How to write Job Descriptions That Find Right Candidates Fast?

Job descriptions are the gateway to your startup. When they are not written well, you are turning away good candidates.

Here are some points for writing a good Job Description

Be specific

Anything that has generic words do not help. Be very explicit.

Must be hard working and go extra mile – Generic

We work 6 days a week and stay late nights – Specific

This is applicable for what you talk about your company as well.

We use cutting edge scalable software using latest frameworks

Our platform is used by 5M daily users and uses ABC tech Stack

Copied JD Template, No No No

It is easy to look for a template online and put it out there. Job Done. Let the masses apply.

Hell, no.

JD does not have to follow a standard template. Just start by writing what the role expectation is and build it from there. The format you use does not have to be the standard you see everywhere.

Also when JD is taken from else where, the job becomes identical with 1000s of other similar job descriptions.

The effort you put while writing the JD comes back to you 10x.

Avoid Ambiguity

In tech, it is very easy to have ambiguous designations.

Project manager / Engineering manager / Implementation Manager

Delivery Manager / Engagement Manager / Program Manager

All these means different things in different companies.

Now the question is what do they mean in your company. The JD should detail the responsibility and tasks of the role along with the designation.

Relying on designations alone is a sure shot way to delay your hiring.

JD is owned by the team

If the HR alone is in charge of JD, then you are doing it wrong and most likely it would not be accurate.

The exact role and responsibility should come from the team. Give all the inputs and get it reviewed before posting it.

Revisit JD

Most times, job descriptions are never edited. Once Version 1 is published it is posted as is even if the company as grown.

Startups grow and mature fast. JDs need to be in sync with the changes. The skill set and expectations needed changes and it need to be reflected.

Always relook at existing JDs and make sure it is in line with the current expectations and growth of the organisation.

Never Exaggerate

We all like to have wizards who are competent is 10 different things. But that is not is needed in most cases.

Have the existing skill set of top performing people as a reference and then compare the JD. If you are getting carried away then it is good to eliminate things that are just wishful thinking.

State Deal Breakers

As a startup you may not all facilities. Some could be deal breakers for some. It is better to include this information so that you do not waste time of candidate and your team. Also it sets the right expectation.

Sometimes candidates are plain disappointed and do not even walk in when they are not aware of certain things.

We currently share office with another company

We work from a garage but you get a fun team

Our office is 2 KMs from the junction

Be Explicit in Skill set and experience

5 years relevant experience – Bad

5 years as project manager handling 10+ member teams in mobile tech – better

Experience could be confusing. Sometimes it means total experience and sometimes in specific role.

If it is not clear you are going to get all sort of candidates.

Have a feedback loop set

Always have a feedback loop to revise your job descriptions.

  • What sort of candidates are applying?
  • How many are applying?
  • Why does a specific type are allying?
  • Why you are not seeing a specific skill set?

Questions like these will give clues to the changes that need to be made. What seems like a straight forward JD to you might look very different for candidates.

When the feedback is made use of you can overcome the bias that might have creeped up.

Thumb Rule

Imagine Job description as something that invites right people to apply right away. This is a gate which could send you people who are relevant or send you people with different expectations and skill set while driving away the right ones.

Having this in mind, would help you validate the content you are putting out there.