Notes on Recruiting: Creating a Compelling Job Description
“Notes on…” is a series, based on notes I took during Lynda.com courses I completed.
Each post highlights a key takeaway I took from the course, along with my own notes.
As a person who enjoys writing, this line from the course got me really excited, particularly about recruiting: “Help them to imagine what it would be like to work for your company". Thinking about companies I applied for in the past, there’s definitely variety in terms of how vivid the picture was they painted of their company. I love the idea of using words/language strategically, to help potential hires see and feel what it would be like to work at Squarespace.
Job Descriptions with a Wow Factor
Colorful graphics, photographs, multimedia
Informative: shine a spotlight on the best features of the position and company
Uniquely placed: billboard, pizza box, etc
Compelling: specific CTA (come join us!)
Fundamentals of a Job Description
Job title: Name of the position; make sure position can easily be found in search
Company description: Location, company mission statement, products and services you provide; about the company culture/work environment. Fun, catchy phrases. Keep it brief!
Describe an average work week: why, how, what? Keep it concise
Important responsibilities/duties: Rank them in order of importance
Skills/Qualifications: The essentials to get the job done
Benefits: What’s in it for the candidate - salary/401k/unique perks/dress code
Include Equal opportunity policy - give a clear call to action
Choose The Right Words
Paint a picture of a place where they feel like they’ll belong; words and phrasing that speak to people in their own language
“Here’s what an ordinary might look like”
“If you don’t have three years experience, this isn’t the job for you”
Customer Service: “You will find solutions for every customer”
Marketing/Advertising: “It’s your job to design a campaign from beginning to end.”
Formatting is just as important - use catchy headers and bulleted lists
Create a Compelling Job Description
Hook the Candidate with a Great Summary
Mission statement and core values: Feature in the first line; core values should be more than a bulleted list - strongest selling points of any job description. Help the candidate to get excited about the mission and purpose
Project information: Consider video recording a current employee executing a current task and responsibilities
Growth and development opportunities
Responsibilities and Skills
Help them to imagine what it would be like to work for your company
List four to six major responsibilities; use action words and phrases
“You are responsible for…”, “On a given day, you work might include...”
Skills: Outline essential requirements (be specific)
Eye Catching Benefits
Ability to work from home?
Bonuses and stock options
On-site gym or reimbursement?
Casual dress code
Emphasize the rewards with bullets and graphic icons; make sure the information is presented in a clear and engaging way
Candidates want to know what’s in it for them
Go From Basic to Compelling with Video
Brand with Video
Video captures and keeps the candidates attention, while offering a glimpse into the life of the company. Types of videos:
Employee testimonials: Talk about what it’s like to work at the company, environment, opportunities for advancement (What’s it like to work there?)
Leadership messages: From founder, leadership, or CEO. Share company goals, vision
Job description: Highlight the special features of the presentation; presented from the perspective of the manager and team (conduct casual interviews of people who are doing the work now); “Tell me how you do what you do”, “What do you like doing most?”
Use video to enhance the text