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January 21, 2024
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 min read

How to create a compelling job spec

Following an influx of career opportunities and a short supply of talent, candidates are in the driving seat when it comes to picking the best jobs on the market...

How to create a compelling job spec

Following an influx of career opportunities and a short supply of talent, candidates are in the driving seat when it comes to picking the best jobs on the market, and even more so within the tech sector. Because of this, employers are left in a competitive situation when trying to entice new talent to join their company. One of the first impressions you make with a candidate when presenting a new opportunity is through the job specification (spec). It is therefore imperative, more so than ever now, to have a well written and engaging job specification.

So how do I create a great job specification? Well here is how…

1 - Presentation

This should be clear and concise. Many companies are still producing job specification’s that are several pages long which appears more like a legal document. Candidates want to understand what the role involves as quickly as possible to see if this resonates with what they are interested in. Here is a simple format which I have found to work well and have acquired positive feedback from:

  • Begin with an overview of the company and a catchy opening about the role; this is your chance to explain the company and the purpose of this role in an authentic way. Explain in appropriate detail what the company is trying to achieve and its’ mission statement and how this new role contributes to that goal.
  • Breakdown of duties required – This should include a detailed summary of role responsibilities, broken down to a maximum of 10 concise bullet-points to ensure candidates aren’t overloaded and overwhelmed with information.
  • Required experience/skillset – Be sure to include specific terminology such as frameworks, programming languages, etc to ensure the candidate knows if they possess what is required for this particular job role.
  • ‘What’s in it for me?’ – This section should touch upon your own companies’ loyalty rewards, benefits, and employer value proposition.
  • Sign off and call to action – Finish with details on how to apply, your email and other contact details, and advice and a link to visit the website, etc.

2 - Does it read well to the consumer?

A well structured job spec is a good start initially. But if the copy doesn’t read well or is peppered with errors or just straight up doesn’t make sense, then you’re likely to be in trouble. It’s worth discussing the specification with your target audience beforehand and assessing this market research to establish what works well and to get the right terminology written down.

3 - The good, the bad, and the mildly inconvenient.

It’s common for candidates to leave their role within a short period of time if they believe their role has been miss-sold to them by the company in question. While you may have some luck in securing new employees with vague job specifications or by withholding information, you are only prolonging the inevitable resignation letter or, worse, they stay with your company and are completely disengaged and disinterested in the business. If the role includes shift work, regular travel within the actual working hours of the job, or some potentially undesirable tasks, then you must mention it. It may seem counter-productive stating the less desirable parts of the job but I ensure you that candidates who are genuinely interested will be more engaged throughout and have a longer tenure in the role.

4 - Be realistic with your person specification

It’s hard to find and attract great talent, particularly in tech, so don’t make it impossible or unrealistic by demanding they are an expert in every programming technology under the sun. With the landscape of technology continuously evolving, it is important to keep up to date on modern trends. By approaching the role with clear requirements and an open mind, you will save yourself from wasted interviews and several job specification revisions. Trust me.

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