candidate, you need to write it with them in mind. Are they wanting to grow and learn? Build trust and get them excited.

At the end of the day, your employees are what makes your businesses grow, they execute the ideas which senior staff have so you have to make sure you appeal to the best around. Following these simple steps will head you in the right direction when it comes to securing that sought after talent.

If attracting talent internally is an issue and you are in need of some staff and quickly, then please do drop us a mail on [email protected]. We will be able to discuss any issues you may have when attracting talent and help you write the perfect job description.

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