It’s a mistake to think that the hiring process is all about finding the person with the right qualifications for the job. It’s so much more than that. Hiring, done right, requires a matchmaking process that sets up employers and employees for a healthy long-term relationship. Think of a job description like an online dating site profile. Both parties need to provide some honest disclosure upfront for there to be any real chance of a “love” connection. It is no different when writing an effective job posting. You want to attract the right employee with the irresistible truth!
The single most effective way of getting the right match for the job is to include a realistic portrayal of the work environment and company culture. You’ve got to present the whole picture. What will it be like to come to work? Is it laid back, creative, or high-stress/high-performance? You may need a designer in the IT department, but are you looking for an artist or a technical wizard? Be specific so they know whether or not they fit into your world.
Of course, you do need to include a list of qualifications. To meet labor law requirements, you should include objective criteria. Go beyond degrees and certifications, however, and let the list reflect the actual work to be done. Specify methodologies, purpose and how this job relates to the bigger picture. This not only ensures that a person is capable of doing the work, but it lets them decide, then and there, if they want the job. Remember, you want to find someone who wants to come to work, not just someone who can do the work.
It is well-established that employees who have a sense of purpose are more satisfied, loyal and stay in a job longer. Don’t forget to explain the reason why this position is so important. Describe the goal as well as how success will be measured. If they can imagine how they would look and feel in the job, if they can imagine the satisfaction of a job well done, they are much more likely to run after it with fervor.
Just as it would be nice to know who your neighbors will be when buying a new house, employees would love to know who they might be working with. Your task is not only to match the new hire with your business needs, but place them with people that they are likely to get along with. It may sound trivial, but people who get along well tend to be better performers. They should complement one another in both skills and personality. So, why not describe some of the personalities they will encounter if hired?
There is a reason that compensation is typically listed last. It’s the same reason why the price is at the end of a proposal. You are selling this job. Let them see what they may be getting before you put a dollar value on it. When comparing jobs, it’s not just the check that counts, but the way you want to spend your day.
Putting together a perfect job posting is not that complicated, but bullet points won’t cut it. Tell potential employees a story, paint them a picture, and see who responds. Go beyond the numbers and qualifications, and emphasize what else is in it for the candidate. Let them envision doing the job, and reaping the rewards that current employees are already enjoying.