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How to Write Job Descriptions for Small Businesses

Many small businesses don’t have fully operational or staffed human resources departments. Hiring the wrong person for the job can be a very costly mistake and often, it’s one that small businesses just can’t afford.

Here’s how to successfully tackle writing job descriptions for small companies.

Do

  • Be Specific – Clearly state job requirements, qualifications and necessary skills, such as education, certifications and experience. If you’re not clear, you will attract unqualified candidates, and that also means that top talent will think you don’t have your act together and move on to greener job pastures.
  • Use Known Job Titles – If your company embraces creative titles, don’t list these in your advertising for new positions. Keep things simple and straightforward, so they’re understandable and easy to search for online. Use industry-specific job titles, such as keywords that people use when searching.
  • Simple Language – Avoid organization-specific terminology or industry jargon that can make job descriptions challenging to read and understand. Use headings, subheadings and bullet points to make things easier to read.
  • Market Your Company – Job descriptions should include something about your company, the industry, the job and the incentives you offer. Think of job postings as a marketing tool for your company. Additionally, since you’re a smaller employer, highlight the benefits of working for you. For example, if you have a great location that is within walking distance of public transportation and eateries, flaunt it! If you offer flex time, vacation time, profit sharing or stock options, advertise it! Unusual perks and benefits can make small companies very attractive to qualified candidates that want to leave the grind of conglomerate mega-giants.

Don’t

  • Feature Lengthy Requirements – If your job description reads like you’re in need of an advanced research scientist with an overwhelming array of credentials, chances are you’ll have a lot of qualified candidates view this as pretentious and nix applying for your job application altogether. (However, if you do need a research scientist, feel free to add in the lengthy requirements!)
  • Be Too Vague – Job postings should be both detailed and informative. If you don’t quite understand the position, seek out information to write a thorough and comprehensive job description, so everyone is on the same page. Having a detailed description will maximize everyone’s time – both yours and candidates – when trying to attract the right talent for the position.
  • Avoid Salary – To avoid a barrage of unqualified candidates, list the salary range for the job so you can weed out people that aren’t interested now.
  • Forget to Spell and Grammar Check – Nothing says unprofessional more than a typo. If you plan to critique applicants’ resumes for their spelling and grammar during the application process, hold yourself to the same standard.

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