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  • Writer's pictureNicole Harlow

Move Away from the Same Old, Same Old Job Descriptions. Write a JD that attracts top talent.

(rather than repel it).


Let's set the scene. Your recruitment team has been hard at work shortlisting and building a strong network of potential candidates for your role. People are invested, their excited, they are ready to quit their current role and jump into life at your company.


Until they get their hands on the job description. It falls flat on it's face. It's generic. It's vague. It tells them nothing. Half of the people don't return phone calls. The other half have lost momentum.


You may as well go back to square numero ono.


We put a lot of pressure on these digital documents in the recruitment process. From CV's to JD's, we're asking a lot from them. If you're asking people to WOW them with their resumes, you can bet you need to do the same with your JD's.

The good news? Set up a template that you can replicate time and time again, with minimal changes. Let's break down what you need to do.


PS Your recruitment partner can also help with this. Get the most ROI on your fees.


Every job market since the dawn of time (well, at least since I have been recruiting) has been competitive - but job seekers have become savvy, they research opportunities, they want the razzle dazzle, and rightly so. If your JDs aren't showing your brand, your culture and the unique opportunities that you offer, then you're on the back foot from the get go.


I guarantee at least one of your competitors is getting it right. Guess where the top talent is headed?


Digital Talent Lab has put together a comprehensive guide that explores actionable tips on how to craft compelling job descriptions that stand out and attract top talent.


Understanding the Importance of a Great Job Description


A job description serves multiple purposes:


1. Attracting the Right Candidates: Not just any candidates. The best ones.

2. Setting Clear Expectations It get's everyone on the same page from day one.

3. Reflecting Your Company Culture: So many companies I speak with say people just aren't the right "culture fit". Have you spelt it out in your JD?

4. Enhancing Employer Branding: If this is done well, you'll have people knocking down your front door. Do you think Canva have a brand problem?


Key Elements of an Effective Job Description


Before diving into the tips, let’s outline the key elements that every job description should include:


  • Job Title: Clear and specific, reflecting the nature of the role. Avoid anything relating to unicorns, gurus or ninjas.

  • Introduction: An overview of the company, its mission, and its culture.

  • Role Summary: Mention what the role entails and its importance within the company.

  • Responsibilities: Detailed but concise list of the main duties and tasks.

  • Qualifications: Required skills, experience, and education (must have's vs nice to haves)

  • Benefits and Perks: What the company offers in return, including salary range, benefits, and any unique perks. If your only perk is a salary or other regulated entitlements, just say what they are - keep perks for the big guns you roll out.




Actionable Tips for Writing a Job Description that Attracts Top Talent


Craft a Compelling Job Title


Why It Matters: The job title is the first thing candidates see. It needs to be clear, specific, and engaging to catch their attention.


Actionable Tips:

- Be Specific: Avoid vague titles like “Manager” or “Assistant.” Instead, use titles like “Digital Marketing Manager” or “Executive Assistant to the CEO.”

- Use Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords that candidates might use when searching for jobs.

- Avoid Jargon: Steer clear of internal titles or jargon that might be confusing to outsiders.


Example:

- Instead of “Marketing Guru,” use “Senior Digital Marketing Specialist.”


Write an Engaging Introduction


Why It Matters: You've got about 10 seconds to make a good impression. The introduction sets the tone for the entire job description and gives candidates a sense of your company culture.


Actionable Tips:

- Highlight Your Mission: Share your company’s mission and how the role contributes to it.

- Showcase Your Culture: Use a tone that reflects your company culture, whether it’s formal, casual, or somewhere in between.

- Keep It Short: Aim for a brief, engaging introduction that sparks interest.


Example:

“Are you passionate about digital marketing and looking to make a real impact at a fast-growing tech startup? At XYZ Company, we believe in innovation, collaboration, and excellence. Join our dynamic team and help us shape the future of technology!”


Provide a Clear and Concise Role Summary


Why It Matters: The role summary helps candidates quickly understand what the position entails and its significance within the company.


Actionable Tips:

-Be Concise: Summarise the role in a few sentences, focusing on key responsibilities and objectives.

- Highlight Impact: Emphasize how the role contributes to the company’s success. This adds so much more value than a laundry list of responsibilities.


Example:

“As a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at XYZ Company, you will lead our digital marketing efforts, driving customer acquisition and engagement through innovative strategies and data-driven campaigns.”


Detail the Responsibilities


Why It Matters: Clear and detailed responsibilities help candidates understand what will be expected of them and whether they are qualified for the role. If you feel like you are getting lots of applications but no one is qualified? If this is too brief, candidates won't be able to self disqualify.


Actionable Tips:

- Use Bullet Points: Break down responsibilities into bullet points for easy readability.

- Prioritize Tasks: List the most important tasks first.

- Be Specific: Provide clear, actionable details about each responsibility.


Example:

- Develop and implement comprehensive digital marketing strategies to drive traffic and conversions.

- Manage and optimize campaigns across multiple channels, including SEO, SEM, email, and social media.

- Analyse performance metrics and provide actionable insights to improve campaign effectiveness.

- Collaborate with cross-functional teams to ensure brand consistency and alignment.



Specify Qualifications and Skills


Why It Matters: Clearly defined qualifications and skills help candidates assess their fit for the role and prevent unqualified applicants from applying.


Actionable Tips:

- Differentiate Between Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves: Clearly distinguish between essential and desirable qualifications. Give people the encouragement to apply even if they don't have all of the skills and qualifications.

- Include Soft Skills: Highlight important soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.

- Avoid Unrealistic Requirements: Set realistic and attainable qualifications to avoid deterring potential candidates.


Example:

- Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Business, or a related field.

- 5+* years of experience in digital marketing, with a proven track record of successful campaigns.

- Proficiency in digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Mailchimp.

- Strong analytical skills and the ability to interpret data and make data-driven decisions.

- Excellent communication and collaboration skills.


*We don't necessarily agree that X number of years experience is the best way to judge someone's capability. It's better to quantify why you want this much experience, and accept results over tenure.


Highlight Benefits and Perks


Why It Matters: Benefits and perks can be a deciding factor for candidates considering multiple job offers. Highlighting what you offer can set you apart from competitors.


Actionable Tips:

- Be Transparent: Clearly state the salary range and benefits package. In many countries, this is now a legal requirement. Also see "self disqualification".

- Highlight Unique Perks: Showcase any unique benefits or perks that make your company stand out, and make these something special. Think insurance cover, gym memberships, discounts, leave buy backs etc.



Example:

- Salary range of $70,000 - $90,000, commensurate with experience. Get rid of terms like "Competitive"

- Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance.

- Generous paid time off and flexible work hours.

- Professional development opportunities, including training programs and conferences.

- Wellness programs and a supportive, inclusive work environment.


Use an Engaging and Inclusive Tone


Why It Matters: The tone of your job description can attract or repel candidates. An engaging and inclusive tone can make candidates feel welcome and excited about the opportunity. Think of your brand voice and extend this to job descriptions too.


Actionable Tips:

- Be Personable: Write in a conversational tone that reflects your company’s personality.

- Avoid Bias: Use inclusive language that avoids gender, age, or other biases.

- Be Positive: Highlight the positive aspects of the role and your company.


Example:

“We’re looking for a creative and driven individual to join our team as a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist. If you’re keen to continue growing in your digital marketing career, and eager to make a difference, we want to hear from you!”





Use Visual Elements


Why It Matters: Visual elements can make your job description more engaging and easier to read. They can also help convey your company culture and values.


Actionable Tips:

- Incorporate Images: Use images of your team, office, or company events to give candidates a glimpse of your work environment.

- Use Icons and Graphics: Break up text with icons and graphics to highlight key points and make the JD more visually appealing.

- Create a Video: Consider creating a short video introducing the role and your company, and embed it in the job description. We send out a company video for one of our favourite clients to each candidate we short list. It's got a 100% success rate.


Example:

“Check out this video to learn more about our team and what it’s like to work at XYZ Company!”


Conclusion


Writing a job description that attracts top talent requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. By moving away from generic, boilerplate descriptions and focusing on clarity, engagement, and inclusivity, you can create a compelling JD that resonates with the right candidates. Remember, your job description is an opportunity to make a great first impression and showcase why your company is a fantastic place to work. Use these actionable tips to craft job descriptions that stand out and attract the top talent your company needs to succeed.


Final Thoughts


The job market is constantly evolving, and so are the expectations of top talent. Stay ahead of the curve by continually refining your job descriptions and staying attuned to the needs and preferences of your ideal candidates. A great job description is not just a list of requirements; it’s a powerful tool to engage, attract, and persuade the best talent to join your team.


 


Digital Talent Lab is Sydney's leading digital and marketing recruitment agency. We provide a range of recruitment services to clients, from sourcing and shortlisting to developing tailored recruitment solutions.


With a reputation for providing no nonsense recruitment advice, Digital Talent Lab has become the go-to agency for any digital and marketing professional looking for their next role in Sydney - from junior executives and specialists to senior level management and C-Suite.


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