The news from the most recent Labour Market Outlook report issued by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) that the number of vacancies in the UK economy remains well above historical average levels 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 job descriptions is just one aspect that you may wish to examine. They are a key frontier of your quest to fill your organisation’s science jobs, but what are the best ways of writing a job description to which the best candidates will wish to respond?

1.       Be clear and realistic about the responsibilities

There’s no more important part of a job description than the rundown of the day-to-day responsibilities that the successful candidate will have – so don’t be vague, and don’t try to cram too many responsibilities in, either. Aiming for between eight and 12 key areas of responsibility is a good rule of thumb.

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 many a great candidate to lose interest before they have even finished reading the description. However, by placing the emphasis on where your company is going and what you can do for the candidate, you can make your description so much more compelling for them.

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 could have that effect anyway, restricting the range of candidates that apply for your vacancies and hampering your efforts to boost diversity in your workforce.

As the GOV.UK site details, there are various ways in which employers discriminate against candidates, so you should take every measure to ensure 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, FMCG or any of a wide range of other specialised science sectors like those that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, using certain industry-specific terms could help to separate suitable from unsuitable candidates.

However, if certain technologies or practices within your organisation are known by names that external candidates are unlikely to recognise, you could find yourself inadvertently deterring perfectly suitable talents.  

5.       ‘Play it straight’ with the job title

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

Consider the job title, for example – this isn’t a part of your job description where you should be using any confusing or obscure terms. A job title can all candidates will immediately understand will attract more interest, views and – of course – applications.

Are you an employer looking to bolster your science recruitment efforts? If so, click through to learn more about the bespoke hiring solutions of Hyper Recruitment Solutions that could help to address your firm’s most demanding staffing requirements. 
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