Are you struggling with finding the right candidates for your positions? Do you ever find that you receive plenty of applicants, but not the ones you are looking for? If your answer was yes to those questions, you’re far from alone. In many cases, this problem can be solved by improving the job description. 

– At the moment, we’re experiencing enormous pressure on the employment market. Many companies are growing fast and need to recruit, but a lot of them find it difficult to find the right candidates in a candidate-driven market. In order to find them, companies need to make sure their job descriptions are up to date, says Tove Oldebäck consultant and CEO at Recommended By.

We all know first impressions are important. This is especially true when it comes to seeking new talents. A well-written job description is your chance to connect with potential candidates. The more engaging and inclusive your description, the bigger your chances of attracting the right candidates. Hiring is a lot harder when you rely on an old, and badly updated, job description. Reviewing your list of requirements often is always a good way to increase your chances of finding the right candidate.

– Most companies use the same descriptions and list of requirements over and over again. The first thing we address when our customers have difficulty recruiting candidates is asking them about their list of requirements. Perhaps they have unknowingly minimized their own chances of finding the right person by looking for the wrong things? In these cases, we try to help them rethink, says Tove.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when writing a job description:

1. Communicate your goals and ambitions

Start with painting a bigger picture by looking at the overall industry in which your company operates. Why should the candidate decide to work for your company instead of your competitor? It’s important to explain the specific role and qualifications, but you also need to think bigger. For example, explain where your company will be in five years from now on, and where you’re aiming to be in ten years. By understanding the position of your company relative to other companies, you can highlight what makes your company unique and stand out. 

– This is especially important for tech companies. We’re living in an ever-changing world where new technology can turn an entire industry upside down. A candidate’s role yesterday isn’t necessarily the same as tomorrow. If you want to make sure to find a good match, you need to work hard to explain and communicate the goals of your company. When done correctly, you can find a person who’s able to adapt to these changes and share the same goals and growth ambitions as your company, says Tove. 

2. Find a candidate that matches your company values 

Your job ad is your chance to offer candidates a glimpse of your company’s values and culture. Show your candidates what matters to your company and the values that are important to you. In order to find the best talent for a role, you need to look beyond the current skills. For example, the candidate might be highly technically skilled even though they don’t know the exact system or framework your company is using at the moment. 

The right skills and track record are of course important, but so is also building a team where all your managers and employees are aligned with your core values. After all, they are there for a reason, and you’ll want to keep the same values within your company after recruiting new candidates. If your organisation hasn’t developed clear core values and communicated them, then you’ll need to get started right away. 

– Employees who feel an alignment between their own values and the company values are much more likely to be productive, engaged, and feel satisfied with their position. They are also able to find their place within the team much quicker, and hopefully, they will stay longer within the company, says Tove.

3. Define the goal of the position 

Sometimes it’s hard to know what exactly we’re looking for, and if we’re struggling with defining the role, we’ll likely struggle with finding the right person for the job. The closer you can define the goal with the specific position, the greater your chances are of finding your ideal candidate. Start by asking the question – what is the most important goal with the role itself, and what is the overall problem that the candidate will work on solving in their position?

– When we work with our clients, we find it helpful to work together in workshops. We often find that we are able to help our clients in the best way when we define the true goal of a position. What specific skills and personality traits are they truly looking for in a candidate, that is needed in order to succeed in the role. From this, we’ll try to narrow it down to specific keywords and skills that we can summarize and use in the job description, says Tove.

4. Narrow it down and make an accurate description

After we’ve worked together in our workshop, we can narrow it down to the specific skills and behaviors that are required in order to succeed in the role and solve the problem. Perhaps the person will work with delivering high-quality solutions that are tailored to the clients needs, meaning the ideal candidate must have analytical, problem-solving, and communicative skills. This way, we can narrow down our pool of candidates and make sure our description is clear and accurate. Be specific about what you’re looking for but be mindful of listing all the criteria as requirements. It’s important to make a distinction between your absolute requirements and your preferences. If a certain college degree and a background in a specific field are required, make this a requirement, If not, highlight other skills or metrics by which you can assess a candidate’s qualifications. For example, according to Harvard Business Review, women are less likely to apply for a role unless they meet 100 percent of the qualifications, while most men apply when they meet 60 percent of them. 

– Our advice is to list a maximum of five requirements – especially if you’re looking for a diverse pool of applicants. If you list too many requirements, you risk losing applicants because they’re afraid they won’t get the job unless they meet every criteria, says Tove Oldebäck.

Questioning your familiar routines when it comes to the recruitment process, and starting to challenge how you’ve recruited in the past can feel scary. It’s not strange to feel a little out of your comfort zone. Please note, however, that you’re far from alone. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today if you’re struggling to find the right hire for your business!

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