I read A TON of job descriptions. Seriously, I have probably read over 3000 job descriptions in the last 15 years. And I’ve probably written about 400 over the same timeframe. I know what works, and I’d like to share a simple 6-part approach with you and tell you how to sprinkle some recruiting MAGIC into each area.
What’s the MAGIC? Make that job posting Memorable, Accurate, and Grounded In Culture.
The MAGIC of CULTURE and TRUTH
Culture: Unless your organization’s culture sucks, culture is a feature, a benefit and can be sold as such! Quirky, quixotic, quiet, quizzical or quaint… you want potential candidates to FIT, and you should help them figure out if they do before they apply. Lure those who will enhance and thrive, deter those that won’t.
Truth: In every aspect of the 6 sections below, you have a chance to SELL the ideal candidate on your gig. But just like online dating, if you don’t actually look anything like your profile picture, that first date (or interview) might get awkward (see catfishing).
6 components of a good job description…and don’t forget the MAGIC!
Your job description can be brief or comprehensive, extensive or compact, but it should address all of the following areas to ensure your organization’s needs and expectations are clear while attracting candidates who will be a fabulous fit.
To most job seekers, this matters, and that’s especially true in advertising, marketing and design because of the accompanying bumps in pay, prestige and responsibility as careers and titles evolve. Titles help define the amount of experience needed and professional focus of the role. Use titles that include department + level (for example, account+ or creative+ or production+ or project+ specialist, coordinator, associate, manager, director, executive or supervisor). Add further clarity with a preceding qualifier like: junior, assistant, senior, associate or executive. Personally, I enjoy fun titles like Super CSS Ninja and Associate Cat Herder, which definitely reflect company culture, but they’re not for everyone.
About the organization:
This section should be all MAGIC – Memorable, Accurate and Grounded In Culture! This is where your brand promise, department culture and team personality all brag on each other and tell an honest yet shiny story of the organization’s mission, successes and wow-factors. It might be a good place for some employee/client testimonials, or include recent awards. Company size, type of office setting, and some core philosophies also make sense in this section.
About the role/job:
This should be a reasonable yet aspirational list of day-to-day responsibilities, expectations and outcomes. It should be grounded in reality, yet strive to challenge even the most competent candidate. Details about volume of projects, types of clients, size of the team, speed of the work and the goals for the role all make for compelling content for this section! Are there support staff for this position? Are there other duties as assigned? Is there potential for promotion or growth? Tell those stories here.
Software skills, specialized knowledge, academic credentials, certifications, minimum number of years experience, and previously held roles find a home in this section. Documentable, proven, factual and clear expectations go here, in spiffy, intelligible, unambiguous and quantifiable bullet points.
About the ideal candidate:
This section targets HOW the job described above gets done. Who has the “right stuff” that’ll complement the team, engage the client, and add value? This is the wish-list of attitude, character, personality, style, approach and the I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it qualities. This is where gaps can get filled: if a specific type of person is needed to fulfill the role, then spell it out to lure them in.
Salary and Benefits:
Time to put a bow on it! Often this section is bare bones and simple… salary, number of paid holidays, retirement, health and dental insurance coverage, blah, blah, blah. Give some thought to the benefits that reflect and reinforce the organization’s culture and values. Perks like unlimited vacation, dry cleaning pick up/drop off, free lunch, gym membership, flexible scheduling, CostCo membership, laptop for remote work, paid maternity/paternity/furternity leave, access to the condo in the mountains and annual trip to the Super Bowl for all employees could seal the deal! Make sure to highlight allowances for parking or a mobile phone, professional development budget, Uber or Lyft rides home from the company holiday party. Listing the company’s commitment to fundraising for a dedicated charity or doing a day or two of community service can be a deal MAKER to a candidate for whom those things matter. Putting them in the “benefits” category as opposed to the “about us” helps candidates appreciate the organization’s priorities and philosophies. Sometimes it’s the little things, like birthday lunches or permission to bring your dog to work that can intrigue a casual job description reader into an enthusiastic candidate.
Still struggling to write the description? Don’t have the time/energy/enthusiasm and just want to get that creative position filled? We can do it for you! Just call us at 414-431-0062 or fill out our Talent Request Form and we’ll take the headache away and find you the perfect candidate!
Thanks for reading all the way through. Any thoughts, ideas or opinions? We’d love to hear from you – post in the comments below!
Owner and Queen of Distraction