In the race to attract top talent for your tech start up, the very first order of business is to write a great job description. Just as a resume introduces you to the candidate, the job description is the first glimpse a potential employee has into your start up business, your company culture, your attitude and credibility. Follow this guide to nailing the perfect job description.
You have exactly as much room for errors in the mechanics of your writing as a potential recruit has in his or her resume: none. Your grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation must be absolutely flawless. A single typo or misusage of two/too or affect/effect or anything along those lines will immediately throw up a red flag to a talented prospect. Whether or not it impacts the flow of the job description, a single error indicates a lack of thoroughness and implies that you’re not meticulous and careful.
If you’re not a natural writer, hire one. If you write it yourself, make sure several competent, trustworthy people read it over for you.
One good example of well-written, specific job descriptions that have flawless writing are those over at GoDaddy, the company founded by Bob Parsons. Their open opportunities are described with good language and grammar, conveying the right message to ideal candidates.
Name Your Price
A job is an exchange of labor for money. Your tech start up has a budget, and your prospective employee has a minimum salary requirement. The most articulate, well-written job description is worthless without telling the prospect what it pays.
Your start up business is making the fist move by announcing an opening. It is up to you to you state what the job pays and describe any associated benefits. Without it – or by placing the onus on the recruit with a “respond with salary requirements” section – you will lose great candidates who either don’t want to waste their time applying for something that may not be worth their while, or who feel like you’re trying to hide something right off the bat.
Although the best candidates will do this anyway, you want an application that is tailored specifically for you so you can get a more thorough understanding of who the person is, like an interview before an interview. Achieve this by stating specific things you’d like to know about job candidates so they can’t send a modified, pre-fab cover letter.
Without giving them homework assignments such as writing samples (unless it’s a writing position, of course), ask them specific questions about themselves and in relation to the job your tech start up is offering. As much as the content itself, a response tailored specifically to this position will give you insight into their attitude, meticulousness, and ability to be thorough and follow direction.
Your job description is the gateway between your start up business and the best possible recruits. Just as you weed out the riffraff by examining resumes, top prospects are looking at dozens – or hundreds – of job descriptions a day. They can’t possibly respond to all of them, so they’re going to be selective. Give the top talent a reason to select you.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about small business management and profiles web-based business tools.