Job description analysis: 3 Steps for creating an effective job description

Selma Mohr 4, Feb 2020 5 min
job description analysis

Job description analysis: Lionstep’s 3 steps for creating a job description

What makes up the perfect job description? Based on studies and our own experience, we have created an ultimate 3 step guide to create job descriptions that excite candidates. 

It’s all about balance and brand personality in a job description. You need to provide enough information, express your brand personality, but at the same time not overwhelm the candidate. 

Capture their attention. Today’s candidates are overloaded with job descriptions. They consider multiple jobs since there are so many postings out there. Candidates skim a job description, so be sure to communicate the most important details in a way that is visible and fast to consume. 

These 3 simple steps will create job descriptions that foster a qualified applicant pool:

1. Be clear & precise

If you do this well, you increase chances of applicants actually applying and being qualified for your job role.

According to LinkedIn Talent Solutions study on job postings, those with <150 words made candidates apply 17.8% more frequently, compared to job posts with 450-600 words.

  • Job Title: Use a clear title so that candidates know exactly what they’re applying for and can find your job post easily.
  • Top-notch introduction: Start with a way to connect with candidates by asking a question, providing a fact or using a statement that encourages them to read on. Don’t include too much company details. 
  • Company details: In a heatmap study of LinkedIn talent solutions, candidates rated company, culture, and mission as less important. Don’t bore them with too much details. Include a very short and precise description as they can find details themselves.
  • Profile requirements: Choose realistic requirements by distinguishing between “must-have” and “nice-to-have” requirements. Include job responsibilities. Break them down to specific tasks through job duties. Provide the goals of the job by using specific metrics candidates should ideally accomplish within 1 year. How does the average work week look like for this job? Provide a realistic overview. For example:

Business Development: 20% market research to find new business opportunities, 15% discovering more business in current clients, 30% new prospect outreach, 20% outreach to requests from leads, 10% fostering relationships with clients.

  • Job benefits: Candidates want to know what’s in it for them if they choose to work for you. Provide salary insights, whether its a salary range or ensuring you pay on industry standards. Include information about work relationships, such as size of department. What are the job/company perks?

Job description analysis

2. Brand personality

Differentiate your employer brand from others to remain competitive and access the best candidates

  • Speak directly to candidates: by using “you” instead of “the ideal candidate”, use “we” pronouns to create an active voice.
  • Gender Neutral: use terms that are gender neutral and think of applying power words to express excitement.
  • Differentiate your brand: Separate your company from competitors by integrating your brand messaging & tone-of-voice. 
  • Relatable: Make your job description relatable. You could show team members and provide some quotes from them. Maybe share a company video, including insights to the: office life, team and what you do. 
  • Balance of casual and formal: Don’t be too casual, as this can make candidates feel like your company is unprofessional. 

3. Usability experience

Provide the best candidate experience to optimize application and qualification

  • Skimmable: Use short paragraphs, bullet points when listing, and headers for orientation
  • CTA: End your job description with a call to action
  • Be mobile friendly: 
  • Feedback & Processes: Express the next steps in the process and address how long it will take to complete them. Think about provide a hiring timeframe – so candidates are aware of when to expect feedback and also feel urgency to apply.
  • Searchable: Make your application easy to find by using relevant keywords that candidates might search for –  company terms, industry terms, location terms, alternative job titles.
  • Other opportunities: Provide candidates with an opportunity to sign up for other job alerts at your company and allow them to easily share the post in case they know someone else who is suitable.
  • Track data: Don’t forget to track data regarding your job descriptions. On which platform do you have the most clicks? Where do your applicants come from? Which devices do they use to apply? What parts of the job description do they focus on (heatmaps)? Use this data to continuously improve your job descriptions.

Finally, we advise everyone to do include benchmarking in their job description analysis. What are competitors requiring for the same job? 

Looking for your next candidate? Find out how to optimize your recruiting with Lionstep. Connect with us.

Read about the experience our scale-up customer Radicant had with Lionstep.

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