Ah, the job description. Whether you’re reading them or writing them, we can all agree they’re not perfect. It’s hard for a hiring manager to distil a job down to a few paragraphs, and it’s hard for a job seeker to gain a clear understanding of what they’d be doing from a single page. However, in the absence of a better solution, they are what we use to advertise job vacancies.
More than that, though, they’re what employers use to attract great talent. Because the truth is, what you include in your job descriptions can be the difference between somebody applying to your company or opting for a competitor instead.
Let us explain. While it shouldn’t be the case, poor quality job descriptions are the norm in most industries. This is no surprise considering many are derived from the same company template that’s been in use for years. Some might have been copied from how another company presents their job descriptions, while some barely even contain a description, leaving candidates to decide whether or not they want to commit the next chapter of their professional lives to an organization based on a few sentences.
A major cause behind these problems is companies not knowing what to include in their job descriptions. Should they list every relevant detail, and risk boring a candidate, or is it better to be brief and to the point?
We couldn’t answer these questions on our own, so we polled over 600 job seekers about their preferences when going through a job description. The full report can be accessed for free here, but we’ve also included the key findings for you below. Follow this template the next time you write a job description and you’ll be giving candidates exactly what they want.
What should a job description include?
1. Job title and company name
Print the relevant job title along with your company name. Simple.
2. Closing date
Define whether you’ll stop collecting applications at a certain date or if the job will stay open until the right candidate is found.
3. Location, contract, and experience level
Make the location, contract type, and experience level of the job crystal clear.
4. Salary range
Did you know that 60.9% of all candidates describe salary information as very important to them, while 70.9% of candidates with three or more years of experience say the same? If you want to attract the widest talent pool for your job, you need to be transparent about its salary range.
5. Company summary
Candidates, especially more experienced ones, want to know who your company is and what sets it apart from the competition. Use this section of the job description to tell them.
6. Team and culture summary
Your company culture is relevant to potential applicants, especially those that haven’t been historically well-represented in the workplace. This could be through details regarding internal advocacy groups, or recapping how the company has supported its people in the past — perhaps during the pandemic. Whatever you do, don't be vague. Details are welcomed.
7. Job description
A good job description will list out the role’s primary responsibilities, but a great one will take this a level further. Provide a general list of responsibilities, sure, but also outline what the key measures of success will be over the first month, six months, and year. This will modernize your job descriptions significantly.
8. Essential requirements
All of the things that are absolutely necessary for a candidate to know or have experienced in order to succeed in the role. List these in order of importance starting at the top and working your way down.
9. Bonus requirements
List anything that’s not essential, and would only help a candidate adapt to the role quicker, in a ‘good to have’ section.
10. Location details
Even though you’ve already stated the job’s location, it’s worth adding more detail. In today’s world there is always an expectation for some remote flexibility, so make it clear whether your role has this. And remember, if you are hiring remote, tell candidates of any regional restrictions you have before they apply. It’s no good advertising a job as “Remote” if you’re only able to hire within the USA. Instead, label this as “Remote (USA)”.
11. Salary range details
Take your job description up a notch by including an explanation on how your salary range works. What skills/experience would qualify someone for the bottom and top of this range?
Company benefits have never been more important to highlight than today. In fact, 51.9% of candidates with three or more years of experience describe them as very important.
13. Holiday policy
Work-life balance has been on a lot of people’s minds since the pandemic, so be sure to mention your company’s holiday policy.
14. Progression information
Where can this role progress in future and what success metrics would a candidate need to get there? As our report makes clear, this is especially important for attracting diverse, senior candidates.
15. DEI statement and initiatives
There’s been an important drive for fairer recruiting practises in the last few years, and it should be something that shapes your own hiring to ensure bias is removed. At the end of your description make it clear that all applicants are welcomed to apply and that protected characteristics will not play a part in who’s hired.
Use this template and you’ll find your job descriptions to be effective at attracting a relevant, well-rounded, and diverse candidate pool. What’s more, you’ll be producing a job description template that’s unique to your company, which will support you in establishing a consistent voice when hiring.
Even with this information behind you, we know it’s not always easy to turn advice into action. That’s why we offer our services to companies in the video game industry looking to improve their hiring process and #RethinkRecruitment. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with our Head of Recruitment, Sara Machado, to book an intro call.