A job description is often a candidate’s first impression of your company, so what you say about the position and how you say it can make a big difference in whether or not someone actually applies for the job. A good job description for an hourly position requires a fine balance between including enough information for the potential applicant to understand the role and who your company is, but without getting too wordy.
Writing a clear, concise job description is important because:
- Short job posts (100-300 words) get 8.4% more applicants than longer ones (300+ words)
- An Indeed survey found that 52% of job seekers say the quality of the job description is “very” or “extremely influential” in whether or not they apply
- 61% of candidates say salary is the most important piece of information to include
Essential Components of a Good Job Description
While it can be fun to get creative with job titles, “Food Ninja” doesn’t help people find you any easier when they’re searching for “Line Cook” or “Front Desk Staff.” That being said, many companies are having success with friendlier terms like “Team Member” or “Crew Member” to attract more applicants, so you can think a little outside the box, just don’t get too obscure with the title.
Open with an attention-grabbing sentence — questions work really well here, too! After that, assume the potential hourly candidate knows absolutely nothing about your job when writing an overview of the position and why it’s important within your company. Remember, this is a summary, so think big picture. You’ll get into the nitty-gritty next section.
Duties & Responsibilities
This is where you get into the duties for the job. Make a list of the core responsibilities/day-to-day activities and be sure to start each line with a verb (lead, prepare, assist, maintain, etc.). It’s especially important to include anything that might not be obvious from the job title. For example, if you are hiring for a manager position and you want them to have social media expertise to promote hiring or events, include that in the job description.
Qualifications & Skills
In this section, include qualifications like education, experience, and other skills required, but also soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. That being said, listing every single characteristic of your ideal candidate might actually deter potential candidates from applying.
Salary & Benefits
Several states now legally require companies to share at least a wage range on job postings, but even if your state doesn’t, the majority of candidates say that the pay is the most important part of the job description. Not only that, but promoting your hourly rate can help you stand out from competitors if you pay more than they do.
Other Tips for Writing Job Descriptions
Make Your Summary About the Candidate
Anyone reading your job description wants to know what’s in it for them. Why is this the perfect role for them? Why are you the perfect company for them? Instead of using more formal language (“the ideal candidate”), imagine you are speaking directly to the applicant and use words like “you” and “your.”
Focus on Skills vs. Degrees and Experience
If you absolutely require a minimum degree or number of years of experience, then by all means include those details. But if not, you may miss out on potential candidates by adding more than is necessary. For example, someone who is open to learning new things but only has minimal experience might be preferable over someone who has years of experience but has a very set way of doing things.
Make Sure Your Language is On Brand
There are certain words and phrases that subconsciously turn people away from job descriptions because of the perception associated with them. Textio, an app that helps companies write more inclusive hiring content, shares examples such as:
- Hulu job descriptions commonly use the word “humility,” which means more women will apply
- Amazon, on the other hand, uses “attacks” in their job postings, and the data show that more men are likely to apply
In most cases, you probably aren’t looking specifically for men or women for a role, so gender-neutral language can help you attract more applicants.
Promote Your Post on Mondays
Last but not least, LinkedIn found that more than half of all job views and applications take place Monday through Wednesday. The worst days to post are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Looking to take the pain out of job posting? TalentReef integrates with most of the highest-trafficked job boards (Indeed, Glassdoor, and Google Jobs) and connects to hundreds of others through our Jobs API and programmatic job advertising partners – ensuring your jobs show up where the best applicants are searching. Learn more here.