How to Write a Job Description

The most recent Labour Market Outlook report issued by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) stated that the number of vacancies in the UK economy remains well above historical average levels, and this news should lead many science employers to consider whether they really are doing everything they can to inspire and attract candidates.

Your company’s approach to writing job descriptions is one key aspect that you may wish to examine. Writing a good job description is a very important part of any attempt to fill a vacancy, so how does one write a job description that the very best candidates will feel compelled to respond to?

Here are five top tips from the experts here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions:


1. Be clear and realistic about the role's responsibilities.

The most important part of a job description is the list of day-to-day tasks for which the successful candidate will assume responsibility. Don’t be vague when writing this list, but don’t try to cram too many duties in, either. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 8-12 key areas of responsibility.


2. Use an engaging tone.

Remember that the whole point of a job description - besides outlining the most basic details about the job - is to persuade someone to come and work for your organisation.

A dry and impersonal tone will cause candidates to lose interest before they have even finished reading the description. By placing the emphasis on where your company is going and what you can do for the candidate, you will make your description much more compelling.


3. Avoid discriminatory language.

Even when you don’t specifically intend to discriminate against anyone, the use of certain words and phrases in your job description can have that effect anyway, and this may restrict the range of candidates that apply for your vacancies. Bad news if you're trying to diversify your workforce!

As the GOV.UK website details, employers discriminate against candidates in a number of different ways, so you should take every measure to ensure that your job descriptions don’t prevent suitable candidates from applying for your vacancy.


4. Use terminology that candidates will understand.

Of course, if you’re advertising for a senior role in pharmacology, engineering, another specialised science sector like those that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, using certain industry-specific terms may be a good way to ensure that you only hear from qualified candidates.

However, if certain technologies or practices within your organisation are known by names that outsiders are unlikely to recognise, you could find yourself inadvertently deterring perfectly suitable candidates. Read your job description carefully and do your best to eliminate any confusing or ambiguous jargon.


5. Play it straight with the job title.

Required skills and day-to-day responsibilities should make up the ‘meat’ of your job description, but there are certain other basic elements that all job descriptions need if they are to be truly effective - and you need to get those elements right.

Consider the job title, for example. This definitely isn’t a part of your job description where you should be using any confusing or obscure terms. The job title should be something that all candidates will immediately understand; this will attract more interest, more, and of course more applications.


Are you an employer looking to bolster your science recruitment efforts? If so, visit the Hyper Recruitment Solutions website to find out how we can help you.

Relationships - both personal and professional - are a fact of life, and if you wish to make the swiftest progress up the science career ladder, you will almost certainly need to cultivate harmonious relationships with those of relevance to your chosen sector. 

Of course, we serve those seeking roles in any of a broad range of science sectors here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, from biotechnology and pharmacology to energy and medical devices.

But in a world in which - according to one study shared on LinkedIn - as many as 85% of jobs are filled via networking, there are undoubted benefits to expanding your range of science-related contacts beyond simply signing up with a leading recruitment agency.

Here are some tips on how to do it.

Focus on quality, not just quantity

It's easy for many people attracted to the mystique of networking to think it's about little more than building a long list of contacts. However, what really matters is the quality of those contacts and how well connected you are to them. 

The best contacts aren't just those who have heard a rumour about a job opening at X company or Y company, or any other random person. Instead, they're the people who can give you useful and current information and additional relevant contacts. They are likely to be able to give you informed advice, in addition to meaningful assistance with your applications for science jobs.

But think, too, about how tight and personal the bond is with the most potentially useful contacts you already have. Do you know their name, job title and specific areas of interest? What about their educational history or family?

If you can get in phone contact with that contact and receive a positive, receptive response to whatever you ask them, they are a useful contact. Otherwise, they are simply one more name in your database.

Treat contacts with respect

Do you treat your contacts as potential allies - people who you listen to and who you can help with their own pain points, rather than merely people who can give you what they want? Your message to your contacts should be that you value them highly and - ideally - want to support and help them.

After all, showing respect to your contacts will maximise the likelihood that they respond in kind.

Part of this process should be being clear about what you want from that contact before approaching them, so that you do not waste their - or your - time. What kind of science job are you looking for, and what kind of boss are you seeking? Is this a person who is likely to help you, given your answers to the aforementioned questions?

Be patient and appreciative

Cultivating a contacts list that will actually help you to secure that longed-for science job will require a lot of patience and appreciation. Make sure you express your gratitude by personally thanking those who give you any form of help with your job search, and don't forget to 'check in' periodically and attempt to reciprocate with your own assistance, if you can.

According to one recent survey of US adults by Pew Research Center, 66% used connections with close friends or family in their most recent job search, while 63% used professional or work connections and 55% used acquaintances or friends of friends.

Clearly, then, networking looks unlikely to become any less important in the job search process any time soon. So, why not create what may prove to be one of your most crucial contacts of all, by making use of our considerable expertise in any of a vast range of science industries here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions?

The latest statistics point to a job market that saw steady rather than spectacular progress in 2016. The Office for National Statistics’ recently released UK labour market report shows that there were 31.8 million people in work as of September to November last year, an improvement by 294,000 on a year earlier.

However, time invariably marches on, with many candidates for science jobs and their potential employers now turning their attentions firmly to 2017. What are some of the trends that will likely define the science recruitment market in the year ahead?

1.    A culture of engagement

As the CIPD’s Employee Outlook report for autumn 2016 has stated, while the UK’s net job satisfaction has improved since spring 2016 – now sitting at +40 – this is still some way short of the +48 recorded for autumn 2015.

As a result, it’s fair to say that most science organisations could probably improve their engagement strategies, which looks likely to be a key focus in the coming 12 months. More engaged employees will be more effective brand ambassadors, which will significantly aid your recruitment drive.

2.    The continued primacy of mobile

According to Pew Research Center, 28% of all Americans have used a smartphone to search for a job, rising to 53% of those aged between 18 and 29 – and you can bet that similar trends are continuing to hold sway on this side of the Atlantic.

It therefore couldn’t be more important to continue the optimisation of your science organisation’s online presence for mobile users. If potential candidates visit your site via their smartphone or tablet and find it inaccessible, slow-loading or difficult to navigate, they are unlikely to remain for long.

3.     Workplace diversity remains crucial

The benefits of more diverse workforces are well-documented, but nonetheless bear repeating. Firms with greater diversity in their personnel are more adaptable, can offer a broader range of skills and experiences and deliver better overall results.  

Management consultancy McKinsey & Company, for example, found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to financially outperform those in the bottom quartile . For ethnic diversity, the figure was 35%. 

4.     Treating the candidate like a customer

That term that has been mentioned so often in recruitment circles in the last few years – ‘candidate experience’ – certainly won’t go away in 2017. In fact, science employers will need to make even more of an effort to make candidates feel as pampered as a customer, throughout the recruitment process, if they are to lure the biggest talent.

With Millennial and Generation Z jobseekers notoriously impatient compared to those before them, more emphasis is set to be placed on a swift and efficient candidate experience than ever before.

5.     Centring an employer brand around the employee

With so many avenues through which disgruntled (or for that matter, contented) current or former employees of your organisation can voice their true opinions of what it is like to work for your firm, it is becoming even harder to preserve a certain image of your organisation without your employees’ cooperation.

2017 will therefore be a year in which you need to be more alert than ever to manage your employer brand, in large part by cultivating the best possible working environment.

Are you a science employer looking to work with experts in such sectors as biotechnology, pharmacology and medical devices to secure the talent that your firm needs in the 12 months ahead? Talk to Hyper Recruitment Solutions about the wide-ranging, specialised and informed recruitment solutions on which we have built our reputation. 


‘Company culture’ may be an elusive thing to define at times, but neither employers nor candidates are in any doubt as to its importance.

A survey cited in The New York Times found that eight in 10 employers worldwide considered ‘cultural fit’ to be their top hiring priority. Meanwhile, ‘people and culture fit’ was the top thing that Millennials looked for in an employer, according to research cited in Harvard Business Review, above even ‘career potential’ and ‘work/life balance’.

So, once you have undergone all of the stress of applying for science jobs, passing through the interview and then finally securing your dream role, how can you ensure you are that ‘cultural fit’ your employer is likely to desire so much?

Thoroughly research the organisation

The more you know about the culture of your employer before you walk through its doors, the more proactive you can be in adapting to and embodying that culture – so be sure to do your homework well in advance.

Have you discussed the company culture with the contacts that you already have within the organisation, such as the HR staff that interviewed and hired you? Do your friends have any contacts that have worked for the company before and can give you some tips?

The Internet is also a good place to research companies, but be careful here – with Glassdoor reviews being anonymous, you can never be completely sure as to their authenticity. It may therefore be better to thoroughly immerse yourself in your new employer’s website first, paying particular attention to any ‘vision’ or ‘mission statement’ pages.

Take an open approach

It can take a while to fully acclimatise to the culture of a new employer, and organisations tend to be understanding of this. Indeed, in your early days, you should focus just as much on becoming accustomed to the company’s culture and people as you do on the work itself.

Be observant, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if necessary, of co-workers as well as your boss. Make any notes that you need to make of people’s names, job titles and contact details, as forgetting this information will be much more embarrassing later on than it will be during your first days and weeks at the company.

Maintain engagement over time

Don’t presume that you are automatically embedded into your company’s culture once the first week, month or even quarter has passed. The truth is that fitting in with the culture of your new employer will require continual effort, not least as culture naturally shifts over time with changes in workload and priorities.

So, take every opportunity that you can, even when you have spent a year or more in your new position, to ingrain yourself further into the culture of the company, such as by attending and participating in any weekly meetings, annual conferences and holiday parties.

The more steps that you can take to fit into the culture of your employer, the less likely you are to be among the 89% of hiring failures – according to one Forbes article from a few years ago – that are attributable to poor cultural fit.    

Are you looking to partner with a science recruitment agency with the strongest track record in enabling ambitious people like you to secure the best science jobs? If so, simply get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions today, or read more about the many sectors in which we have hiring expertise.   

Job Search Problems

The most recent statistics concerning the UK job market are unquestionably positive. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people in work has been increasing so far this year, and the employment rate is at its joint highest since comparable records began in 1971. So why are so many job seekers concerned that they won’t be able to find a rewarding new position this year?

Today, we'd like to look at 4 job search problems that people commonly worry about, and explain why you really shouldn’t be too anxious when you are hunting for your next role.

1. Gaps on your CV

It's fair to assume that most potential employers will ask you about especially large / recent gaps in your CV, but if you have a perfectly understandable reason for yours – taking time out to care for an ill relative, for instance – no decent employer will judge you harshly for it.

Furthermore, if the gap was a long time ago or only a few months long, it’s unlikely that you will even be asked about it.

2. Missing a job from your CV

Many job seekers worry that they’re supposed to include every single job they’ve ever had on their CV, even if it has little relevance to the role for which they are applying.

Remember that your CV is ultimately a marketing document, and that it’s therefore fine to leave off that call centre job you only had for a few weeks post-university, especially when you are seeking a role in a highly specialised science field like biotechnology or immunology.

(However, if removing a certain job from your CV would leave a several-year gap, it’s probably best to be truthful, even if that job had little or no connection to the career that you are seeking now.)

3. Giving a complicated justification for a certain salary

It's easy, especially if you are still relatively new to the job market, to assume that you will need to justify any particular desired salary in very complicated terms. Most of the time, though, it really doesn’t need to be like that.

In most cases, all you'll need to do is say: 'I was hoping that you could go up to £XX,XXX – is this possible?' From there, the negotiation process is often a very simple one.

4. Contacting former managers

Many of those who approach our science recruitment agency are understandably concerned because they believe they must give their most recent manager or university tutor as a reference (so as to avoid giving the impression that they were on poor terms with them). But what if getting in touch with that person would be difficult anyway – for example, if they have retired or are travelling on the other side of the world?

Ultimately, you should include that past manager or tutor as a reference for the aforementioned reason, but not worry about how they will be contacted. Making them one of your references is only about giving permission for your prospective employer to get in touch with them, and has nothing to do with whether they are actually available.

Remember that one of the best ways to minimise job search worry is to be as well-prepared as possible! That’s why, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we provide such comprehensive help to those seeking jobs in the science sector.

Contact us now to find out how we can help with your science job search.

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