How Do I Write the Best Job Descriptions?
Half of what we do here at SOLTECH is provide staffing solutions. Therefore, we publish dozens of job listings a week – some to fill in-house positions but many to serve our clients’ needs. We often get asked how to write the best technical job descriptions in order to attract the best candidates. A question with an answer that truly varies based on the position. After years of experience in writing job descriptions, we’ve learned a thing or two. How do you write the best technical job descriptions? By being honest.
What Information Do I Include In the Job Description?
Often times, job descriptions do not accurately represent the actual job trying to be filled, nor does it represent the company hiring in an appealing matter. To do this well, give a high level overview. The simpler, the better as most readers are going to skim the description to start. So, where to begin? First, introduce the company.
Describing the Company
Write in the company’s tone but consider approaching the listing as if you were describing the job to a friend. Readers will find it more relatable. Include details such as: company’s mission, culture and values.
Describe briefly what the company does and the services/products the company offers. Including any important and relevant details in the overview such as the history and how the company got started can also be prevalent.
For example, is the company founder-led? Did the company start with two employees in an office in the garage? Potential employees want to know these things! This will help them feel connected to the company, increasing their desire to want to work for you.
Describe the Role And Day-to-Day
In addition, you may want to include a couple of the following details:
- types of people she or he will be working with
- culture/work environment
- growth opportunities available
- exciting projects they will work on
- new technologies the company uses
Nowadays in startup culture, the company also provides non-traditional perks in the office. These things could include providing snacks or coffee, generous amounts of paid time off or perhaps monthly company outings. If your company does any of these types of things, be sure to include that information, too. The personal touches like well-thought out PTO policies or company lunches will resonate with the reader; more employees are steering away from feeling like a “number” in an office. Don’t forget, you’re going to be fighting for the best candidates to fill the roles, so showcasing the best features of the company and the job will be vital.
Something many job descriptions lack is a preview of what the day-to-day looks like.
- Does your company start every morning with a standup?
- Do you all meet together to go over announcements and agendas?
- What are the team dynamics , including size and reporting structure?
Provide the Basic Information In the Listing
Be sure to include the concrete details too, such as:
- basic benefits such as if healthcare is provided
- standard office hours
- compensation (salary range or point of reference)
Be realistic. If the person in the role has the opportunity to work from home or have flex hours, include this information with the other perks. If this is a role where there is potential for hours to leak into evenings or weekends, mention that too.
The candidate will appreciate your candidacy of requesting shifts over the weekend versus being surprised by being asked to work on a Saturday.
Describe the Ideal Candidate in the Job Description
In terms of the role, do not limit the description to only a list of the duties the candidate will be doing. Describe the type of person you’re looking to fill the role.
Are you on the hunt for someone “creative and able to find solutions on the fly”?
Would the ideal candidate be someone who “loves analytics and can analyze the customer experience to boost ROI by the end of the quarter”?
It’s also favored when job descriptions ask for project experience versus the number of years in their field. Don’t hesitate to interview someone new in the field such as a newly graduate, as often times they are the most eager to learn and can bring fresh perspectives to old ways.
Chances are, your description will hit the nail-on-the-head with someone who will be excited to introduce themselves to you through their cover letter. They’ll read it and think “that is me! I would be perfect for this role.”
The more you spur up excitement in the reader, the more you’re going to get the best fitting candidates interviewing for the position.
Or, perhaps the company is a startup and the role is still undefined. Feel free to mention that the right candidate will be flexible in trying new tasks and has the ability to assist in defining the role as the position and company grows. For a go-getter, this could be an exciting, hands-on opportunity.
With an honest description of the role and the company along with enticing details, you will find the best candidates to fill the technical roles you are attempting to fill.