You’d be surprised how often job applicants will throw their hat into the ring for an open position at a company based on the “desired attributes” listed in a job description instead of any actual included “qualifications”. This might seem crazy, but there’s a logic to it: The candidates know their weaknesses compared to other candidates’ qualifications, but nevertheless hope they can bluff their way into a job by having the right attributes. 

Sometimes, it works, and an HR manager hires a candidate with more desired qualities than firm qualifications – only to see a mismatch with job fit, and that new hire leaves a few months later. What went wrong?

Work Smarter Not Harder: Making the Job Description Work for You

It is tempting to blame the former employee, but the real culprit in such failed employee retention scenarios is much closer to home. For the best possible candidates to apply for open positions at your company, your hiring strategy needs to include putting out the best possible job descriptions. Unclear job descriptions leave room for unqualified candidates to believe they might as well apply. This could lead to new hires who don’t ultimately bring any value to your company, and the smart move is nipping that possibility in the bud. 

If your job description says your company is looking for a go-getter or an independent thinker, seeing these attributes in a job description doesn’t tell applicants about any qualifications or competencies required for a position. All it does is tell them what attitude you expect applicants to have, and this is what leads many candidates to apply for positions they aren’t qualified for. If a job description doesn’t give job seekers firm details they need to judge job fit for themselves, they’ll apply anyway. Why waste their valuable time? Why waste your own?

The best possible job description gets straight to the point, offering crystal clear specifications about the skills or experience an applicant absolutely needs to be seen as qualified for a position. For example, if you want someone who works effectively in a team environment; develops good relationships with others outside their department to fulfill their tasks; works well with structured processes/procedures; and uses data to carefully analyze a

situation, draw reasoned conclusions, and plan accordingly, say so. Those without such competencies will, in all likelihood, move on to other job listings. If you must list less specific “desired attributes,” too, do so in a way that still directly ties in to the job’s listed qualifications. 

Detailed job descriptions help you more easily separate the wheat from the chaff, but they can also help you when onboarding a new hire. If a candidate was moved to apply after reading your carefully crafted and clearly specified qualifications in a job description, you can expect they have a basic understanding of their position. This makes training go much smoother, giving new hires the confidence to perform their duties to the best of their ability. It can also give you peace of mind that your hiring strategy works, making the right hire for the position.

Don’t Let Your Job Description Break Your Hiring Process

The truth of the matter is that applicants don’t want to waste hiring managers’ time any more than hiring managers want to have their time wasted. Candidates certainly don’t want their own time wasted, either. With ongoing drastic changes to society’s expectations about the employee lifecycle, your employee retention efforts need a boost. You can have the best possible team to take on any challenge for the foreseeable future by hiring the right people. 

How do you hire the right people? Putting out the clear job descriptions is a start, but you also want Reveal to help you out once the applications start rolling in. Reveal’s tools assess the potential of any candidates, measuring job fit and competencies to ensure the right people are in the right seats. To see how you can strengthen your team and help your business grow, get in touch with Reveal to schedule a 15 minute call.