How to Write a Job Description that Attracts the Right Candidates

By Courtney Clemmons on July 29, 2015 Staffing

Being on a team that gets results is the one of the joys of going to work each day. During the hiring process, people may seem like a great fit on paper, but once they come in for the interview, something is not quite right. The experience could be off the mark or they may not have a key skill.

How do you overcome these deficiencies to get the right players onboard? Tighten up the job description!

Getting Started

When looking for new talent, figure out the role’s “must haves” vs. “nice to haves” early.  Doing so will keep you open to individuals outside of your standard candidate pool, yet ensure that their skill set is a match for the position.

Internal Review

If it’s possible, talk to people currently in the position. Have them review the job description and tell you which responsibilities have changed or grown. This step will give you a firm grasp on what is truly expected of the role, and the requirements to do it well. Depending on the amount of “new” responsibilities, it may also be time to revise the entire description – or hire two people in place of one.

Refresh the Copy

Make sure that you are using the most recent language to reflect the job’s responsibilities. For example, posting an ad for a “desktop publisher,” instead of a “marketing production assistant,” will yield lower resume submissions. Attract qualified talent with the right titles.

Breakdown the Basics

Every company job description should follow the same format. It provides consistency and helps everyone formulate a clear profile of the ideal candidate. The company format will also include triggers that may be important to potential employees but not considered noteworthy by managers – such as the amount of travel expected.

Include Personality

Do you have a ping pong table in the conference room? Sell candidates on your company’s culture in the “About Us” section. After all, a job description is also an ad. You want to attract the folks who fit the team.

Sign off

Have only the appropriate decision-makers weigh in on the final description – and when it is nearly complete. This way, you will avoid spinning your wheels covering the basics, and allow updates to the ideal candidate profile before making it public. 



A good team begins with the right job description. Overtime job responsiblities evolve. Have staff members conduct mid-year reviews of their roles and make updates. This way, you will always have the most up-to-date description on hand.


Download a Job Description Template


Courtney Clemmons

Courtney Clemmons

Courtney Clemmons is the Content Developer for both Messina Group Staffing and Messina Group Consulting. Before moving into her role on the Marketing team, Courtney began her career as a Recruiter working on contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire positions for Messina’s Engineering, Manufacturing, Laboratory, Marketing and Financial staffing divisions. Courtney is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BA in Journalism.

Previous Article Understanding IT
Next Article 5 Tips for Working with Staffing Firms

Subscribe to Email Updates