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Talent Talk: How to Write a Job Description that WorksTalent Talk: How to Write a Job Description that Works

Will your current job description catch the attention of the rock stars you want to hire? Probably not. Here’s why, and how to fix it.

Paul Sturgeon

November 29, 2021

3 Min Read
young employees
Image: Alamy/Nicola Suttle

This is a continuation of our discussion on how to ensure you hire only the best talent available. We previously discussed developing a job scorecard and identifying your target talent pool. This week we move on to making your presentation, or what we call a job invitation.

Remember: You have identified the group of people you want to recruit from — typically somewhere in the range of 100 to 200 individuals that represent the top tier of talent in your space. You will want to reach out to every one of these people and tell them why your company is a great place to work and why the opportunity is unique.

First, look at your job description and see if it would pique the interest of the people on your list. Probably not, because chances are that it is a description of job duties. We are going to start a new document that tells a compelling story of why someone who is currently employed, successful, and fairly compensated might want to come work for you.

Devote a paragraph to describing why your company is a great place to work. Mention recent successes, awards, new products, markets, and plans for growth. Even things you think are small, or take for granted, could be very important to someone: Is there an opportunity to work remotely on occasion? Is there a gym or cafeteria on site? Or an interesting benefit, like tuition reimbursement or pet insurance?

Next, do the same thing for the specific role. What are the opportunities to excel and to grow? Include information on who this person will report to and the mentoring he or she will receive. Discuss how this person will have a significant impact on the organization, and the potential career paths for this role.

You are almost done. You need one more paragraph about the location if your target candidate pool includes people who are not local. Highlight what there is to do locally and within a few hours’ drive. Talk about how it is a great place to raise a family, the schools, cost of living, low crime, and so on.

Now, armed with a new job description that is designed to attract the top talent, use today’s technology to package it. Create a landing page, either through your company’s website or a third-party provider, where you will send potential candidates. This is a great place to include pictures of the company facilities, products, and core values. Add a picture of any fun things like a company outing. I strongly suggest including at least one video from the hiring manager, and a general video for the company.

This approach to proactively reach out to the top talent in your industry and markets will significantly improve the quality of your hiring.


paul-sturgeon-150.jpgAbout the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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