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10 Tips for Creating an Engaging Job Spec.

Job Descriptions – 10 Tips For Creating an Engaging Job Spec.

Can you send me a Job spec?  It’s a question that is asked by most potential candidates when discussing a new job opportunity and, for most, it is the first point of introduction to a potential new employer.

Yet there are many organisations who don’t see the importance of a highly engaging and attractive job spec and still use age old generic documents written as an afterthought.

For those looking to create an appealing job description, here are 10 tips you may want to consider.

1          Put some thought into it ! The job spec should ideally be written by the hiring manager and should not be a standard template where you make small changes relating to title or reporting line. Give it the time and thought it deserves.

2          Get the job title right – It may sound quite standard but for many potential employees, it is an important consideration. The title will ideally need to match the seniority of the role and the message needs to remain consistent throughout the job spec.

3          Think about using  3 sections – Consider breaking down your Job spec into 4 sections  – Company, role description, skills and experience and finally perks and benefits.

4          Start with Company – This is a hugely important opportunity to introduce the company and build a picture of the type of organisation you are. This is how you can differentiate yourself from other bsiness hiring in your market. You might wish to talk about your successes over recent times or awards you have won. If you are looking for a sales hire, this will be a chance for the candidate to really understand the solution they are selling and the company behind it. Consider it like a pitch to a new client and Sell The Business!

5          Try to avoid standard ‘fillers’ if you can – Whilst they will always find their way onto a job description. In most cases they are pretty obvious and can just take up room. For a sales role, ‘Must have excellent communication skills’ or ‘excellent at relationship building’ are fairly standard skills for a successful sales professional, do they really need to be included ?

6          Be realistic with your requirements around ‘skills and experience’. Are you sure they really must have at least 10 years experience ? What happens after 10 years that makes the candidate a better fit for you ?  Is someone with 7 or 8 years experience not going to be able to do the job?  You might find a highly credible candidate will not apply for the role if you are too specific.

7          Are the technical skills really a prerequisite ? Following on from point 4, but focusing more on technical hires. Carefully consider what really is a must have in terms of technical knowledge and what is a nice to have. Don’t just fill in the skill requirements with all the technology that the ‘perfect’ candidate will understand, as you are likely to lose out on candidates who are perfectly capable of filling the role .

8          Think about sales cycles and average deal values – This one relates to sales hires. It is important to mention this on your job description in order to ensure you attract the right experience for the businessyou’re your average deal value is £15k – £30k then think about mentioning this, as someone with experience in closing larger ticket deals with longer sales cycles is potentially going to find it difficult to adjust and vice versa. You might also wish to discuss what quota level you are looking for someone to have worked towards, but his will depend on whether you wish to advertise this or not.

9          Highlight the benefits – What do you offer above and beyond a salary and commission or bonus? Many are now looking at additional benefits when deciding on new opportunities. If you offer all the insurances then mention it, if you offer something a bit different, in addition, then you need to say. These might include – Sales kick offs, overseas training, Incentive trips, stock options, Training etc.. Don’t just think about what you want, thank about what you are giving back.

10       Make sure your website matches the job spec – If you have spoken at length in the job description about what a great company you are to work for , how much fun you have and how your employees love being there, then make sure you put some though into developing your careers page on your website as this is the next place the candidate will go, if they haven’t been there already. Think about pictures, videos and bios and makes sure it all matches up !

If you would like some support with writing an engaging job description then please contact Jon Eyers at Harvey Thomas on +44 (0)1908 307474 or check out our website for more tips and info.