Write Better Job Descriptions to Attract Better Candidates

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by | Apr 19, 2022

When faced with a poor response rate to a typical “help wanted” ad, manufacturers need to take a good hard look at what their job descriptions are saying.

Or worse yet, not saying.

The job search can be just as costly for an employee hopeful as it is for an employer. Time and resource are spent only to find that the opportunity isn’t a match.

Folks searching for their next steps want to make a relatively informed decision. A well put-together job description can help get the right folks into the interview chair and set the right expectations about what they are applying for.

Here are four tips for writing manufacturing job descriptions that will attract better candidates:

gray circle with number 1 Provide a clear idea of what the candidate would be doing on a daily basis, and an even clearer picture of the manufacturing company they will be doing it for.

Employers often want employees to come to a job interview driven towards some overarching goal “to be a good hardworking employee who doesn’t care about anything other than proving themselves worthy.”

Let’s not kid ourselves.

Employees know that accepting a job with a company means that they work for someone else. Therefore, if you want them to be invested in the work and happy to do their part, give them something to excited about.

Clearly explain what you do, why you do it, and why you as a company take pride in the work. That way, during the interview, you can discuss how they believe they would add to the companies mission and culture.

dark gray circle with number 2 Grow along with me – the best is yet to be. 

Is there truly room for growth within the company? If so, how do employees access it? How are they developed and recognized for achieving this growth?

In your job descriptions, discuss what training, support, and investment you make in your employees. The candidates you attract will be more likely to want to invest themselves with you.

light blue circle with number 3 Consider a skills-first approach.

Credentials were all the rage at a time where one’s life path had a few set options that included college or a direct route to trade school.

These days there are dozens of ways in which mechanically inclined folks find their way back to the American Manufacturing Industry. And there are dozens of transferrable skills that apply to successful employment.

Do your due diligence to know what skills are truly necessary for the role you are posting. Identify your nice-to-haves and separate them from your required skills.

You’ll better attract the folks that have the skills that do matter if you trim out the items that don’t.

bright gold yellow circle with number 4 Don’t overshoot.

A job description asking for an “entry level person” — with a degree and 5 years of experience — sends a clear message that you aren’t willing to make an investment in someone who has already made a clear investment in themselves.

Instead, be on the lookout for an entry level person with the right set of transferrable skills and life experience. Then, provide them on-the-job training and mentorship that will develop those skills.

If you’ve got a “help wanted” ad that isn’t getting a strong response, consider these four tips. Put your best foot forward and you are bound to find yourself in good company with a stronger team.

What do YOU think? Email me at aclemons@polarismep.org. I’d love to hear your manufacturing recruiting tips and thoughts.

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