How to Write a Job Description That Attracts Talent
When it comes to job description strategies, packaging firms often miss the mark. They either overthink the process and make things way harder than need be. Or rush to fill an opening while neglecting the key elements that attract great talent. Ultimately, the best approach combines both careful thought and simplicity.
Review Your Packaging Job Descriptions
It’s no secret that business moves fast these days - and your job descriptions should follow suit. With constant advancements in the marketplace, job titles that worked a few years ago may be obsolete by today’s standards.
It's up to you to verify that job listings are accurate and relevant.
Don't just leave it to Human Resources either. Typically, job descriptions are kept on file and only retrieved when someone leaves or an opening comes up. Be proactive in ensuring what’s in the HR database matches the needs of the organization.
Also, include other team members in the process and gather their input about the job and type of person who might best fill it.
Keep in mind that cultural fit is equally important as skills or experience. Because hiring candidates who don’t mesh can lead to problems down the road.
If you’re creating a new position, speak with someone who's already in that role or its equivalent. Doing a little homework ensures your job requirements and expectations are in line with market standards.
Lastly, visit other employer websites and review postings with the same job title or description. After all, why reinvent the wheel? This is also a great way to find keywords to include in your job descriptions that you might not have thought of otherwise.
Understand Requirements vs Preferences
When creating packaging job descriptions, it's critical to define what constitutes a requirement vs a preference. Requirements are “must-haves” and may include formal education, specialized skills, or unique experience.
Preferences, on the other hand, are “nice-to-haves” which may improve a candidate's chances but don’t necessarily disqualify them from consideration.
It’s important to differentiate between the two as the combination can impact your hiring options. Low-quality candidates may apply if minimum guidelines aren’t established. Conversely, talent is lost when requirements are too rigid and job seekers feel like they don’t measure up.
The right candidates can substitute enthusiasm and potential for what they lack elsewhere.
In other words, don't scare off great packaging talent with a laundry list of unrealistic expectations. It’s okay to hold firm on your must-haves but stay flexible when it comes to preferences.
Candidates without the exact experience you're looking for may have something similar from another industry. Which can still play a key role in contributing to your organization and helping them get to where they need to be.
Clarity Trumps Cleverness
Popular buzzwords like “Rockstar” or “Ninja” are fun to use but they're also very cliché.
Some packaging companies think using these phrases makes their job descriptions appeal more to candidates. In reality, they can be a major turnoff. Over-the-top language is easily misconstrued and may leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.
Consider your job descriptions from the applicant’s perspective.
After all, they’re performing straightforward searches using common job titles and descriptions. Which makes it easy to overlook anything that’s too cutesy or clever.
Bottom line: Be direct in your packaging job descriptions.
Admittedly, a Superhero Client Samurai does sound cool. But the chances of anyone searching for such a unicorn are pretty slim.
Add Personality to Your Packaging Job Descriptions
This rule applies not just to vacant openings but your entire brand as a whole. Infusing personality into your communications conjures images of a fun work environment (vs. a zombie snoozefest). Talk about the organization, who you serve, and what separates you from the competition.
Even if you're a “small” company, strong corporate culture can entice top talent and make them want to learn more.
Interested candidates will seek out openings at your company as they become available. Because knowing that you have a lot to offer will likely provide a rewarding working experience.
Don't forget to mention typical projects and some of the challenges employees might face. Nowadays, candidates care about more than just money. They want to contribute to something bigger and know their hard work means something.
A good rule of thumb for your job postings is to implement the 70-30 rule.
The specifics of the job (title, summary, responsibility, requirements, and benefits) should comprise 70% of your listing. While the remaining 30% is reserved for fun and to add a dash of salesmanship to your message.
Injecting personality helps candidates get a feel for your brand and decide if it’s the right fit. Don’t be afraid to tout fringe benefits as well.
These selling points could include
- telecommuting options
- access to company vehicles
- fitness center amenities
- catered meals or complimentary snacks
- time off for personal development or philanthropy
Remember, applicants are the focus when creating job descriptions. So, use language that helps candidates visualize themselves in these roles. The more you can sell your company, the easier this becomes.
Enlist the Help of a Professional
While you can institute some of these improvements on your own, seeking outside help typically leads to better results. That’s why many organizations elect to work with recruiting firms to meet their talent objectives.
Not only can packaging companies save time and stress by outsourcing their recruiting efforts but can improve the candidate experience as well. Applicants have a single point of contact to funnel questions through and receive advice on increasing their hireability.
Employers get a feel for existing market conditions and typical compensation packages. They also increase productivity by interviewing only the most qualified prospects and improve brand awareness with targeted outreach.
Keep in mind that recruiters must stay current on marketing trends and challenges that impact the hiring process. Which means they know what works (and what doesn’t) and can help you steer clear of common pitfalls.
If you’re not sure where to begin your talent search, partnering with an experienced recruiter is a smart choice.
Admittedly, crafting great job descriptions isn’t as easy as it used to be. It’s a candidate’s market and today’s professionals are in the driver’s seat. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still attract the best and brightest to your organization.
You just need to put some thought into how to go about it.
It starts with ensuring job descriptions are up-to-date, accurate, and interesting. Pair that with a careful analysis of your nice-to-haves vs. non-negotiables. Lastly, consider working with a professional to improve your results.
In the end, job seekers want the same things as employers: honesty, appreciation, and the opportunity to make an impact.
Create job descriptions that fill these voids and the right talent will find you.
Do you have any other tips for crafting great job descriptions?
Leave a comment below and tell us about it.
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Chase & Associates
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