Why Are Job Descriptions Important When Hiring Tech Talent?

A business owner writing up a job description after reading my blog on why are job descriptions so important

Crafting a well-written job description is paramount to an effective recruitment campaign.

Essentially, IT job descriptions and salaries are important as they help you to find the right tech talent while setting up expectations for the role.

During the course of my professional recruitment career and after many years of reading various job specs and descriptions, I have seen time and time again how they can make a world of difference to a recruitment process.

Don’t fall at this crucial first hurdle. Ineffective job descriptions and salaries will only extend the hiring process and waste time by meeting candidates who are not serious about your company or opportunity. Here are my top tips and insights into writing an effective job description.

What to include in an IT specialist job description

Firstly, let’s discuss what a good tech job description should include.

  • A job title
  • Salary and location
  • Summary of job brief
  • List of responsibilities
  • List of essential requirements and skills
  • List of desirable requirements and skills
  • Qualifications required or desired
  • Your company’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP) including culture, benefits, and perks

All of these elements will give your potential candidates a clear understanding of what will be expected of them in this job. Furthermore, creating this description will give you a much clearer idea of exactly who you need in your team. This will help you, later on in the process, to focus on the candidate with the right fit. You would be surprised how many companies get waylaid when hiring tech talent and get muddled and confused about what they actually want!

Do you need to list a salary or company EVP?

We hear this question a lot. Our stance is very clear on this subject. The salary and EVP your candidate will benefit from are crucial points to include in an IT specialist job description.

We are working in a candidate-driven market. Therefore, your job description is in competition with other companies looking for the same skillset. Give yourself the best chance of winning the race by including information candidates want to know.

In 2022, HR News published an article showcasing the importance of including salaries with 57% of tech talent suggesting that they won’t apply for a job role that has no salary range listed.

Ask yourself this – would you take time putting an application together for a job that might be a lower salary and deliver less benefits than your current role?

Why are job descriptions important?

Find the right candidate

Imagine you are an IT professional looking for your next job opportunity. You look through all the different options and you get to one job advert which has basic or incomplete information. If you cannot clearly see what your responsibilities are, what the company expects from you, or what the salary is, odds are you will quickly move on to the next job advert. Statistics don’t lie. Research by intelligence platform, Eightfold AI found that 17% of individuals surveyed were put off by a vague job description in their most recent job search.

As a company interested in hiring tech talent, you don’t want this! You want your information to be clear and precise to get the attention of the IT professionals you need.

Beat the tight labour market

Attracting top tech talent has never been more important. With 94% of businesses struggling to fill IT roles last year, it is important for your recruitment strategy to include well-written and effective job descriptions. On average, candidates only spend 14 seconds looking at each job description before deciding whether to apply. This perfectly sums up why job descriptions are important. Companies look for candidates that stand out from the crowd, but so do candidates

One way to make your company attract the attention of IT professionals is to include your company’s EVP. Your EVP focuses on areas of your business, including rewards, day-to-day life at work, company mission and values, career development, and company culture. You shouldn’t try to cram an essay-length EVP exploration into your IT specialist job description, but rather refer to it throughout. Then, make sure the other elements of your recruitment campaign – such as the internal careers page on your website – explores your EVP in much more detail!

Also keep in mind that candidates do not care about “perks” such as free pizza, beer fridges, or a pool table in the break room. These are all fluffy extras and many candidates are more enticed by clear paths to career growth and development.

Set expectations for your future hire

You may still be unconvinced as to why job descriptions are important when hiring tech talent. However, if you have a document that clearly defines the scope of a potential hire’s responsibilities, you may be saved from making a bad hire.

Listing the responsibilities you expect the tech candidate to undertake in the role, sets the expectation for your latest recruit. This means that even before the first day, you are setting up your new hire for success! It will also limit mixed messages which could lead to difficult conversations later on, or even having to repeat the recruitment process again much sooner than you would want and can afford to.

It can also be a good checklist post-onboarding to measure employee progress. Whilst many roles do develop post-onboarding, it can be a useful starting point for finding out if the candidate has successfully closed your skills gap.

Avoid wasting time

A big problem area for clients that I have seen over the years is that they try rush to get a job description up and online so that you can quickly start getting responses, even if it is a generic one. Professionals will see through this and the good candidates will not apply. By doing this you also run the risk of being inundated with the wrong CV’s, desperate candidates who are not the right fit, and chancers.

By not including specific responsibilities or skills, you will receive a lot of candidates who are ill-suited to the job you need. Undergoing a recruitment campaign can be very expensive. You need to take the time to make the process as effective as possible to save time and money. If you have to repeat the process due to a bad hire, it can cost you upwards of the new hire’s salary, just from having to go through the recruiting process twice.

For example, if you are looking to hire a software developer and do not include the coding language your team works with, you will receive candidates who might not actually have the skills you need. You don’t want to be sifting through hundreds of CVs – especially when 9 out of 10 aren’t suitable!

Structure your interviews

One of the core reasons why job descriptions are important is because they are a fantastic tool for structuring interviews. The clear list of skills and required experience sets up questions quite nicely. Asking the candidate to explain their experience and how they match the ones you need, can help you narrow down potential hires much easier.

Also, by having clear IT job descriptions and salaries, it aids in the pre-screening process to weed out unsuitable candidates. Then, during the interview stages it can help form the basis of your questions, as well as ensuring the candidate is clear on all the responsibilities before entering and can ask for clarification on any issue or point, limiting miscommunication.

Overall, candidates are not going to be serious about joining your company if you are not serious about what it is you are looking for. This is the first step in proactively securing the best possible talent for your company, you need to make sure you are making the most of it.

As we have explored, these are the key reasons why job descriptions are important when hiring tech talent. If you require tailored help to secure your next great tech hire, contact us today.

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