How to write a job description to find the best employees

Foolproof formula

In any business, employees are one of the most valuable assets. Recruiting new employees can impact not only the culture of the business but the performance of the company as well. In this article, we will learn how to recruit employees by writing a compelling job description (JD) that gets noticed by the most competent prospective employees.

A good JD becomes even more important when it comes to the IT industry.

 

Finding a good programmer is an art, as resumes don’t do much justice to the applicant’s capabilities. In the same way, a good pedigree or schooling doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good software developer.

So, while writing a JD in IT industry, the recruiter should understand that CGPA, grades and schooling don’t matter as much as:

  • The experience of working in a good company
  • The type of projects they have worked on
  • Their coding profiles on repositories such as GitHub
Job Description Man in Suit
Just as you are interviewing the potential employee, they are also interviewing you.
Photo: Vimal Saxena on Unsplash

The ultimate goal of writing a job description is to attract the most competent candidate. A good JD should clearly communicate what is expected from the candidates and what they can expect from the company.

Related: Recruiting employees who help your business grow

How to recruit employees with a job description?

Hiring high-quality employees begins with attracting the right kind of applicants. Learn how to write a job description that will bring the best of the best.

  1. Title: the first and most important.
  2. Summary: give them a bigger picture.
  3. Responsibilities: be specific.
  4. Requirements: don’t ask for too much.
  5. Benefits: tell your side of the story.

Let’s find out what you should keep in mind while writing a job description for recruiting new employees.

1. Title: the first and most important

The job title is the first thing a job candidate notices. It explains the job position, level of experience and other related details.

For example, ‘Senior IT Project Manager’ or ‘IT Project Manager (Part-time). Use the job titles that are common in the industry and not the ones your organization has created for internal purposes like “Project Manager IV.”

Add your location — ‘Senior IT Project Manager Mumbai’ — to target location-specific online searches.

Common job titles are not only easy to understand for the employee but are also more likely to show up in search. People looking for new jobs type in keywords such as ‘IT Project Manager New Delhi’ on Google and other job search sites.

2. Summary: give them a bigger picture

Start the job summary section with a captivating introduction of your company. Here you can highlight one or two unique selling propositions of your company — in other words, why should they be interested in working with your company.

For example. ‘We are India’s largest independent IT services firm,’ or ‘We are the oldest IT company, with 60 years of constant growth.’ And then, zoom in on how their role will fit in the overall organisation.

3. Responsibilities: be specific

Job Description Developer Overhead View of Man Working at Desk
The responsibilities section is where you list the daily activities of the job.
Photo: William Iven on Unsplash

Responsibilities section is the second most important part of any job description. It gives an overview of what the employee will be doing on a day-to-day basis.

List out all the activities the new employee would be doing as a part of the job, all the divisions he would be collaborating with, teams he would be managing and his reporting authority.

For example:

  • Managing all aspects of the project management cycle
  • Producing all the necessary documentation related to the project (risk management, communication plan, status reports, etc.)

Consult the employees in the organization who are working on a similar role for preparing the section on responsibilities.

4. Requirements: don’t ask for too much

In this section of the JD, you set the eligibility criteria for the candidates. This could include:

  • Minimum education required
  • Number of years or type of experience
  • Essential skills, including soft skills if desired

While you do want the employee to have the best qualifications and experience, you should be practical. A long list of requirements could discourage good candidates from applying. You do not want to lose them, especially if some of the requirements are not critical for the job.

Therefore, you can break this section into two parts:

Required

In the requirements section of the job description you can mention the academic qualifications and work experience that you consider imperative for this job.

Nice to have

And in the nice-to-have section you can include any other experience or qualifications that are not necessary but will get the candidate an extra brownie point.

5. Benefits: tell your side of the story

The benefits section is your chance to lure them in. What do you have on the table? Mention the benefits, apart from the salary, that your company offers to employees such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Dental
  • Free cab transport
  • Meals

Mention other subtle benefits such as your company culture, values and facilities.

What to leave out of your job description

Job Description Developer Working at Desk
A good JD can bring the best developers and tech professionals to your firm.
Photo: Lee Campbell on Unsplash

Now, for what a good job description should not include. A good JD should not be:

Complex and long

JD that is simple and easy-to-understand stirs interest and attracts employees. Big chunks of complex sentences are hard to comprehend and, therefore, disinterest people.

Fluffy and wordy

If you want to be wordy, fluffy and vague, then JD is not the place. Hit the bull’s eye with short, specific descriptions.

Cluttered with jargon

Remember the goal of a good JD? Attracting competent employees. While you might want to impress them with fancy jargon, confusing words can put off some good candidates by sending them on Google to look for the meaning and leaving your tab.

Only talking about the job requirement

A good JD is a right balance of what is expected from the employees and what the employee can expect from the organisation.

Don’t just talk about what is needed from them.

 

Tell them what makes your company a good place to work and what your company can offer them to advance in their career.

Gender discriminatory

You have to be extremely careful about being non-discriminative explicitly as well as implicitly.

For example “salesman required” is explicit gender discrimination. You should be careful with the words you are using. For example, words like ‘ambitious’ and ‘killer’ are more masculine while words like ‘nurture’ and ‘collaborate’ are more feminine.

Textio is a tool that can help you write a discrimination-free and gender-neutral JD.

Related: Growth strategy — how to scale your small business

Last few words

Words are powerful — they can evoke emotions and compel a person to take the desired action … or leave the reader cold. A captivating job description is important for recruiting new employees who will shape the culture and future of the organisation. Therefore it is imperative to give due importance to every section of the JD.

We have discussed all parts of a job description in detail, including the dos and don’ts. Wear your writer’s hat and create a spellbinding job description that your prospective employees cannot resist.

Editor’s note: Web developers with many clients find the tools they need in GoDaddy Pro. Reduce your workload and increase revenue.

Image by: Damian Zaleski on Unsplash