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The Single Biggest Improvement You Can Make To Your Job Description Has Nothing To Do With The Job.

Most job descriptions follow a similar format: job title, position overview, a list of key responsibilities, required skills and qualifications, and a company overview. Not surprisingly, every job description is primarily position centric and the company overview often gets lost or under-emphasized. Not giving the workplace environment its proper due makes the company description the single biggest improvement you can make to your job description.

Company culture on display

Young and experienced professionals alike want to work with companies that share their values.  This is especially true in Canada, where millennials place a greater value on workplace culture than their peers in other countries (insert fun Canadian stereotype here). So if culture is so important, why do so many job descriptions still not focus on this point? Here are the top three benefits you’re missing out on by not waving your culture flag:

1. Self-selection. Showcasing your company values, culture and workplace will attract like-minded candidates. Detailing your ‘open concept office’ and ‘collaborative work environment’ will attract candidates who see a good fit but also help keep those who don’t from applying. While you may get fewer candidates, you know that the ones applying will like being there.

2. Priming. Expectations are important for future job satisfaction. Every job and company has its positives and challenges. As much as it’s more compelling to only showcase the good, you might be doing yourself a disservice in the long run. Concerns and fears that you’ll scare off candidates who don’t like what they see are valid, but consider the alternative. When the candidate realizes it for themselves, they’ll recognize the job is not what they thought, and likely look to leave as soon as they can, increasing the cost of a mismatched hire.

Companies like Evolv are taking priming a step further and creating “realistic job previews”, sharing sobering job info about what the challenges are really like which has proven to reduce turnover*.

3. Passive Candidates: Nailing your company description is a hook for candidates who are just browsing and considering their options. Your job description is the ultimate advertisement for your company. Building a network of potential candidates interested in your work helps with future recruitment and bonus, once you nail it, the description can be replicated for every job.

We’d love to hear from you. Have you every been in a job where “you wish you knew that” before you applied. Let us know in the comments below.

*Realistic job previews have been proven to reduce turnover, finding that new hires dropped 10% over a one year period after implementing the new job description (Chip and Dan Heath- Decisive, pg. 212).


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Photo credit: Brenda Gottasbend on Flickr 

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