Check List: How to Write a Great Job Description

iCIMS Staff
February 9, 2018


How to Write a Job Description That Brings in High-Quality Candidates

A 2016 CEB survey of 900 recruiters and 6,000 hiring managers found that the time it takes to fill open jobs increased by 50 percent from 2010. The average vacancy costs $500 per position per day, which would cost companies a loss of $22,000 per position over the average period of 44 calendar days.

Talent acquisition professionals need to continue to find ways to close that gap and bring in qualified talent faster.

To make it easier for job seekers to find your jobs you need to get inside the mind of a candidate. If job seekers aren’t going directly to your career site, they likely start their search in Google.

iCIMS recently partnered with Google for the introduction of an improved search experience that helps candidates find jobs more quickly and efficiently.

With this new wave of recruiting technology, jobs are now more easily identified on Google by job seekers who can refine their search with specific criteria from within the search engine. This collaboration across the job-matching ecosystem ensures Google Search can detect and display available jobs as soon as they’re posted to a company’s online career site.

Since most job searches start with a search engine, effective job titles and clear job descriptions are often the first chance to attract talent.

A great job title and description will help get your job posting in front of the right people in search, bringing in a higher volume of qualified applicants and enable candidates to self-identify if they are the right match for your job.

To bring in the talent your company needs, consider the following checklist when writing a job description.

Start with a Clear Job Title

While some companies may choose to write creative out-of-the-box job titles such as “Marketing Ninja” or “Chief Happiness Officer”, if your goal is to bring in qualified applicants for the position it’s best to keep it simple and clear. It’s important the job title is compelling but still accurate.

Avoid using internal titles that might not make sense from an outside perspective. Think about what job seekers might be searching for in Google, for example, they probably aren’t searching for “Dynamic Sales Professional”. Instead it’s smart to stick to traditional jobs titles such as “Sales Rep” or “Sales Associate”.

Additionally, job seekers are not searching for job titles that include abbreviations or acronyms. To optimize search visibility, use appropriate spelling and grammar.

Consider including the level of work for the role, for example, “Entry-Level Marketing Associate”.

If you’re recruiting for a part-time employee, saying so in the job title will increase your chances that the position appears in searches and will attract job seekers looking for that type of employment.

Describe the Company and its Culture

Describe your company culture and what it’s like to work at the organization. Why would someone want to work for you? How does your company stand apart from its competitors?

Include one or two strong paragraphs that give a basic understanding of your company including its mission and history. Keep in mind the way describe your company and the jargon you include will set the tone for your employment brand.

Additionally, including the awards or media coverage your company has received recently will give job seekers a good impression of your achievements.

Clearly Explain the Role

To give an explanation of the purpose of the role consider including:

  • A few main functions of the role with brief explanations
  • What this person will be doing on a day-to-day basis while focusing on actions and outcomes
  • Key tasks and projects
  • Who they’ll be working with
  • Who they’ll be reporting up to
  • The location and if remote workers are being considered
  • The hours they are expected to be at work and if there are any special schedule requirements
  • If there are any travel requirements

Define the Ideal Candidate

Include information about who the ideal candidate is for the role your filling. Adding a short-bulleted list of these competencies and skills that would make someone successful in the role will help job seekers identify if they’re the right fit. Consider including:

  • Skills and strengths
  • Work style
  • Experiences or accomplishments
  • Academic background

Before you write and post your next job description consider the job search process from the candidate’s point of view. The job description is talent acquisition’s opportunity to connect with the right job seekers and compel them to apply to your open job. If you take time to think about what the candidate wants to know about the company and the open position, you’re ready to recruit and screen qualified candidates.

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