Job descriptions: more than just online ads

Gillian O'Brien

  • At Dover, we're helping companies find and engage the best people for their team

  • After working with 50+ of the fastest growing startups – we saw that our customers wanted help with creatives ideas for job descriptions, too.

If you know Dover, or you're savvy about the hiring market in general - you're probably not finding the majority of your candidates via job postings. Instead, you're likely finding them via outreach & in-network referrals.

As many as 80% of jobs are filled through personal connections & 70% of jobs are never even posted. Jobs ads & applications take a back seat.

The content you'll find online about job descriptions centers around how you can optimize them so that candidates will actually read and apply. But for the majority of you who aren't relying on ads to get candidates, writing a JD may feel like something you don't need to put much thought or effort into.

But don't start recycling your old job postings just yet. There's a lot of value to be gained from writing a good JD & putting it online. Even if most of your candidates will come from your personal network or from outreach.

Here's why writing a good JD is more important than you may think:

It will help you get clarity.

Writing a JD isn't just for the candidate. It's for you, too. You may think you know what you're looking for - but end up surprising yourself with how vague those ideas actually are when you start to write the JD. The more detailed you can be about who you're looking for & why, the more successful your process will be. Not to mention, you'll give candidates a better experience if you're confident, clear, and specific about what you're looking for, as opposed to being wishy-washy.

It will help you get on the same page.

Candidates refer to the JD several times throughout the interview process to help evolve their thinking around the role. If you recycle old job posts again and again, not putting much thought into them at all, you may be sending the wrong message to the candidate without even realizing it.

Having the JD to refer to will help both you & the candidate get on the same page. The JD opens the door to important conversations and negotiation. When you rely entirely on a verbal pitch of the company and role, you may miscommunicate or let things slip through the cracks. It's better to have your ideas in writing so you can confirm that everyone agrees on the role.

It will help you close the candidate.

Think of job descriptions as an opportunity to get the candidate pumped. Making a career decision is huge for a lot of people – you candidate is probably forwarding the JD to their friends and family to get reactions and feedback. If you don't put much effort into writing the JD, the candidates network may not come back with very much enthusiasm either. If the candidate is super high quality, they'll have many other interviews and offers. You only get so much face time with them to pitch them, so the materials they have on the job should shine and stand out. They'll be referring to the JD long after the application stage.

It will create FOMO.

Even when you have a candidate in mind for a role, and you're feel confident about hiring them - it's important to write & publish a JD online. When they see that the role is posted & open to the public, it may light a fire under them that gets them to sign. The idea that you are actively accepting other applicants and keeping your interview process open will give your candidates FOMO. On the flip side, if they think they have the offer in the bag, they may take their time accepting or scheduling next interviews.

It will help establish your employer brand

Finally - the last reason to write and post a great JD is that it reflects well on you & helps to establish your employer brand. Maybe you're hiring a Product Marketing Manager but your post is seen by an excellent designer who forwards the post to their cousin. That designer gets excited about you and your company because of the way you've written, and how you've described your culture. He/she may apply in the future, or tell other friends about you. Never miss an opportunity to establish your brand.

Partnering with Dover to improve your job descriptions

Dover's account managers can help you craft the perfect job description for a wide variety of personas. Together, we work with you to perfect your pitch, and clarify what you're looking for so we can get you the perfect candidate, every time. Want to learn more? Talk to us.