10 tips for crafting highly effective job descriptions

Executive Search
Article Icon News Article
11月 02, 2017
2 read
Executive Search
The IT World article, “10 tips for crafting highly effective job descriptions,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates' Justin Cerilli and his thoughts on how to attract the best talent and the importance of cultural fit. The article is excerpted below.​

IT World

Hiring great talent starts with attracting great talent. Here’s how to create effective, engaging and inclusive job descriptions targeted to the best candidates for the job.


Hiring great talent starts with attracting the right talent. Here, an effective, engaging and inclusive job description is key. With a little upfront effort, you can craft just the right job description to bring a wide range of highly talented candidates into your pipeline — and ensure you’re not turning off talent before they even apply. 

"The best job descriptions combine a little bit of marketing, the reality of the role, the necessary skills and competencies and the organization's culture. All those things put together are key to how to present an open role to the market," says Justin Cerilli, managing director of financial services and technology at Russell Reynolds and Associates, an executive search and leadership transition firm. 


1. Get the job title right 
Creativity can help your job title stand out, but don't be so esoteric that you miss out on candidates who are searching for the same job under a different name, says Russell Reynolds' Cerilli. As best you can, integrate industry-standard language into your titles, says Colin Day, founder and CEO of SaaS-based recruiting software solution platform iCIMS. 

"Keep in mind that your company and the open job have to be found. In order to do that, step out of your own company's mind and internal terminology. If you call it 'client relationship manager,' and they're searching for the more commonly used 'account manager,' you're going to miss out on those candidates," he says. 


You also should explain how the job will contribute to business objectives, the potential for advancement, and how candidates' achievements can contribute to that, says Cerilli. 

"You want candidates to be excited about your company and the transformation happening in the industry. Start by including a bit about what the company's doing within the larger industry, how technology enables that, and how the company, the role and their skills and knowledge can further their growth and development," he says. 


7. Culture, culture, culture 
"Culture is everything in recruitment. Everything eventually comes back to a candidate asking themselves, 'Will I be a good fit and really enjoy working there?' So it's critical that culture is all over a job description," says Russell Reynolds' Cerilli. 

Here, highlighting benefits, perks and workplace bonuses can help, says Day. Do you have an on-site gym? Free food? Flexible schedules? Remote work opportunities? Happy hour Fridays? Shout it out in the job description, he says. 

"Cultural fit is just as much of importance to both employees and employers as technical and experience fit, if not more so. A bad hire costs money and drains productivity; a lack of culture fit and employee engagement increases turnover, so you've got to get it right," he says. 

To read the full article​​, click here.