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Finding the right candidate for an open position is tough. Oftentimes there are numerous resumes to sift through, and the majority of applicants may not be a great fit for the position.
The Problem
If your organization struggles to find and hire qualified candidates, ineffective job descriptions are a likely cause. The number one reason companies fail to attract needed talent are job descriptions which do not accurately describe what job is and what the job requires.
Fatal Mistakes
1. Filler Words
Fluff words hide important information. Skip unnecessary verbiage and stick to the essentials. A lean style goes far.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
Of course, you want the most capable candidates. Yet, over packing a job description only repels applicants. Some job descriptions ask for more qualities and skills than one employee can realistically have. 
Talk to sources who have worked or have intimate knowledge of the kind of position you wish to fill. Learn what skills are truly essential. 
3. Poor Formatting
Today’s job seeker is on the move with his mobile phone in hand. He will pass over a mile-long job description formatted with giant blocks of text. An ideal job description is easy to skim, which means the use of brevity and formatting choices such as lists.
Job Description Do’s
1. Discuss Your Organization’s Identity
A good candidate has skills matching your position’s requirements. A perfect candidate is skilled and a great fit for your organization’s culture. If a qualified candidate can get behind your business’ values and mission, that candidate then has the makings of a star employee. 
In the beginning of the job description, include information about what your organization does and values. Explain features (such as community service or stellar employee amenities) or facts that make your organization special. Include a sentence or two on your company’s future goals.
The point is to attract candidates who share or agree with your company’s values. Applicants who can see themselves reflected in your organization’s identity are more likely to apply.
2. Communication with Purpose
Write the job description in a way that reflects the desired type candidate. For example, a law firm seeking a paralegal would use a formal, technical writing style to attract experienced (and professional) candidates. A retail business filling a customer service position might use a friendly and low-key writing style to attract personable and easygoing candidates. 
However, avoid the use of terminology too specific to your business. Candidates who have never worked for your company may not know all specialized terms. The goal of a quality job description is clear communication. 
3. Define the Position in Detail
Accurately describe what the position is without listing every facet. Be as specific as possible with the position title. Cover everyday duties, and explain how the position fits into your business. Who will the candidate, if selected, interact with? Is there daily or less frequent contact with supervisors? Or, for instance, maybe a major part of the position is customer or internal service.
4. State your Requirements
Emphasize what you desire in regards to experience and education. Make clear requirements you will not compromise on.
5. Mention the Pay Rate
Do mention compensation. Candidates will decline job offers if they feel the pay is too low. Mentioning the pay rate upfront spares you wasted time (and frustration).
6. How Should Candidates Respond?
Include specific directions on how you wish applicants to respond to your job ad. An applicant who does not complete directions as desired from the beginning will not follow directions once hired. Use the application process as a frontline vetting tool.
A key ingredient to any company’s success is hiring the right kind of talent. However, recruiting that talent can be a chore, especially if the foundation – the job description – is weak. If your organization struggles to find ideal candidates, try crafting more on-target job descriptions to improve your prospects.

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