If you have ever had to compile a job spec and starred at a blank screen then this article could be for you. To be fair even if you have put together hundreds of job specs it never hurts to re-visit the subject to double check you are presenting all the relevant information to secure the talent you are looking for. We have listed our guide on the top areas to focus on and hope it proves of use!
1. Job Title & Summary - reflect the job!
It might seem obvious, but first and foremost, make sure to include a job title and summary that reflects on the responsibilities required. Whilst the job title should be very concise, a summary provides an opportunity to provide a “high level” brief on the role including an overview of responsibilities. It’s important to remember that the summary should be no novel, however, it is an ideal time to provide a succinct overview of the opportunity and can also include any additional information you deem essential. Such details that are often top of the list for clients are such thing at key skills required, levels of experience necessary, industry’s standards needed as well as an overview of the company’s values and culture.
It is worth remembering that differing companies and industries often have entirely different cultures so make sure you choose a writing style that matches your business i.e. a start-up might have a much more informal approach than an established accountancy firm so make sure you use language that reflects your business.
2. Type of Opportunity - clearly outline & include the exact location
Temporary, Contract, Temp-to-Perm, Part-Time, Full-Time? It’s key to outline early on what type of opportunity you are advertising. Candidates really appreciate clear and concise details on what exactly to role entails – including whether it suits their requirements in terms of hours etc. By confirming this early on it saves the possibility of people applying on the back of the job spec and not reviewing early on that it is actually a temporary position when in fact they are seeking a permanent opportunity.
It is also vital to list the exact location the role is happening and not use a generic Head Office or HR address. This ensures that you are targeting candidates who know they can reach the opportunity as there is no use in people applying if they are not in your area.
3. Salary & Benefits - include details on salary and any additional benefits
Sometimes there may not be a specific “salary” but it’s important to include at least a range to give your applicants an indication of whether they would be suitable. Often a salary range will clearly indicate to an applicant if they have had enough or too much experience and saves a lot of time in receiving applications from those not suitable. In addition, we have learnt from experience, that as well as a company’s culture additional benefits (that do not all have to be monetary) often sway candidates as it indicates what kind of company you are to work for, so list any. Alongside the usual performance bonuses, additional holiday entitlements etc. anything that the company does regularly can demonstrate what type of employer you are. Have a monthly team drink, summer BBQ, dress down Friday – shout about it!
4. Responsibilities - that’s be clear about what is expected
It’s important to clearly identify the essential responsibilities – in fact, it’s a great idea to list them as bullet points. Candidates are really seeking an overview on what a typical day entails so try to offer solid statements such as below and avoid statements such as “often” and “occasionally”:
5. Skills & Qualifications
So you have listed a concise job title, provided a “high level” summary, listed the type of role and the salary and benefits applicable as well as the responsibilities in bullet form order – now for some nitty gritty. The full skills and qualification area is the ideal opportunity to specify all the mandatory qualifications and experience you seek, along with any preferred skills. For each qualification, include the level of experience, licenses and certifications, as well as any necessary technical proficiency you may need. Remember; the more precise you are in terms of the requirements you are looking for may impact on your applications as those without the necessary requirements may not apply so it is essential to plainly separate essential skills with preferred ones.
Areas often overlooked in this area can be essential for the role so remember to include any traits or attributes you are expecting the candidate to display in the role, for example behavioural competencies such as leadership, teamwork, flexibility, initiative and communication.
6. Company Information - who are you?
It’s always best to assume the candidates know nothing about your company – even if you are a household name. This is a great area to sell your business and tell candidates more about your ethos and values. Have a goal or mission statement? This is the right area to tell it.
Other useful information should be included here including branch locations, number of employees, and sales data etc.
7. Contact Information - where to apply?
Depending on the size and recruitment process of your company it may be appropriate for the applicant to apply from Managing Director level to dedicated recruitment departments. If the candidates has any questions who are they going to call/email? We usually find an email is sufficient, however, you can make your life easier by including reference numbers to ensure you can quickly identify what the question is in relation to.
That’s about it! Simples
We hope you found our guide to job specs of some use and it aids in ensuring your business secures only the best and most suitable talent in your area/industry.
The UEA Team