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Finding the Best Talent through Job Descriptions

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If you’re not getting the volume of responses to open positions you were hoping for, it might be time to make some changes.

When was the last time you updated your job descriptions? 

If your job descriptions are outdated or seem limited in scope or vague in detail, you won’t be able to attract the most talented candidates you hope to add to your team. 

Luckily, this can be changed with just a little effort! 

Here’s how to reframe and rewrite job descriptions to attract great candidates. 

Write with the future in mind.

Ideally, the person you hire will come to you with specific skills and, over time, will add to their abilities and become an expert in their field. You want to hire someone ready to start the job on day one but eager and teachable for the long run. When writing a job description, remember what abilities and skills a strong candidate will have when they interview, along with an idea of where you’d like them and the position to go. Make it clear in the job description which abilities you prioritize the most right now.

Make it searchable.

We live in the digital age, so your candidates are looking online for their next opportunity. The importance of keywords for searches and robust search engine optimization (SEO) means you must use the right words to attract suitable candidates with the right abilities. Strong SEO means you’ll get your job description in front of people looking for particular terms and phrases, usually about titles or skills. These keywords and phrases can appear throughout your job description, but the more robust a match your keywords are to what candidates are searching, the more likely they’ll find your opportunity before another company’s. Remember, at the same time, not to use too many meaningless buzzwords — don’t say you’re looking for superstars or ninjas because those words are not associated with accurate job titles; people looking for jobs are not using those terms. 

Talk about your company culture.

Why should someone want to work at your particular company? What about your healthcare organization sets you apart from the competition? Why do your employees like working there? If you’ve got a tremendous ongoing training program for medical staff, talk about it. Talk about it if you offer volunteer opportunities and incredible perks and benefits. If your employees get to use their abilities in creative and engaging ways, talk about it. Younger workers especially want to know they’ll be supported and that the companies they work for value and embrace diversity; talk up the programs that recognize they’re individual people, not just employees. Culture, in all its many forms, can be a massive draw for the right candidate. 

Keep mobile in mind.

You want to streamline your job descriptions, including the most pertinent information at the top of the post, and remember that most people will be reading this on their phones. They’ll be scanning the report, meaning you’d be best served by concisely putting the most critical information at the top. Candidates will keep scrolling if the post is too long, too complicated, or has too many steps for the application process. Easy, efficient, and with the pertinent details up high, it will keep your potential candidates engaged and interested enough to apply immediately.

Words matter.

It’s a great practice to adopt: Before you post an open position, have someone else, maybe someone outside your department, give it a read. First and foremost, you want to make sure it’s understandable, but you also want to eliminate any “limiting” language that might dissuade candidates from applying. You don’t want to use any gendered language that could make it sound like you’re looking only to hire a man or a woman for a job, even if people of a given gender typically did a job. Words like “aggressive,” “driven,” “competitive,” and “outspoken” still carry a certain weight and unspoken definition of being more geared toward men, while “loyal,” “collaborative,” and “nurturing” tend to be read as geared toward women. You don’t want to limit the types of people applying to your position or make it sound like only certain people should use it. Having someone else read the job description can help call out and address some potential red flags before they become an issue. 

Include salary and benefits.

There are some states and municipalities in which it’s legally required to provide at least a salary range for each open position. This is smart for several reasons: It sets expectations for the candidate and the company; it helps a candidate determine early on whether they can afford to live on the pay provided; the inclusion of other benefit information can help a candidate get a more accurate view of their income from this job and help them decide whether they want to apply. If a candidate applies and interviews for a job, then learns the salary range is below their current position, they might feel resentful for having spent all that time for a job that moves them backward financially. 

There’s no single way to write a solid job description that will have your hiring team’s offices filled with resumes. But there are steps to ensure you’re attracting the best candidates with all the right talent and skills your organization seeks. Just take your time, be accurate and concise in explaining the position and your expected skills, then a quick review to ensure it’s welcome to everyone, and off you go!

If you need to hire people fast to fill labor shortages, AMEA Healthcare is the one to call.

Our experts are highly skilled at finding well-trained healthcare professionals who can pop into place at your organization and contribute right away. We can also help with writing your job description! Just call AMEA Healthcare today to learn more.