Hiring can be tough, and the difficulty starts with writing a good job description, a new survey from The Creative Group suggests. When advertising and marketing executives were asked to name the greatest challenge when developing job descriptions, 28 percent of respondents said identifying the necessary interpersonal and soft skills. The next biggest stumbling blocks: separating essential versus preferred duties and accurately describing job responsibilities, each cited by 24 percent of respondents.
The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In your opinion, which of the following is the greatest challenge when developing job descriptions for open positions at your company?“ Their responses:
|Identifying the necessary interpersonal and soft skills||28%|
|Identifying duties that are essential versus “nice to have”||24%|
|Accurately describing job duties||24%|
|Determining the appropriate job title||10%|
|Describing the company and what it's like to work here in a compelling way||7%|
|Don't know/no answer||6%|
“A well-written job description can mean the difference between a trickle or a flurry of qualified applicants,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Conversely, a poorly written job description can significantly expand the quantity of unqualified applicants. Writing a good job description requires an ability to prioritize essential skills and qualities while also 'selling' your company to job seekers.”
The Creative Group offers five tips for developing an effective job description:
Most creative jobs are far different from what they were a few years ago. Job descriptions, therefore, should take into account the expanded skill sets now required. Think about what the job should entail based on your company's current needs and long-term objectives.
A laundry list of duties gives little insight into what is most important to the employer. Focus on the five or six most crucial skills or qualities for the position; consider consulting high-performing employees in the same role for help developing this list.
Don't hunt for unicorns.
Make sure your job description is realistic for the role — seeking out a creative director who also can write press releases and sell advertising will greatly limit your pool of qualified applicants.
Show some personality.
While you want to use clear and concise language, you also should give applicants a sense of your company's culture. Turn to your creative team or a copywriter if you need help choosing the right words.
Tap the experts.
Developing a job description from scratch? You can find sample job descriptions, like those featured inThe Creative Group 2014 Salary Guide, that outline basic requirements and responsibilities, which you can then customize to fit your business's unique needs.