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How NOT to write a job description

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We all know the importance of first impressions. 

Job descriptions are a candidate’s first point of contact with your company. And yet so often they miss the mark.

Time and time again position descriptions are filled with vague jargon and buzzwords, like “thinks outside the box” or “self-starter”. Or they simply include a long list of qualifications and experience requirements that do little to indicate future performance.

What are candidates thinking when they read one of your job descriptions? Some might be afraid to ask!

Here’s the secret: the best job descriptions focus on what the candidate needs to achieve in the role.

This flips the traditional approach on its head. Rather than prioritizing what a candidate has done, the focus is on what they will do.

How to write an outcome-driven job description

Start by getting clear on what exactly you are looking for from this role. What would the successful candidate be expected to achieve in the first 6-12 months and beyond? Now define and explain specific and measurable objectives.

Rather than saying “Responsible for improving website traffic,” an outcome-driven job description would say, “Increase website traffic by 30% within the first six months.”

Not only will this give you a better chance at hiring the right person, but it also sends a clear message to potential candidates that your organization is clear on their future in the company and the important role they will play.

Don’t forget to sell the position!

In a competitive job market like Japan, listing out desired qualifications and experience isn’t going to cut it. A well-crafted job description not only attracts the right candidates but also conveys why your company is a great place to work.

Here are some things to consider including in the job description:

  • Perks, incentives and benefits
  • Company values and culture
  • Opportunities for growth and development
  • The impact of the role both in the company and beyond

A useful tool throughout the hiring process

The multi-purpose benefit of a results-driven position description will become evident during the application phase. A job interview can be structured around what you hope and expect from the candidate within the first 12 months, giving everyone better clarity on whether this person will succeed in this role.

For example, rather than asking generally about a candidate’s experience in leading business segments, you could instead ask them about a time when they have written and executed strategic business plans and how they would quantify the plans’ performance.

The next time you sit down to write a job description, remember how much there is at stake! It can help in attracting the best candidates, selling the position, making a good first impression and even give you a better chance at hiring the right person.

Make the best hiring decisions when you engage Morunda. Book a discovery call today.

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