November 19, 2021 | 5 min read
4 Critical Mistakes Employers Make When Writing Job Descriptions


Every savvy employer knows that writing job descriptions is a critical step in the hiring process. If you want people to apply, you write a list of the job responsibilities and hope talented people find it, right? Not so fast. In today’s market, listing a set of responsibilities and desired skills isn’t enough to get candidates in the door.

eBook: Hiring Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Ignore

These components may paint an accurate description of what the role entails and what you’re looking for in a candidate, but they do nothing to help job seekers envision what it would be like to actually work there. In today’s job market, professionals are focused on finding jobs that better fit into their lives. Many are rethinking what work means to them and how they spend their time. They’re seeking purpose and potential, and this change in mindset means your job descriptions must evolve as well.

Instead of focusing on what you need, you must craft a compelling story that shows a talented candidate how this opportunity meets their needs. We all understand the importance of branding these days—especially job seekers. You should be leveraging your brand story in the same way they use their personal brand to give a first-person narrative about who they are and the value they can offer. And what better place to do this than in the job description?

Read also: How To Write a Job Description That Stands Out

By weaving your brand’s story into a job description, you can generate buzz and excitement about joining the company—and more importantly, make an applicant feel like they already belong. To help accomplish this, here are four components you should considering adding when writing job descriptions.

The team: Who are they? What are the common goals?

Because team members must work together to achieve common goals, it’s crucial that each potential new hire understands what each member brings to the team—and how they would fit into it.

Similar to the job description for the specific role, the team job description should explain what the team’s specific responsibilities and goals are. It should also identify who is on the team and why, provide clarity on the reporting structure, and outline departmental goals and larger initiatives. When writing job descriptions, adding these details about the team can help applicants understand their potential impact and how they would be important to the team’s overall success.

Culture, culture, culture

 Culture is everything when attracting talent. Whether they are getting ready to click apply or accept an offer, the candidate will always ask themselves if this is the right fit and if they would love working at the organization. As a result, it’s critical that you weave the company’s culture into all communications about a role. You should highlight anything that you think helps make your company unique or a great place to work, including:

  • Employee benefits + other perks
  • Flexible scheduling opportunities
  • Remote work or hybrid work policies
  • Company-wide initiatives that help employees feel connected, unwind, and have fun

At the same time, ensure you’re writing job descriptions that are inclusive. When highlighting company culture, it can be easy to use language or other digital assets that portray a single group of people. Make sure you are avoiding gender-specific pronouns, language that leaves people of a certain age out, and corporate jargon that might not be familiar to a company outsider.

Read also: 4 Ways To Foster A More Diverse And Inclusive Workplace

Growth potential

In today’s job market, career development opportunities are more important to professionals than ever. Rather than taking one “job for life” or climbing the career ladder with one employer, professionals are focused on identifying opportunities that allow for continuous skills development. When employees stop learning or growing, they will pursue new jobs. In fact, our research shows that a lack of advancement opportunities was the top reason why professionals left their last job.

That said, it would be a mistake not to address this number one pain point when communicating about the roles you’re hiring for. Explain to the candidate what’s in it for them in terms of development when joining the company. Whether that’s through mentorship, continuing education, regular training, or career advancement, highlight any meaningful growth opportunities that are provided to employees. You’ll get bonus points if you can show how the individual’s role will contribute to major company growth and change!

BONUS POINTS: Go beyond words on a page

Candidates will come across hundreds of job descriptions during their job search. And after a while, they will all start to look the same. So, how can you stand out as a top place to work when writing job descriptions?

Consider adding more creative or innovate touches to your hiring process. For example, adding video testimonials from staff to your job descriptions or utilizing interactive infographics to show your culture or highlight your benefits are a couple of great ways to differentiate yourself. If you are looking to create new content, think about the questions you frequently get asked during the hiring process. Perhaps you can create visual content that addresses them in order to give potential candidates an extra level of comfort before applying.

These visual elements are not only a great way to catch a potential hire’s attention, but also tell a more engaging story about why an individual would want to work at the company or accept the job offer.

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