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4 ways to Buck the Conventional Job Description

Is it starting to seem like all your job descriptions are the same? A description of your organization, the typical duties of the position, a list of qualifications followed by some mandatory requirements. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because most job descriptions follow the same old script. Yes, traditional job descriptions are boring… so how do you make your company stand out?

Be completely honest, good & bad

A new hire will learn soon enough about all the gritty details of a job at your company, so why not be up front from the start? A detail that seems to detract from a glowing dream job description might turn some people off, but this is a good thing. The people that can’t or don’t want to handle the negative side of a job aren’t going to last long in the position anyway, and those that decide to apply for the job despite a negative point in the description will be more likely to stay for the long term.

Alongside great job perks like health care and a beer fridge, give full disclosure that some days may include long hours, or that your organization expects a high level performance at all times for the job. This type of description will discourage slackers and encourage hard working career-minded applicants.

Be slightly offensive

Write with your audience in mind – if you are looking for a new CFO in a large corporation, perhaps keep the job description more conservative. However, if you are aiming to attract younger, or less traditional-minded talent, then loosen up a little! Write less formally, say something unexpected, make an ironic joke, or even throw down a relevant swear word. A job description should reflect a company’s culture, so if Craft Beer Tuesdays or Pun Fridays are a part of your employees’ experience, then write in a more casual, low-key way.

Be sure to balance out a fun-sounding description with some serious requirements, or you may attract too many candidates with a low work ethic.

Advertise somewhere unexpected

Dice.com recently bought a billboard showing a glamour shot of a stereotypical skinny computer nerd. The message was aimed at employers, but the idea of an advertisement with an unexpected or humorous twist is a good one. Consider where your target talent pool frequents and post an ad in that location. Some software companies place their job ads in the source code of their website, for example. Another idea could be to post a (natural and relevant) comment in a niche online forum related to that profession.

Don’t hide the salary

State the salary or salary range in your job descriptions. This should be a conventional item, but very few companies not governed by union rules post a job’s salary. Being open about this makes your company more transparent and honest. It could also serve to screen out candidates who are determined to earn a higher amount, potentially saving your recruitment team time. Not posting a salary can give the impression your organization is trying to hide something, or trying to provide as low a salary as possible depending on the candidate.

The simple decision to include a salary range will make a job much more appealing to applicants.

What other ideas do you have to shake up the traditional job description?