How to write a job description to attract the best talent

It takes a lot of effort to look for a job. We've all been in this position so we all know what it feels like to read through hundreds of job descriptions looking for the role that sounds best suited to us. If we all know the pain bad job descriptions then why, when it's us looking for someone to join our team, do we not optimise our job adverts the way we optimise our websites?

Amy Cowpe, from Charlie HR, highlighted the importance of job advert very succinctly in her article about how to write a good job advert :

A good job advert is the cornerstone of your hiring process. It doesn’t matter how many jobs boards you post on, or how attractive your benefits are – if you can’t tell candidates why your role is worth applying to, then your company isn't getting the applications it needs.

How to structure a job description

Through the many companies that have posted their job vacancies on Saner Jobs, there has been a correlation in the quality of the structure and the quality of benefits that are offered. The general structure of a job description should be natural and logical in the way it moves from one subject to another.

1. An introduction to you

Just as you would introduce yourself to a stranger, as a company you need to introduce yourself to potential employees. The information to include here is focused on what's the product or service that your company offers, what's your mission and what are your company values. A short, concise paragraph will give someone an insight to who you are and whether they believe they're aligned with your goal and values.

2. The role you're advertising

In this section you want to explain a few specifics about the role. For example, does the role focus on a specific vertical in the department you're advertising for? If so, add in that information. Let people know how many people are in the team they'd be working with and who their manager would be - this adds a personal touch and people can do more research into the team if they're interested.

3. List the main responsibilities

This is often muddled with skill requirements and desired experience which is not what it needs to be. Use a simple bullet point list of key responsibilities and duties that the employee would be doing in this role on a day-to-day or weekly basis. These bullet points shouldn't just be a few words but a few short sentences of description on each responsibility. Have a minimum of at least 5 and no more than 10.

4. List the required skills

These should be hard skills that you want the candidates to already have experience in. This section shouldn't include tools since the use of a tool is not a skill in itself. Again, the quantity you want to aim for are between 5 and 10 listed skills.

5. Desired skills and experience

This is the section to include any experience with tools you'd like to see from candidates. These are skills and experiences you'd like to have in addition but are not a dealbreaker if a candidate doesn't have them. It's well known that many qualified candidates will not apply for a role if all the skills and experiences listed seem to be required so it's very important to make this distinction between required and desired to not miss out on great candidates.

6. Show off your employee benefits

Start off with the benefits that have a really positive impact for your employees. Benefits like training programmes or allowances, remote working, flexible hours, retirement or pension programmes or health insurance. Benefits that aid a healthy balance of work and personal time for your employees will be the ultimate incentive for the best talent to apply to work at your company.

The effort you put into your team should reflect the quality you put into your product. Even if you cannot afford to provide the benefits of insurance or retirement, the minimum offering should be centred around what will improve your employees' work-life balance - showing them that you care about their mental health both inside and out of work is an amazing, forward-thinking move that trumps all else.

Why we started Saner Jobs

We want companies to put a bigger  focus on the well-being of employees  and showcase this effort to attract the best talent they can. Coffee is a standard offering, ping pong and consoles don't add value but benefits that aid a  good work-life balance  to entice the best talent to join you.

Saner Jobs  is a new job board featuring  flexible job offers  that put pride in well thought out job descriptions and benefits for potential new employees. Each job post is given a  work-life balance score  to emphasize the importance of quality to both employers and job hunters.

The scoring takes into account the working hours offered and key benefits that support employee well-being which include  health insurance, holiday time, flexibility, employee training and more . Get started on your search for  remote specific jobs  or roles in  marketing design software development  or  finance .