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4 Reasons Your Job Description Could Make or Break Your Hiring Process

In Sourcing — by Rachel Blakely


The hiring process is one of the most important parts of owning a business. Employees are essential to completing day-to-day tasks that have long-term impact on your company.

During the hiring process, you sort through candidate applications and conduct interviews, testing, and background checks before eventually placing an offer on the table for one candidate. Maybe you outsource these hiring process steps to a recruiter to save time finding top-notch applicants, or use an applicant tracking system to streamline your process.

Click here to download job description and candidate evaluation templates for marketing roles

The most important part of the hiring process is the initial step: writing and posting a job description. Do you know how to write a job description and why it is important?

What should be included in a job description?

An employee job description should include information about the duties you expect potential employees to be able to accomplish. Writing a job description requires you to do research and know details about the job.

If you are having trouble writing a job description, here is some of the basic information you should include:

    • Job title
    • Purpose of the job
    • Detailed description of the job (e.g. job responsibility and tasks the employee will need to complete)
    • Job qualifications (e.g. what experience, education, and skill level do applicants need to have to be considered)
    • Job location
    • Part-time or full-time
    • Work environment
  • Salary range and benefits

The importance of a job description in the recruitment process

The job description is meant to attract qualified candidates to apply for a position at your business. With a well-written job description, you will have relevant applicants to choose from.

If you don’t include the right information in your job description, you could end up wasting time and money. Take a look at these four reasons why a bad job description could make the hiring process more difficult:

1. A poorly written job description could attract unqualified applicants

Knowing how to hire great employees begins with a well-written job description. The main purpose of a job description is to attract applicants that meet the qualifications for a job. If your job description is vague and written poorly, there is a greater risk that you will receive an influx of resumes and cover letters that belong to unqualified individuals.

Imagine organizing and sorting through hundreds of resumes and cover letters and finding that only five meet the criteria? Struggling to find candidates can be stressful but having more candidates isn’t always better.

If you have a detailed job description that says exactly what the position requires, you might notice an increase in qualified applicants. Listing details about the job, qualifications and necessary skills will alert people who meet those requirements that they should apply. And it will deter people who don’t meet the requirements.

Even if your job description includes all the information on the open job, you will probably still receive applications that do not meet the requirements. But with a detailed job description, you will considerably lessen that number.

2. Without a job description, you could slow down a recruiter

You might consider hiring a recruiter to help with the hiring process steps. They can streamline the hiring process and find qualified candidates. Many times, recruiters use recruiting software that lets them contact potential candidates and speed up their resume screening process.

Recruiters need you to provide them with job descriptions before they can begin their process. You must give them details of the job so they can find candidates for the position. If you don’t give them a job description, you can’t expect immediate results.

If you give your recruiter a job description that is lacking information, they might need to re-write it. Some businesses might be opposed to their recruiters re-writing their job description, which could mean more time going back and forth.

To speed up the process, include the essential information in the job description before giving it to a recruiter. The faster you give the recruiter the information he/she needs, the faster they can begin tracking down relevant candidates.

3. An unclear job description can cause you to hire the wrong candidate

The point of the hiring process is to find someone who can add value to your business. A job description is an advertisement that leads to applications. And it describes the work candidates would do if hired. If the job description is unclear, it might be because you don’t know the ideal candidate you need.

Before you write a job description, you need to know what you’re looking for. For example, what software does the candidate need to know? How much experience should they have?

Let’s say you need to hire someone for your marketing department. Your former employee, Joe, did a great job using Adobe InDesign to make advertisements, but he quit. If you are looking for someone who can replicate the style of work Joe created, say the ideal candidate needs to be proficient in Adobe InDesign in the job description.

You must list all the programs the employee needs to know. Otherwise, you might end up hiring the wrong candidate. The cost of hiring the wrong person could drain your productivity, as well as poke a hole in your bottom line.

4. You might face higher employee turnover rates without a good job description

As if the hiring process wasn’t hard enough, how would you feel if you needed to replace the person you just hired? One survey found that one-third of new hires left their jobs after only six months. If your hire does not feel like the business is a good fit for them, you might need to go through the hiring process all over again.

Without being upfront about job details, you could face high employee turnover rates. The real cost of an employee at your company could be unusually large as a result. In a well-written job description, you should include information about your ideal candidate as well as your business’s work environment. And you need to give specifics about what the employee will do on a day-to-day basis.

About the Author:

Rachel Blakely is a content writer for the Patriot Software Company, where she writes about recruiting, as well as accounting and payroll for small business owners. She enjoys providing actionable, growth-oriented information for small business owners and recruiters.   

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