Beyond Bullet Points: Strategies for More Detailed Job Descriptions

Woman using laptop

January 30, 2024

We’ve all experienced it: you’re looking for a job, reviewing career postings online, and you see it…a “job description” that is just a long list of bullet points. With an exhaustive inventory of tasks and very little descriptive language, these laundry lists give candidates very little context for what the job actually requires.

Clarity Counts

Without a clear description, you might not be able to imagine yourself in that role. Even then, you might come to an interview with basic questions that will eat into your interview time – questions that should have been answered by reading a well-developed job description. In fact, “Candidates don’t think JDs are clear: 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of candidates say the same.”

Even just a few years ago, job descriptions including mostly bullet points were the norm, and it was rare to find postings with illustrative language. But as times change, recruiting is becoming more nuanced – and job descriptions are being reimagined.

In today’s hiring market, job descriptions should pull candidates in. With companies clamoring for top-quality talent, it is more essential than ever to market jobs effectively and make roles feel enticing, innovative, and inclusive.

At WBCP, we apply these strategies and ideas to the public sector – revolutionizing government, nonprofit, and niche recruiting with vivid language that captures the spirit of the organization, engages the candidate, and informs full of the day-to-day expectations involved in a role. Particularly considering the long and thorough nature of the public sector recruitment process, it is vital to recruit successfully and avoid wasting time and taxpayer funds.

Attracting the Candidates You Want

Crafting a more descriptive job profile is a crucial step in attracting and identifying the right candidates for a position. A well-written job description not only communicates essential responsibilities and qualifications but also provides a compelling overview of the company culture and unique aspects of the role. This attention to detail can significantly enhance the recruitment process and lead to the identification of more suitable candidates. According to Indeed, “The #1 hiring challenge for the majority of employers (62%) is getting too many applications from unqualified candidates. Almost half (42%) of the employers surveyed say they had to revise a job description after they posted it because they were receiving too many unqualified candidates.”

A detailed job description serves as a clear roadmap for potential candidates, outlining the specific skills, experience, and qualifications required for success in the role. This clarity not only helps applicants determine if they are a good fit but also streamlines the screening process for recruiters. By providing comprehensive information, employers can attract individuals who genuinely align with the job’s requirements and are more likely to excel in the position.

Moreover, a well-crafted job description sets realistic expectations for job seekers, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of the role’s demands and responsibilities. This transparency is essential in attracting individuals who are genuinely interested in the position and committed to its long-term success. Candidates who understand what is expected of them are more likely to engage actively in the application process, leading to a pool of applicants who are not only qualified but also motivated to contribute effectively to the organization.

Focus on Your Mission

Detailed job descriptions also serve as a powerful tool for employer branding. By incorporating information about the organization’s values, work culture, and growth opportunities, employers can attract candidates who resonate with their mission. This helps in building a strong employer brand and creates a positive impression on potential hires, increasing the likelihood of attracting top-tier talent.

The art and science of writing more engaging job descriptions is a strategic move that benefits both employers and candidates. It streamlines the hiring process, attracts better-matched candidates, and sets the stage for a successful employer-employee relationship.

Investing time and effort into crafting detailed and compelling job descriptions is an essential aspect of talent acquisition that can ultimately lead to the recruitment of candidates who are not only qualified but also aligned with the company’s values and goals.

Contact WBCP for innovative job description development, consulting, and recruiting services. View our current recruitments on our Job Board, and be sure to Subscribe for Notifications to hear about positions relevant to your experience.