Job descriptions are one of the most important elements of the recruitment process, and yet so many organisations get it wrong.  This is essential if you want your organisation to attract top talent and make well-aligned hires!

I have seen candidates accept jobs that were not suited to them, only because they did not read the job description thoroughly nor seek clarity on it.  It is also important that your recruiter, internal or external agency, explains a job description to you.

Poorly written job descriptions can lead to applicants not well suited or aligned to the role, or worse, leave talented candidates feeling they have no chance of getting the job. Here are some reasons why job descriptions that are badly written often result in poorly aligned hires:

Outdated Information: Many organizations use outdated job descriptions from their archives for new roles, leaving out essential details about the true nature and purpose of the NEW role. This can be especially problematic for highly specialized positions where technical skills and specific competencies may not all be listed in an old description.

Vague Language: Job postings should clearly communicate what is expected from applicants, but many employers use vague language, making it difficult for potential candidates to know if they are a good fit for the role. Generic phrases such as “Excellent communication skills” or “Self-starter” do not provide any real insight into what qualities and abilities an ideal candidate should have.

Unclear Requirements: Many employers fail to provide precise requirements in terms of experience, qualifications and other desired traits, resulting in unqualified applicants applying for roles they will never be successful at gaining or talent being overlooked because they think they don’t meet all of the specified criteria when in fact they do.

Lack of Collaboration: Most importantly, line managers and recruitment teams often don’t take enough time to collaborate on writing job descriptions which leads to them failing to accurately match what’s being advertised with what’s needed for the role – meaning qualified talent does not apply when it could have been a great fit.  This supports my point that Line Managers should be encouraged to take more ownership of a recruitment process. As a line manager, writing an accurate and effective job description is one of the most critical elements in the recruitment process. A clear and concise job description is essential for finding the right person for the role, both from an internal and external perspective.

Have you ever accepted a job only to find that the role is different from what was on the job description?  We would love to hear from you on this matter.

Overall, having an accurate and comprehensive job description is vital to finding the right candidate for the position. It helps ensure that only those who meet all criteria apply for the role, saving time and resources in the long run.