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Candidate Quality: How Your Job Description Helps You Get Closer to the Hire

Do you ever look at your candidate list and wonder why some people thought the position you posted was a good fit for them? You’ve read through their background and are unable to connect the dots. Well, you’re not alone.

Although finding a new hire can be time consuming, the process will be much faster if you set the appropriate expectations about your positions early on. Clearly stating what this role entails and who exactly you are looking for in terms of experience will make things easier for all parties involved!

Take a look at your current candidate list. If the majority of your applicants are unqualified, you’ve got some work to do. The caliber of your candidates depends on the caliber of your job description, so if you’re lazy about it, people will notice. So how do you build a strong job description? Read on!

Start by introducing the company and the position to jobseekers

Think of your opening as being a little like a tagline you would put on one of those new dating apps. After all, you will be starting a (hopefully long-term) professional relationship with your next new hire. What can you say about the company and position that is going to make people want more? Be careful not to overdo it, but give it some attention.

The intro is an ideal place to include any soft skills needed in this role and to reinforce the culture of your company. For example, “Sally’s Styles is a full-service beauty bar located in the heart of NYC. We’ve been in business for over 15 years and have a fun and hard-working staff, dedicated to making our clients look and feel amazing. We need a beauty technician who is passionate, high-energy and personable to join our team!”

Of course, just about everybody searching on Indeed feels they are friendly, personable and reliable. No one is going to tell you, “I’m not going to show up for work some days,” so adding it here instead of your requirements list is the best way to engage the reader or redirect them back to search results. But remember, asking the right questions during reference checks and interviews is the best way to identify soft skills, as these are not often addressed on a resume.

Save yourself time by focusing more of your attention on the requirements list later on in the description.

Say the job duties out loud

Verbally explain the day-to-day duties to yourself, as if you were telling your friend about them (and really needed that referral bonus), and take notes.

Many employers feel they need to include information that only speaks to the qualified candidate who already has an understanding of the role. As a result, the description is bare-bones because the qualified jobseeker will know what it means based on the title.

But this perspective can have the opposite effect as it leaves unqualified applicants with more room to interpret the job their own way!  

Let’s use a painter position as an example. If you list one of the duties as “apply paint to interior and exterior surfaces or structures,” you are opening the door to anyone in your area who has successfully painted their living…

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