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Hiring Managers: How to Write a Job Description

The Betts Team
April 25, 2016

Hiring a new employee is a demanding process. From attracting the right candidates to asking the best questions during interviews, there are many factors that go into guaranteeing a good hire. With the means to apply to jobs online en masse, it can be challenging casting a wide without sacrificing quality. A company’s first means to vet out potential candidates is the job description. When posting a new opportunity, follow the guidelines below to strengthen your first impression, and appeal to prospective employees that are a better fit.


The first thing a potential employee reads is a job’s title. Although titles in and of themselves can be meaningless, they affect the way a job is advertised, pulled up in search engines, and perceived by applicants. Having a title that is too specific may prevent your job posting to appear under search queries on resources like LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. Alternatively, a generic title that doesn’t indicate any experience level or department can be too broad, fall flat compared to more dynamic titles, and attract unqualified candidates. Overall, aim for a title that highlights the seniority level of the applicant you are looking for (entry-level, associate, senior) and the department the employee will be working the most in (marketing, sales, engineering, business development). These titles will be clear to applicants and weed out any unqualified candidates before they even begin an application.


Many job descriptions are filled with bulleted lists of duties that are intended to encompass the entire role. In reality, though, most positions tend to change once an employee is hired, depending on skills and needs. In your description, focus on the keystone role your employee will be filling and leave out any day-to-day operations that fluctuate naturally. These can be explained during the interview process if you feel they are necessary to explain beforehand. Most candidates are looking for responsibilities and high-level goals rather than detailed daily agendas. An overview is more than enough to persuade a candidate to apply.


Having a job description that outlines career opportunities is a quick way to draw in potential employees that are interested in growing within a company. Mentioning career advancement options displays the investment your company makes in its employees and ensures candidates understand where the role they are applying for can lead to. Touching on chains of commands and next steps links the new position within the company and gives candidates an easy way to figure out where they will fit in. Including growth opportunities in a job description personalizes the role by highlighting individual merit-based advancement.


Job summaries are commonplace. For nearly every position, hiring managers can just google a generic description and copy and paste. Crafting your own outline ensures the position is written in your company’s voice. Culture is an important aspect of the hiring process, and a job description is the first impression your company will make. Keep your description professional, but aim to include some of your company’s identity through tone or colloquialisms.


While trying to follow the above guidelines, it is easy to fall into the trap of writing a job description that goes on for paragraphs. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that today most hiring boards are viewed on mobile phones. Be concise and save any explanations for the interview. Put your position out there and let the opportunity speak for itself. The longer the job description, the more complicated it seems. Follow the same guidelines hiring managers use for resumes: only say what’s relevant, define yourself briefly, and clearly highlight your goals.

Hiring a new employee should be an exciting time for a company. Your job description starts with an outline of the most important qualities and skills you’re looking for. Taking the time to differentiate and emphasize the unique aspects of your posting ensures your company will appeal to candidates that are most aligned with your culture and perception of the position.