As a general rule, we’ve been taught not to judge a book by it’s cover. However, when you’re at a book store glancing through the sections, it’s the cover that catches your eye. It’s the cover that differentiates itself enough to catch your interest for that fraction of a second that ends up being the reason you pick it up for consideration. A job description, depending on the type of candidate you’re after, is essentially your book cover. It’s one piece of marketing material that you have on the internet that should SELL your company. It one of the first impressions that you give candidates and it can make or break your recruiting efforts. For active candidates, they’re comparing your job description to every other one on the job board. And, for passive candidates, you might grab their attention with an engaging message, but if the job description doesn’t give them a reason to make a move, they’re going to stay where they are. It’s an essential piece of the recruiting puzzle.

But what makes a job description great? What are these candidates looking for?


1. Value Proposition
Almost every job description you see on the internet has a cookie cutter list of generic responsibilities about that general job title. But, don’t they already know what type of position they’re applying for? You have to SELL them. Include details about the job that sets it apart from others. They want to know about the product, what department they will be in, where the product/company are headed, if any awards have been won, or anything else that gives the overall goal of what they will be doing, rather than the grunt work that they already know they will be doing every day. If it’s a larger company, what about the specific division of this particular position, what that division works with, etc. If you’re struggling with ideas about this, ask the current employees! Have a quick Q&A to see what their favorite part of working there is, and highlight it in the job description. It should be bubbling with excitement and pride that screams, “This is somewhere you want to be!”

2. For Tech Candidates – Compensation
Don’t shy away from listing the range of compensation that’s available. Tech candidates want transparency. Listing the salary won’t take away from the ability to negotiate, but it will give them an idea if the opportunity is something they’d truly consider, or if it’s even something that they’re qualified or overqualified for. This can also save you time in the long run by weeding out those that have higher expectations in compensation than you’re unable to provide, instead of figuring that out after the interview process has already commenced. For more information on how to hire tech candidates check out our webinar: Hiring Tech Talent (With The Team You Have And Without Using Expensive Tech Recruiting Agencies)

3. Company Perks/Benefits
Benefits are important! Candidates would sometimes consider a lower salary if the benefits are fantastic. If you have a great 401K plan, PTO, health benefits, etc. make sure that is SPECIFIC in the job description. The classic “competitive compensation, great PTO, etc.” is not cutting it. If you have something that you know is stronger than most other companies, brag about it. BUT, keep in mind that different positions bring different types of candidates. For example, if this is an entry-level position and you’re recruiting students in college, you want to talk about your training program; how long it is, how successful you can be after a completing the program, where the program has been recognized, who teaches the program, etc. Entry-level employees are looking to shape their future, and choosing somewhere that they can be successful is wildly important to them. Another example, if you have a tech role open, and remote opportunity is available, make SURE that is listed in the job description. This is a HUGE perk for tech candidates. For sales roles, they might look for support, or a fun environment. The key here – know your audience, and emphasize the perks that appeal to that audience.

4. Management Style
Who is this person going to be reporting to and what is their management style? Candidates want to know what their day to day will look like, and too often that is listed as duties instead of the real story, which is who they will be working with every single day. People prefer one management style over the other, and being clear about it from the start will help to avoid some turnover in the long run. This can also help in placing candidates with the right manager from the very start.

5. Relevant Technology Available
If you have great technology, candidates want to know! List all of the available tools that your employees are given, but again, know your audience. If a candidate is frustrated at their current company because of outdated technology, this could be a huge perk. For tech candidates, know the framework! You’ll find the right person by putting the right languages and tools that will be used in the job description. Tech candidates aren’t going to apply for something that they have no experience or interest in. For sales or marketing candidates, list the CRM that you use. Sales and Marketing professionals often have certifications in a specific CRM, like Hubspot. It is in their best interest to pursue a position that allows them to advance that knowledge. That’s something that you need to keep in mind, because it could be a make it or break it for a number of people.

For more ways to improve your job descriptions, join us for our webinar on December 11th, Flip The Script On Your Job Descrip(tion): How To Write Job Descriptions That Actually Inspire Candidates.

Schedule a call with our VP of Client Strategy to talk about other ways Happie can improve your hiring practices and get you the best candidates.