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.

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