Creating Job Descriptions That Attract Skilled Talent

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Creating job descriptions that clearly outline the expectations and responsibilities of a position has never been more important than it is today for small business owners hoping to attract the most promising professionals. Recognize that the best job descriptions do not necessarily have to be long, but they must be focused. The key is to write job descriptions that present job duties in a way that enables candidates to visualize the role and determine whether they can see themselves truly fitting into that position.

How to write a job description

As hiring managers gather details to update or write a job description, they may want to seek input, if appropriate, from key personnel who will work directly with the new hire. These individuals may be able to provide valuable insight because they understand the day-to-day workings of the department. The best job descriptions also can help deter individuals who lack the necessary skills from applying.

The best job descriptions serve multiple purposes

Small businesses should view creating job descriptions as more than laying out the basis for a help wanted ad. A well-written document has relevance throughout the hiring process and beyond. They should be treated as living documents that must evolve over time as the organization's needs and the business environment change.

When the process of reviewing resumes begins, hiring managers can use the job description as a point of comparison to make sure each prospective candidate meets at least the most basic requirements outlined, such as educational level or management experience. Then, they can continue to use the description to further winnow down the number of applicants – becoming more stringent in each round of reviews – ultimately creating a short list of the most promising candidates.

The best job descriptions also can help small businesses set the stage for a candidate's success. By clearly communicating expectations and outlining roles and responsibilities, employers enable new hires to "hit the ground running" from day one. Finally, keep in mind the job description can be a valuable and objective evaluation tool when measuring a professional's performance come review time.