10 Tips for Using Job Descriptions and Ads Strategically to Optimize Talent

Maybe this sounds familiar: your company’s job descriptions have developed in a very haphazard way over time based on who is in a job when an opening occurs that requires a new description.

If so, your company is not alone.  Outdated and ineffective job descriptions and ineffectively worded ads are common, according to an article posted by Human Resource Executive Online (See:  Wanted:  Job Descriptions That Work”, by Mark McGraw).

In the article, HR experts recommend that companies prioritize job descriptions and ads as strategic tools to attract, develop and optimize talent because when done well, they provide transparency and clarity.

“Find someone excelling,” says Robin Erickson, of Bersin by Deloitte.  “Look at his or her competencies and retrofit a job description based on someone who is doing the job well.”

Here’s a summation of 10 tips from the article for updating job descriptions and writing ads:

  1. Create them with the oversight of line managers to avoid a disconnect between what gets advertised and the expectations the new employee faces once he/she starts work
  2. Consistently present the company’s brand and give applicants a sense of what makes the company unique
  3. Craft language that builds excitement for the job itself
  4. Use job descriptions extensively within the company for identifying high potentials for promotion/succession
  5. Avoid describing the position only in terms of tasks but not responsibilities
  6. Link back to the accountability framework for the team and the company
  7. Avoid listing too many detailed tasks rather than the essential outcomes for which a person is accountable
  8. Include competencies and skills that lead to superior performance
  9. Avoid equating quantity of content with quality – writing more is not always saying more
  10. Stop viewing them as administrative necessities rather than tools to optimize individual and organizational performance and competitiveness.

If this sounds daunting, we can help. Our StrategicHiring Boot Camp walks participants through best practices for updating job descriptions and writing ads while also incorporating powerful Predictive Index® data. Contact us to discuss.

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