Just like any other content put out by your business, your job descriptions reflect on your company. Not only that, but they’re often also the first opportunity you have to connect with prospective candidates.
So, if you want to make a lasting first impression and attract the top talent, crafting a winning job description should be a focal point for your hiring team.
But it’s easier said than done. Today, most job descriptions are presented as a bulk of text on a plain background. They’re clunky, dull and leave the candidate wanting more.
Thomas Forstner is the Director of People and Talent at Juro, and he’s looking to change that by creating a more compelling, interactive, and thoughtful job description for Juro’s roles. Here’s his guide on how you can do the same.
Too many businesses share job postings impulsively without having first done the necessary research to attract the right talent and understand the role.
At Juro, we envisage a job description to be a public version of the discovery done for a particular role, and the process of writing a winning job description begins with having done that discovery well.
To do this, we start with establishing the pain within the business that requires us to hire for the role. We then go on to determine the mission and the specific outcomes of that person. What are they going to strive for and aim to solve at Juro?
From there you should start conducting some initial research on the role you’re creating a job description for, like what the role would entail, why someone wants to apply for this role in the first place, and what skills we’re looking for from an ideal candidate?
Once you’ve compiled all of this information, you’ll have the skeleton of a job description which you can develop from there.
One of the most common things that candidates want from their next role is the opportunity to do meaningful work. So it’s important to tell them how the work they’d be doing will make a difference.
Every job description should explain why you’re hiring for the role, and it shouldn’t just say that it’s because your team is growing. That’s obvious. Try to hone in on the specific problem you’re experiencing within your company and explain how the person that accepts the role will be positioned to resolve it.
You can do this easily, even for a fairly well-understood role like an Account Executive. Rather than just listing the responsibilities off one by one, explain what your ARR target is and why you need more team members to close this revenue, for example.
Hiring is a two-way street, it’s only fair that you communicate effectively where the candidate would fit into the team and how they are set to progress if they achieve the goals set out.
Job descriptions are the best opportunity to make a first impression on potential candidates, so it’s important to portray your brand in a memorable and authentic way.
This doesn’t just mean adding a logo to your job description page. If you really want to enrich your job description with your company branding, you’ll need to think more consistently about the way you communicate your message.
This can be a challenge when you use most applicant tracking systems and job sites to advertise your roles. That’s why we selected Notion for Juro job descriptions instead since it allows for rich text formatting and plenty of flexibility.
Once you’ve chosen your platform, ask yourself whether there’s any rich media you want to add, like team photos or a video introducing the available role in more detail. We even add links to different pages about Juro, like our employee perks and the podcasts we’ve been featured on.
You should also consider how you display the text, and how you’re going to use emojis or bulleting to make the information more accessible at first glance.
At Juro, we consider everything from incorporating the brand colors to sticking closely to the company style guide when describing the role and ideal candidate.
I’m sure this sounds like a lot of work. But once you’ve created a final template it should streamline the process considerably, making it quicker and easier to create consistent and effective job postings that people love.
Even once a potential candidate has read your job description, they’re probably going to have a tonne of questions. What is the interview process like? How long does it take? What does the ideal candidate look like? Do you support your employees with relocation?
At Juro, we add an entire FAQ section to each job description, so prospective candidates can establish early on whether the company and process are right for them or not. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons.
For a start, candidates have all of the information they need to decide whether to apply or not, rather than having to go out of their way to enquire about specific aspects of the role or interview process.
It also ensures that applicants have clear expectations of the process, so they feel more confident when they apply for our roles. Providing this transparency from the offset sets candidates up to succeed, and it enables us to select candidates with a specific interest in the role.
It’s also a great indication of whether candidates have done enough research or not. If their questions during the interview stage are a repetition of the questions we’ve already answered in detail on our job description, it’s likely they haven’t engaged with that enough.
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace starts by creating a safe space for candidates - even before they’ve been hired.
Priming your job description for diversity and inclusion encourages talented candidates to apply irrespective of their background, rather than isolating them, which many job descriptions do unconsciously.
At Juro, we make a conscious effort to combat this. For a start, we use a text diversity tool that assesses the text within your job description and flags any gendered language that might appeal to some candidates and discourage others. We then replace these words with more neutral terms, like ‘nurture’ rather than ‘grow’.
We also make a conscious effort to communicate the current diversity of our team and what we’re striving to achieve with regard to this. To put this into perspective, we add a ‘meet the team’ section to most of our job descriptions, where you can visualize who’s in the team already and where you’d fit in.
But it isn’t just about what we’re doing well. We also want to communicate what our future goals are regarding diversity too. We want to show that we’re aware of our challenges and that we’re actively coming up with solutions to solve them.
We want to make this kind of information as readily available as possible to prospective candidates so that they don’t have to go digging for it themselves.
Another common mistake when creating a job description is adding too much and making it too generalized.
Lots of job descriptions talk about how they want to hire someone that’s a team player, results-driven, and a good communicator. But what does that even mean? We’re all those things in some way or another, so these requirements bloat out the content without actually adding any substance.
If you want to find the ideal candidate, you need to be surgically precise about what it is you actually want. This is best achieved by giving more specific examples of the kind of person you’re looking for.
Instead of saying you’re looking for a team player, say you want to hire someone that shares wins and losses with other people on a regular basis. Ideally, you want something people can give concrete examples of, not just generalized responses.
That said, you still need to strike a balance between making your requirements specific and keeping them to a minimum.
Research has found that men tend to apply to a role even if they only hit 60% of the criteria set out, whereas women only tend to apply for a position if they fulfill all of the criteria listed. By adding too many requirements to your job description, you could actually be excluding a lot of talented prospects.
At Juro, we’ve decided to cut out the requirements like qualifications and years of experience where it’s possible to do so. This is because we care about what candidates have done, not how long they’ve been doing it.
Unless you’re hiring for a role that relies on these qualifications and years of experience, it’s better to explain what you want a candidate to have achieved in order to qualify them as ‘senior’, not just the time they’ve spent in the industry. There are so many ways to enter the industry today, and we want to respect this in our job descriptions.
We’ve all read job descriptions with mistakes or that use the wrong tone, and it’s not a good look. If you want candidates to invest their time into your application, you should at least do the same for your job descriptions.
At Juro, we’re building a product and a company. And obviously, yes, they are separate, but they are also closely connected and we want our job descriptions to present our brand effectively.
That’s why all of our job descriptions at Juro go through a proofing process before they’re uploaded. We want them to meet our style guide, convey the hiring goals of the relevant manager and tie into our wider business strategy.
What many businesses fail to consider is that presenting your brand positively in job descriptions and processes can help to advance your brand before customers as well.
Customers are far more likely to want to partner with a business that’s growing sustainably and delivering a great experience internally as well, and this shows in the feedback we receive about our interview processes and job descriptions.
In short: job descriptions are important. Not only do they encourage candidates to apply for your roles, but they’re also an effective tool for brand building and a great way to gain a competitive edge over other businesses hiring for the same positions.
But most importantly, they’re the start of what could be a lasting relationship between a successful candidate and your business, so you want your first impression to be as positive as possible.
Achieving this comes down to good preparation and paying attention to the details, and this should prevail throughout the hiring process, from job descriptions and HR contracts all the way through to onboarding plans.
If you’d like to see the job descriptions for yourselves, check out Juro’s career page where all of Juro’s current job postings are listed.