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.

 
 

key Takeaway

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

Qualities

  • Eye catching

  • 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

Jobs 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