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How to structure a job description

How to structure a job description

The job description is your first step in recruiting a new employee and arguably the most important part of the entire process. The job description is effectively a piece of direct marketing collateral and you should treat it like one. It is a direct response tool through which you can sell your business to the perfect candidate. How do you make your job description stand out against the crowd? How do you attract the right candidate and make them want to work for you?

Here’s a few points you should consider next time you’re recruiting:

Be personal

As we have already pointed out, the job description is essentially direct marketing. As such you should treat it that way with the words you use to describe the correct candidate and how you sell your company to that candidate. Focus on using the words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ over ‘the right candidate’. Be conversational in tone so they can easily understand what the company stands for and what the role entails. You need to help the candidate picture themselves in the role so they can really identify themselves fitting in and excelling in the position.
When talking about the company, you shouldn’t be too strict and formal. Try and sell the benefits of working for the company over explaining the ins and outs of your business. The candidate will research you and find out your website anyway so use the job description to sell why an employee should REALLY want to work for you.

Be search engine friendly

When it comes to advertising your position on job sites it’s really important to make sure that your job specification is search engine friendly. You need to make sure that the people you want to hire, can actually find your job! To do that you need to think about a few things when writing your job description to ensure the search engines return your job when someone makes a search.

• Keep your job titles short and sweet and a maximum of 80 characters long. This is the optimum length of a title.
• Avoid using caps or special characters in titles. This will make your title easy to read and rank in search engines.
• Use real life terminology for your job title so the search engine knows what the job actually is.
• Use strategic keywords to help your job description rank well. Look at other job descriptions on job sites that are similar to yours and try and find the type of keywords they are using. Also, include more specific keywords in your description to help the search engine match your job to the candidates search. This will also mean you are showing your job to a better type of candidate.

Be specific

Be specific throughout the document, starting with the job title. Don’t get bogged down in technical internal titles. Be clear with the title so that they can quickly understand what the role entails. Keep it short and easily understandable. For example, if you’re recruiting for a Marketing Manager, say so. Rather than use titles like ‘marketing wizard’ or ‘growth specialist’. Specify years of experience, qualifications and specific skills you’re looking for.

Be clear with what the job entails. Perhaps include a paragraph on ‘Your typical working day’ to help the candidate picture themselves in the role. Using our Marketing Manager example, perhaps the role entails developing and managing the marketing strategy and managing a small team? On the other hand, their day could be 60% focussed on content production. If it does, say so. Use this paragraph to help candidates understand what they will actually be doing on a day to day basis.

Be honest

Try not to sugar coat negative parts of the role. If the successful candidate will end up doing a lot administrative work that may be considered a little laborious, it is perfectly fine to say so. Candidates should have a clear picture of what the job entails so that there are no nasty surprises when they start.

You should also be honest about the key objectives of the role. The job description is your first opportunity to outline any key performance indicators you will be using to measure the performance of the candidate. The candidate should completely understand how performance will be managed so that there are no surprises when it comes to performance reviews in the future.

Be snappy

Try and cut out the waffle. People’s attention span is limited these days and you should make it easy for them to understand your job description.
• Use short snappy paragraphs and bullet points.
• Direct attention with sub headings or bold/italic fonts.
• Avoid buzzwords and corporate jargon, use real life language.

Contact us today for more information



How to boost productivity

How to boost productivity

Every business owner wants a more productive workforce and in these challenging times, it is vital that your team is working to it’s potential before you can even consider investing in further recruitment to grow your business. In order to maintain your position in the market, or overtake your competitors, a yearly increase in productivity is key. In most industries, productivity increases of between 10 and 25% are the order of the day. Can you honestly say that your team is delivering this year on year?

We could talk for hours on productivity factors as there are just so many things you should consider. As a starter for 10 here are our top 10 factors you should consider.

1. Great managers are worth their weight in gold

Managers play a vital role in delivering workforce productivity. They should be supported by HR to grow and develop to become great leaders. On the flip side, HR should endeavour to remove ineffective managers as they can be toxic to the morale and productivity of their teams. Managers must communicate goals and objectives clearly and hold employees to account. At the same time, coaching, mentoring and developing their teams is crucial to success.

2. Hire the right people

One of, if not THE most important factor you must consider is the people you hire. Work with your HR team to identify and employ high performers. People who will go the extra mile for both the business and to develop their own skill sets. Self-motivation is key and employees who are committed to personal development will be the key to driving your business forward. Even the best managers will struggle to motivate those who do not have personal drive.

3. Get your team bought in to the business strategy

Communicate the strategy of the business to your entire workforce and ensure that each team has defined and individual responsibilities in achieving this goal. Every employee should feel like a vital cog in the success of the business. The feeling of job satisfaction is often much more important to employees than financial reward. Share and celebrate successes and thank your workforce for the part they played. A simple thank you goes a very long way!

4. Control your control mechanisms

While it’s important for teams to be managed effectively, too much control can strangle decision making and employee development. It is a fine balance but one you must understand to create effective teams. Too little control can create waste and lack of focus. Too much can create blockages and hinder efficiency. Make sure you have the right balance.

5. Manage the working environment

There are so many parts of everyday office life that can have a real effect on the morale and productivity of the workforce. Get them wrong, especially if you have been informed of problems by employees, can quickly lead to a feeling of a lack of care and consideration. This in turn will have a knock on effect on morale and productivity. Take control of the simple things. Are there annoying lights flickering? Is it too hot or too cold? Are employees comfortable at their desks? Is it too loud or too quiet in the office? All these environmental factors play a part in daily productivity output.

6. The importance of goal and objective setting

Managers, teams and individuals should have goals and objectives that stretch them, but that can also be reasonably achieved with hard work. Employees should be coached to achieve them and praised for doing so. Goals should be measurable so progress can be easily communicated.

7. Prioritise objectives and tasks across the business

Throughout the business, tasks and objectives should be prioritised. This should filter down to teams and individuals so everyone is on the same page when it comes to the priorities they should make in their daily working lives. Many employees will spend hours on successfully completing a task. But if that task is of low priority to the business, then that time could be much better spent elsewhere.

8. Reward your employees

Monetary rewards have a big impact on performance and productivity. They should however, be tied to the achievement of goals and performance metrics. Monetary rewards on their own however are not effective at driving continual productivity growth. They should be used in conjunction with excitement factors and a team based company culture.

9. Encourage your teams to collaborate

Many processes and learnings can be shared between teams to improve efficiency. For example, if a team develops a solution to a problem it should be shared with others in the business that may also be suffering from the same challenges. Not sharing information and forcing each team to overcome the same obstacles by learning from their own mistakes is a sure fire way to lost productivity.

10. Ensure you resource effectively

Teams and individuals are often held back by resourcing issues. Perhaps they do not have an adequate budget to complete their tasks. Perhaps it is a lack of training or technology that is holding them back. Enable your employees to have the confidence to communicate these issues to their managers and empower your managers to provide solutions.

Contact us today to find out how you can boost your team’s productivity.