Ideally you want to spend a few hours writing an awesome job description. A carefully composed job specification can help you attract the best candidates. But, understandably, you don't always have lots of free time to create an incredible job ad. Here is how to write a job description in 15 minutes AND still attract the right type of CVs.
Right, start your timer for 15 minutes and let's get started.
Bullet points are your friend
Resist the urge to write lengthy paragraphs and use bullet points instead. These will help you focus on the key points of the job description and it will also be easier for prospective applicants to read.
Set out your advert following the AIDA structure
To structure your job description and help keep it focused, we recommend following the AIDA approach:
Increase attention in your job ad by having an attention grabbing first line, for example: “We are a rapidly expanding award winning company looking to add to our…”
Create interest for the job by advertising the opportunities and responsibilities involved.
Inspire desire by explaining why this job is a fantastic opportunity, what are the benefits of applying for the job? Do you offer flexible working hours or do you promote a fun working atmosphere? Persuade the reader to apply right now.
Finally, prompt a specific action, like, email your CV to be considered for an interview.
Write a clear job title
When you look at job adverts, it's more and more common for people to invent unique job titles. While this can pique some people's interest, it can also reduce the number of people who find your advert on job boards.
It's important you stick to a clear job title that people are regularly searching for. If you're hiring for a 'Web Designer', refrain from using 'Web Creator' or 'Website Artist' as the job title. People won't be searching for it.
To help you choose the best title, make sure you:
- Search online: See what job titles other companies are using
- Use a title that reflects the job description
Create a list of what the job involves
Writing a detailed list of duties and responsibilities the job will include can usually take a couple of hours to do. In order to keep within the 15 minute time limit, write a clear bullet point list of skills you're looking for in the candidate. It's best to focus on three main areas to help you save time.
If you're looking for an Office Manager, you could be including keywords like:
- Managing a team of 20+ employees
- Organising weekly meetings with team leaders
- Ensure smooth running of the office
If you have the time, it's great to include a bit more information to help you find a person who has the exact skills and experience you're looking for but when you're strapped for time, this is a quick and efficient way of writing a job description.
Highlight key skills you're looking for
Like the last section, you can save time by writing bullet points. However, it's important you detail all the exact skills you're looking. Don't be vague. Otherwise you'll be getting people who aren't qualified applying for your job. If there is any specific software you want them to have experience using, make sure you include it.
- 2-3 years' team management experience
- Able to use IMAGINARY software
- Proficient skills in Microsoft Office (especially, Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
- Able to confidently manage teams of 20+ staff
It's worthwhile to add lists of essential and desired skills. This will help you grab the interest of more people.
Share a quick summary of your company
Nowadays, more people are picky about where they want to work. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Once they find the perfect job for them, there's more chance they will be happy to stay there long term and grow with your company (which means you don't have to hire a replacement anytime soon).
To encourage people to apply for your vacancy, include some information about your company. What perks do you have? Where are you located?
Here's some points to include about your company:
- Transport links (trains, bus stops, etc. Is there car parking nearby?)
- Perks (gym membership, health care, childcare, etc)
- Working hours (do you finish early on Fridays? Or do you offer flexi-time?)
- Training opportunities (do you offer schemes to help people grow and develop new skills?)
Don't forget to add the salary
Add the salary you're offering at the end of the job description.
Other helpful tips
Here are some other things you can do when creating a great job description in 15 minutes:
- Pull out an old job description and take the best bits. It's sometimes quicker to recycle an old job advert rather than starting from scratch every time.
- Look at your previous job descriptions. Which ones have successfully attracted lots of talented candidates? Clearly those job specifications have something that works. Determine what it is and use it in your new job ads.
- Speak to the team who your new hire will be working with. Ask them what key skills and qualities they need from their new colleague so you can add it to the job description.
Your 15 minutes are up!
Did you manage to complete the job advert within the allotted time? If you did, that's great. If you didn't, don't worry. It takes practice and now that you know what to include, you'll be faster next time.
When you're looking for ways on how to write a job description quickly, it's worthwhile to start creating templates. As you write more descriptions, you will recognise what keywords you need to include. So you will be writing faster and recruiting new candidates at a faster pace too.
Getting ready to interview candidates? Here's some useful advice:
- 8 Important telephone interview questions you need to ask
- Read this: Don't waste your time using these 6 terrible questions in an interview
Want to reduce the time it takes to hire new staff?
Check out our free Reduce Time to Hire guide which is filled with advice and tips on how to speed up the recruitment process AND still find excellent candidates.