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The Importance of a Good Job Description

The advantages of writing a strong job description, whether as a recruiter or a company, are quite often underestimated. A job description connects the employer and the job seeker and so it should almost read like a story, like a dialogue between the two.

In busy times, it is the more convenient option to re-use an old or similar job description. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Take some time to put some thought into preparing your job description. Think of it as your or your client’s shop window – it needs to make a compelling first impression. Here are some points of note for compiling an individual job description.

  • The beginning – the Job Title is significant. Consider candidate’s key search words. Make your job title clear and direct and include, if necessary, whether the role is “Junior”, “Senior” or “Executive”, for example.
  • Understand, know who your target audience/candidate is and keep this to the forefront of your mind throughout. This can also assist in reducing the number of mis-match/unsuitable candidates applying.
  • Be creative and consider the language to use. The context and body of your text should be vibrant, dynamic and desirable. Try to avoid using generic or over-used terms such as ‘self-starter’, ‘highly motivated’.
  • Personalise your job description using “we” or “my client”.
  • The body of the job description should not be too long, leaving the extensive detail until interview stage.
  • As a recruiter, speak in detail with your Client to become fully aware of what they deem important for the job description. You, as an employer or a recruiter are now in a position to portray:
  • Key desirable skills for the job
  • The key selling points of the role and company
  • What’s different about the company culture, ethos, working environment. This is a significant decision making element for candidates today as they no longer look to a job but the entire company structure when applying for a role.
  • Promotional and progression opportunities.
  • Remuneration and other employee benefits/entitlements
  • A novel idea may be to include an external link to an employee testimonial speaking about their experience of working in the company or a customer testimonial speaking about the positive aspects of dealing with the company. If possible, having a video testimonial, rather than a written, can be more engaging.
  • Always include your ‘call to action’. Let the applicant know what their next step is. This may be a link to the job application, an email address to submit the application to or a contact person to discuss in more detail.
  • Based on the job type, industry and your target candidate-base, make an informed decision on what platforms and where to advertise the position.
  • Finally read the job description aloud before publishing it to ensure it flows and sounds conversational.

In taking the time to produce a strong job description, you are setting yourself or your client apart from other job adverts that are merely the norm. You are opening up greater opportunity to attract more ideal and best-fit candidates and also promoting your or your client’s company in a positive light.

A parting idea: Why not consider using a video job advert as well as the written? Video adverts are shared about 80% more than text-filled adverts. Using video potentially reaches a larger volume of candidates, encourages more applications and keeps the candidate engaged

Written by Maire Griffith, Recruitment Partner Temporary Division at Clark.  Maire can be contacted on 045 881888 or email maire@clark.ie.