Job Advertising Part 3: Job Description


Job Advertising Part 3: Job Description

When you’re ready to get your job position live and logging in to Seek, LinkedIn or Indeed, you’re likely brimming with ways to bring your job description to life, and to attract the right candidate for your role. After all, your people make up the base for your business to thrive.

Scrolling through active job posts, you’ll notice some similarities between how a job description is broken down, some keywords and phrases that are used, and some ‘must haves’ for applicants.

Job Description

If you haven’t heard already, post-pandemic Australia is experiencing ‘the Great Resignation’, meaning that many employees are looking to find new employment elsewhere, and some are even taking the leap to resign before they find a new position. Coupled with a talent shortage, this means that there is a smaller pool of candidates to select from, and many businesses will be looking to attract the same person.

What does this mean for your job description? Well, it’s important to share the right information and to articulate what this role will mean for an applicant while making yourself stand out from the pages of positions up for grabs.

Share Your Mission Statement

A short and sweet summary of your business is a great way to open your job description (whether you’re writing in the first person or third). Assume that an applicant may not have done in-depth research as they scroll through available positions, and share your core business values and mission statement.

Why are people important to the work you do? Are you a start-up that is excited to expand its team beyond the founding members? Is this a business with arms around the country? 

Refine your USP for the eyes of an applicant who you want to join your team, and articulate what your business does and why – giving a snapshot of the purpose behind the brand. 

Balancing Tasks with Opportunities

Of course, you’ll have certain tasks and a level of experience that needs to be met by potential applicants. Give readers an understanding of day-to-day tasks, responsibilities and the scope of their role, who they would report to or oversee.

When creating your job description, be mindful that there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ hire, but there will be qualities and skills that can be trained, so consider where you can be flexible.

For instance – a high-pressure and fast-paced role will often note that applicants should be able to work autonomously and function well under pressure while working to tight deadlines. Keep in mind that work-life balance is more important than ever, especially for millennials and younger, so you may need to consider if you’re placing too much pressure on a single hire to achieve what really may be the volume of work of two positions.

If the compensation matches the level of demand or role experience, then look for ways to weave in opportunities for growth, stretch assignments, collaboration, mentorship and leadership into the daily duties and tasks. While not every hire will stay with you for 5 plus years, knowing that they will be invested in by the organisation from the beginning will encourage them to value their position not just as a way to pay the bills, but as a way to progress in their career.

Of course, you may have non-negotiables such as X amount of years of experience in a similar role, but if you can be open to applicants who may have transferable skills, then make this clear. Many job websites will offer a final ‘checklist’ for applicants to complete even before they get to the point of adding their cover letter, so this is where your ‘must haves’ will sit, prompting a final review to ensure each candidate is aware of what will be reviewed.

A great way to make your job description stand out is to research how other companies are advertising for similar roles. Consider that a huge length of copy may not always be consumed and that roles requiring 10+ years of experience can be off-putting to more junior talent who are ready to step into leadership roles. Be reasonable and clear with your checklist, and take into consideration that talent may be looking for a meaningful career in an organisation that is mindful of its social impact, ethics and quality of life for employees.

Finally, ensure that applicants (even those who may require adjustments made to the application process due to disability) feel welcome to apply rather than be edged out by a laundry list of specifics. If you need a great local example of a successful hiring strategy, check out Canva’s job posts and style of writing, for a modern approach to welcoming new hires into the business.