2 Tricks That Can Fix a Bad Job Description

IT Job descriptions directly impact applicant quality and time to hire. Don’t let a bad one drive the best candidates away.

Make sure you aren't loosing your best candidates because of poor job descriptions.

The job description is a crucial tool for attracting qualified applicants. It is the first thing tech talent see when they are considering employment with your organization. Jazz up your job descriptions with a few tips from the VIMRO Talent Fulfillment Team. And put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Ask yourself “What’s in it for me?” After all, that’s what potential employees are asking themselves when they read your job description.

Highlight Your company and team culture.

“Company Culture” is a traditionally vague phrase, when it is tied to how an employee’s day-to-day work life will be impacted, company culture becomes a differentiation that sets your IT job description apart from the multitude of others. Include specific and personal examples to show applicants that care and consideration was taken to draft the job description. This reflects positively on the perceived culture of the company, professionalism of people working there and the environment in which the applicant can see themselves if they are they lucky enough to work for your company.

Consider including:

How is your team managed?

Example: “Managers provide autonomy in daily decisions and reward independence and outcomes.”

Example: “When a new project is identified, a new team is formed to bring people with varied skills together.  A new team lead is identified and is responsible for the success of the team.  Working with new people is an exciting way to learn new things.”

Example: “The best part about working at [your company name] is the attitude of “Can Do” and not “We Can’t Do.”  Everyone is encouraged to find different ways of getting things done.”

Why do you like working here?

Example: “I love being surrounded by extremely intelligent people!”

Example: “When new teams are created for various projects, it gives everyone an opportunity to work and build relationships with new co-workers.”

Example: “Once a month, a new group of employees goes out and spends a day giving back to the local community.  Employees suggest a cause and vote on a meaningful way to make a difference.”

What kind of exciting things are going on in your company/project?

Example: “Our team is developing an automation framework that will reduce task completion from 1 day to 30 minutes!”

Example: “When projects are completed or milestones are reached, the entire team celebrates together.  A bowling game, a group picnic, or a trip to an amusement park are some of the fun way we celebrate success!”

Example: “The company just created a blog where everyone can make a contribution and start a discussion on topics and subjects they encounter during their work.”

What can an employee expect in terms of career growth/education?

Example: “We have an annual budget assigned to each of our employees’ educational growth.”

Example: “Managers and employees identify what new skills are going to be needed 3 to 6 months into the future and together develop a training program to achieve the identified goals.”

Differentiate between your WANTS and NEEDS.

By clearly defining the NEEDS (the required skills and certifications), the job description not only shows a higher level of professionalism, clarity of vision, and attention to detail, it communicates to prospective applicants what they need to possess to be hired and be successful. Additionally, by separating out WANTS, you don’t have to worry about discouraging qualified candidates from submitting their resume

The NEEDS section should reflect new skills/difficult to train skills/skills required for the employee to be effective in day-to-day activities.

Think very carefully about what skills and certifications are identified as NEEDS in the job description. For instance, listing every programming language in existence, communicates that your expectations are unrealistic.  If you list certifications that are junior (for example: CCNA) and senior (for example: CCNP), you open yourself for a wide range of candidates with very different experiences. Junior applicants are likely to feel that the position is out of reach, and senior applicants will likely consider this position as too junior for their level of expertise.

The WANTS section should reflect skills you envision to be useful in the future, but not for short- or medium-term initiatives.

Having a clearly identified NEEDS section and, if you find appropriate, a WANTS section, will result in a pool of applicants who are particularly qualitied for the position.  You will have less resumes to review, the candidates will be more qualified, and at the end of the day, you will end up with a good hire in less time.

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