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- The selection process
- How to retain graduates
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How to Write a Job Description
How to write a good job advert
Writing a good job description is absolutely vital to attracting the best possible talent for your role. It's easy to forget that it's an actual advert! The biggest challenge is to keep the description simple, whilst including enough detail to clearly and accurately describe the position.
- Keep your advert to around 500 words.
- Use bullet points and short paragraphs.
- Use a relaxed and personal tone.
- Use recruiting cliches.
- Forget that you are selling your role.
- Focus on what investors or your clients would find interesting.
How to structure your post
We recommend dividing your job advert into three clear sections. In terms of word count, aim for somewhere between 300-700 words. Here is an example job post for a job at TalentPool.
1. Company description
TalentPool is one of the UK's leading talent technology ('TalTech') companies. We are changing the way that startups, SMEs and boutiques hire junior talent. Our platform streamlines the candidate sourcing and matching process, massively reducing costs and effort, radically improving the experience for both employers and candidates. Our clients include some of the most exciting and respected business in London and beyond. Founded by Tom & Andrew in 2013, we now have our headquarters in London and another office in the Philippines. This role would be in our London team, where we run our client management, product design, finance and strategy from.
We’re a young, friendly and ambitious team, with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. We move fast and are all very proud of the fact that we help graduates find fantastic jobs and great companies to grow with - every day.
When providing an overview of your company, remember that you're talking to candidates and not investors here. The tone should be relaxed and the focus should remain on what candidates would be interested in finding out about (refrain from talking about things like funding and seed rounds here!). We always advise using these questions as a guideline:
- What does your company do, in a nutshell?
- Where will the job be based?
- What are your office hours (if they're not the standard 9-5)?
- What are the company's values and long-term goals?
- How has the company progressed over the past few years?
It's useful to include a link to your website so that candidates can easily find it and research your company in greater detail.
2. The role
Having grown a lot over the past year we're looking for an Operations Associate to help us continue this in 2017.
Our operations function underpins our success and in this role you will have a direct impact on the business, improving our processes and working with the tech and sales team. Ops is the point where the efforts of both teams come together, so in order to thrive in this role you will need to be highly organised, process-driven with an eye for detail and not afraid to suggest new ideas!
So, what would this involve?
As a business we help companies hire graduates directly through our platform and through industry-based networking events. Working with the team, your main responsibilities will include:
- Processing and improving campaign set-up
- Tracking campaigns and campaign success, suggesting changes and amending if necessary
- Helping candidates with issues around applying for jobs and advising best practice
- Helping to create and run events for our clients and candidates
What we look for:This is not an exhaustive list and above all we are looking for someone with the right attitude, who wants to work hard and be part of the success of a fast-growing startup. Ideally you will:
- Have a strong academic record
- Have a demonstrable work ethic
- Be process-driven and have an eye for detail
- Be a creative thinker who is able to think on their feet
- Have an appetite to learn and specialise within an operations function
Describing what the candidate will be doing is the main focus of the job advert. This all starts with the job title which is usually the first thing candidates will be looking for when browsing job specs - you need to make sure it draws them into reading the job and company description. Couple of points to keep in mind:
- The role title should clearly reflect what a candidate will actually be doing. Don't pad it out with fancy words to make the position sounds attractive, as this can just cause confusion. Equally, don't make an interesting job sound boring!
- Try and make the title generic enough that it makes sense to someone who doesn't work at your company, and indeed may never have worked in a business before. So if you do have an unusual name for your Human Resources department, make sure you use 'Human Resources' or 'Personnel' in the job title.
Now that the job title has caught the candidate's attention - you need to provide the essential bits of info:
- Key responsibilities: what are they and what does the role involve on a day-to-day basis? Candidates won't be able to articulate why, or even know, if they're attracted or suited to the role unless they really understand what they'll be doing.
- Experience and skills: which are absolutely crucial and which are a bonus? You don't want inappropriate candidates applying for your role. For some information on typical profiles for graduate candidates in different sectors, check out our how to hire pages.
- Purpose: why does this role exist in your company? How would the role contribute to company-wide objectives? Where does the role fit in the organisation/team?
- Opportunity for development: graduate candidates are looking to be challenged, to grow and to develop as they embark on their professional careers, and, naturally, they value development opportunities highly. Is this an internship that could lead to full-time employment? What measures will be put in place to ensure their professional development?
- Salary: it's okay to give a range here e.g. £20,000-£24,000 dependent on experience. Mention any commission or bonus options here too. For more information on what you should be expecting to pay your new graduate hires, check out our salary guide.
3. Why us?
- A fantastic entry-level opportunity to learn and grow into an operations specialist
- A clear progression route within a fast-growing company
- Great office location (Tower Hill)
- A range of social events outside of work (we are having our Christmas party in London this year but are open to suggestions for the summer iteration!)
- As and when you need to undertake external training to develop professionally, we will always support that
- A competitive salary
- An opportunity to have a massive positive impact on how graduates find careers and roles they actually want!
This is the part where you need to persuade the candidate that they should work for you over other companies with similar positions. Graduates tend to react well to this section as it is a way of showing the friendlier side to the company. Whether it's unlimited office coffee, weekly team breakfasts or monthly socials - these are all things candidates love hearing about!
- What is the team and office culture like?
- What benefits or perks are there?
- Do you do anything as a team outside of the office?
- What is the company building towards?
Finally, remember to provide clear instructions at the bottom of your post as to how a candidate should apply for the position and what this application should involve.