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Writing a job description to attract quality candidates

Line of people sat down, waiting for an interview.

If you are writing a job description, you’ll want to make sure you structure and phrase it in a way that maximises your chances of attracting the most talented candidates. 

Indeed, appointing talented, reliable and committed staff who live and breathe your brand and are true ambassadors for your business is a goal shared by all company owners and managers. 

Often, the success of an organisation will stand or fall on the strength of the people it employs, so it makes sense to put every effort into the recruitment process – which includes writing a job description. 

This is made all the more relevant against a backdrop of very low unemployment. In March this year, the UK unemployment rate was at its lowest level for more than 44 years. The Office for National Statistics revealed Britain’s jobless rate fell to 3.9% in the three months to January - the lowest point since the start of 1975. 

Therefore, in the present climate, competition for quality employees is strong. We see this here at 24-7 Staffing, with the number of vacancies we are seeking to fill in the sectors we specialise in. These are driving, commercialhealthcare and industrial and we have a wide range of opportunities across the board for enthusiastic candidates. 

So, here are some tips from the recruitment team at 24-7 Staffing on how to structure and write a job description which will attract more of the right people to your role, so you can fill your vacancies. 

Tips writing a job description 

If you’ve never written a job spec before, or you’re not a regular writer, the process can seem a little daunting. 

But follow our advice, and you should be able to get it pitch-perfect. 

1. Make sure you get the job title right and be specific. This sounds easy, but can be tricky, especially as you are working in the business – what may be obvious to you, won’t be to an outsider. 

The job title must be gender and age-neutral; it should be generic enough that it can be compared to similar jobs in the industry for the purposes of equality on pay and conditions; and it should be self-explanatory for recruitment purposes (because in many online job searches, the job title will be the main search term). 

2. Provide an overview of what the job entails. Again, try to place yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t know your business, and add in relevant information. This needs to be a summary, so try to be succinct. 

3. Draw up an accurate list of the responsibilities that come with the vacancy. This needs to be comprehensive, so candidates know exactly what will be expected of them, but at the same time, you don’t want it to turn into an operator’s manual. Also, don’t be tempted to include duties that don’t fall under the role. 

4. Make a list of essential qualifications required – this will centre around the skills you want the candidates to already possess. You will want to include any educational or professional qualifications that are required. 

5. Include a list of desired competencies. These are characteristics or traits you’d like the candidates to have. For example, strong communication skills or the ability to work well in a team 

6. Give details of the salary or a pay scale. If the role is part-time, then this can be pro-rata. 

7. Read the job description through, checking for accuracy, and ask a colleague to proofread it.  

8. Post the vacancy on jobs boards, your company website, via social media and with your recruitment partner. 

Writing a targeted and effective job description is a skill, but one you can master with practise and by following our tips. It is more than a list of requirements, but an opportunity to give an insight into your organisation, and to ‘sell’ it to potential candidates. 

It is also important to be accurate; there’s no point in attracting great candidates to a role which, when they start work, turns out to be rather different to their expectations. That way, your great new recruits could soon be walking back out of the door and it will have been a wasted recruitment process in terms of time and resources. 

If you would like any more guidance with writing a job description, or you are looking to partner with a recruiter who can help you find great candidates to fill your vacancies, why not get in touch with the team here at 24-7 Staffing? We’d be delighted to help. 

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