Job descriptions may hold the key to effective hiring

Wednesday December 2, 2020

Every employer will be aware that a strong job description can play a major role in determining how successful recruitment initiatives are. For a highly specialised industry like legal recruitment, having the right position outline will be essential for ensuring a strong pool of applicants.

However, recent research suggests there are a few key features of a strong job description that many employers are missing and which could be used to achieve a better outcome for a company.

That’s the finding from research at the University of Vermont into what makes for a strong job application. The researchers tested two different job description styles to see which one was more effective at attracting high-quality applicants.

The first resembled what most individuals would see as the standard form for a job description to take – detailing the qualities that the company was looking to see in a potential hire. The second focused instead on selling the company, so the position description detailed the conditions that the company could offer to a potential staff member once they joined.

According to the findings, those applications that fell into the second category received far more interest, especially from candidates who were described as being of higher value to the organisation.

The researchers suggested that the reason for this is that the second category of application would appeal to passive jobseekers as well as those actively seeking new employment. By making an application more attractive to these passive jobseekers, the overall quality of the hiring pool was increased substantially.

Another part of the reason is that the first kind of job description will probably have been written by a manager who will be primarily concerned with the qualities a candidate has, rather than highlighting a company’s benefits.

By avoiding these mistakes and building a job application that individuals are entice by, law firms can be sure they are attracting the best talent for a new opening.