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Writing a job description 101

Hiring managers everywhere know that even though it might seem very simple, writing a job description that speaks directly to candidates and attracts potential members to apply isn’t that easy to craft.

In any type of work in software, since it’s a highly popular industry with a significant turnover and companies are always competing for the best developers, the hiring process can be long and burdensome.

You need to accentuate the good things about being part of your team and sharing your company culture so qualified potential new members feel invited to apply to your position.

Of course, writing an effective job ad isn’t hard to do if you are a well-known company with a strong employer brand. But for some smaller companies out there, here are the most essential boxes you need to tick before posting a job ad.

Write a specific job title

There are very few things more confusing than a broad or vague job title that doesn’t immediately tell the job seeker exactly what they’d do if they got the job.

Instead of looking for an ‘experienced developer’, write a job title for a ‘Senior Python developer for example. Don’t generalize, and, try to include details like years of experience and essential technologies straight from the beginning.

Job seekers that are skimming job boards will be able to quickly spot your ad if it’s relevant, open it in a new tab and then read the job specification and other details.

Start with a quick summary

Start with a powerful, attention-getting synopsis. Your summary should include an outline of your company, as well as your job requirements.

Details about what makes your company unique will pique your reader's interest. Your job description serves as an introduction to your business and its brand. To summarize why an applicant might want to work for you, include details about your company culture.

Be as clear and direct as possible

If you create a job ad that beats around the bush too much and doesn’t answer the immediate questions around a position quickly, people will lose interest and not read in detail.

By doing so, you risk losing the best candidates. Make sure to be direct and precise in answering the most important questions.

List the required skills and competencies

It is essential to include a list of hard and soft skills. Of course, the job description should include information about candidate's education, previous work experience, certifications, and technical skills. You can also include soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and personality attributes that you believe are important for a successful collaboration with a potential member.

Keep your list short and sweet. If you feel the temptation to provide all credentials and skills you envisage for the ideal hiring, remember that this might not bode so well with potential prospects.

To encourage a more varied collection of individuals to apply, determine the mandatory and preferable skills and qualifications for the post.

List all the daily and long-term responsibilities

Outline the position's main tasks and stress any specific obligations to your company.

Highlight the position's daily responsibilities. Hence, when you highlight these responsibilities of the job position, this will aid potential new members in comprehending the work environment and daily activities they may encounter. This degree of detail will assist the candidate in determining if the role and company are a good match, allowing you to attract the best candidates for the job.

Describe how the position fits into the company. Indicate who the new member reports to, in order to assist newcomers in seeing the big picture and understanding how their role affects the bottom line.

Try to be transparent about the compensation

If you cannot give an exact number, try to include a certain pay range at least. Quality candidates seek positions that fit their compensation requirements. According to internal polls by Indeed, around 70% of candidates never or just sometimes see compensation information in job descriptions. To attract the most acceptable candidates, provide the wage range in your job description to set yourself apart from other businesses.

When you provide this range in your job description, this will help you attract only those tech experts who deem the wage range fitting, which will save your human resources team hours and hours of interviewing people who will say no because they had different expectations.

Showcase your company's values and culture

You might think that company culture, mission, and values don’t make a huge difference in hiring. Yet, we’ve found some confounding results in polls about culture and its relation to hiring and retention.

Company culture statistics

Company culture is an essential factor for 46% of job seekers, and up to 86% of people avoid companies with a bad reputation. Millennials see being a people and culture fit as their top priority in job hunting. It would be a good idea to add a bit of insight into what makes the company and its people tick and the most important values that employers and employees share in their everyday work.

Add all the benefits

Sometimes, the small details make you choose one option instead of the other. If your company includes extra benefits, make sure to list them in your job ad. Some unique propositions can consist of:

  • Private health and dental insurance
  • Work from anywhere
  • Vacation allowance
  • Buying extra hardware
  • Pet-friendly offices
  • Extra education
  • Flexible working hours, etc.

Focus on branding

The final tip is a practical one: if you can add your brand colors, logo, mission statement, or any other element that will leave a mark on the viewers of the job ad, do so.

Even if they do not reply, you stand a better chance of them remembering your brand and applying it in the future by using your branding elements. That is what marketing is for – making a lasting impression.

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