Friday, Apr 06 2012

Strategies for Attracting Top Talent: Writing Compelling Job Descriptions

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Deloitte’s Talent Edge 2020 Report polled over 300 global business executives across industries validating what those of us who live and work in the Silicon Valley know all too well: national high unemployment rates have not created the predicted talent surplus.  On the contrary, Deloitte’s research showed that executives predict talent shortages across key business units.

Technical talent in the United States are receiving an average of 23 recruiter inquiries a week . That’s almost five inquiries per work day!  Couple the talent shortage with a significant increase in hiring and the war for talent is ON! One critical question that each and every person in a hiring position should be asking themselves is – How can I attract the talent I need?  A great place to start is with your job descriptions.

Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression. Use your job descriptions as a marketing tool. Invest the time upfront to develop job descriptions that articulate the attributes and skills that you really need – make it attractive and compelling to your target audience.

Your focus and outcome in writing a job description should be to stand out from the rest of the “noise” and attract the talent that will propel your team to the next level. In order for your job requirements to even show on the radar of the talent your need, it is crucial you distinguish your job and your company from all your competitors.
  • What really matters? Focus on the top 4-5 critical skills that the best possible candidate would bring to the role.
  • Give specific details about the project, role, environment and your team.
  • What makes your company, project, team, and role more interesting than your competitors?
  • Be clear on outcomes for the role.
  • Craft clear, compelling and thorough job descriptions that aren’t generic and bland.
  • Stop using generic job descriptions, and avoid putting skill sets or requirements in job descriptions that aren’t a high priority or that you won’t focus on in the interview.
  • Outlining the minimal qualifications will attract candidates that are only minimally qualified for the job, and discourage the extraordinary talent you are looking for.
Keep it short and sweet. With the sheer volume of information and data we all receive on a day-to-day basis, cut through the “noise” and only include what you really need. Don’t worry about the “nice to haves” or areas that can be learned on the job; keep your focus razor sharp and on what the role really requires. This will guarantee that every person involved in the qualification, interview and engagement process will share your vision and prioritize  what really matters to you and your team, without getting bogged down in details that have little value or bearing on your organization’s success.