WHow to write a good job descriptionhat information is important?

Most managers, when they sit down to write a job description, are hunting for perfection.  They want to find a person who possesses every possible skillset – regardless of whether or not that skillset is critical for successful job performance.

The problem with any hunt for perfection that you narrow the pool of candidates so much, that there can be no hunt.  This then equates to not having enough candidates to effectively run through the interview process.  You are stalled at the starting gate.

This is because candidates who are a good fit will read these job descriptions and instantly begin ticking off all the skills and competencies that they do not possess.  Then they do what comes naturallythey do not apply for your job.  It does not matter if the candidate is passive, active, semi-active, or whatever.

The goal is not to destroy your candidate pool, but to find enough candidates who meet minimum requirements so that they can be accurately assessed during the interview process.  To do this, you need to modify your approach to creating a job description.  

What information is important?

First, identify the responsibilities and accomplishments that you would like your candidate to have.  This will require some thought.  The goal is not to list every single nice-to-have skill.  Keep perspective.  Then further refine by listing out the hurdles, challenges and culture that the candidate will face.  Once you have identified these components you can quickly identify what the candidate needs to bring to the table to effectively perform the job.

Less is more

So instead of creating a job description that lists out dozens of skills and competencies, focus on a list of (no more than) five.  When a best-fit candidate reads a job description with only 4-5 key skills and competencies, the odds are much higher than he will possess those 5 than when dozens and dozens are listed on a 2 page job description.

This will allow you the flexibility you need to interview more candidates who have the minimum qualifications and make a quality hire.

Job is Not Done When Interviewing Begins

As stated before, the goal is not to make a hiring decision based solely on your job description.  Once you have your group of candidates that you would like to interview, add back in the additional skills and competencies that would be “great to have” or “nice to have”.

Once you have done that, you can use this list to interview and hire the best-fit candidate.

At Snelling, we understand the importance of a well-written job description. It can shorten your hiring cycle.  A not-so-well-written one can slow down the process down to a crawl as completely unqualified candidates cycle through the interview process.  So contact your local Snelling office today.  We are hiring experts and can help you define and refine your needs and wants to create the perfect job description.

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