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The most important step for finding qualified candidates for your job opening is writing a good job description. Using a job description written 15 years ago may appear straightforward and easy, but in reality it will probably drive away the most qualified candidates. It only makes sense, doesn’t it?

A current and well-crafted job description provides enough information for candidates to understand the role and see themselves doing the job. When you include outdated information, candidates disqualify themselves.

A job description outlines the important responsibilities, activities, qualifications and skills. It should also include pertinent information about the company, its mission, culture, benefits, location and other important details so that candidates can determine if they are qualified and interested.

Use a strong and attention-getting hook in the opening summary and highlight the job’s day-to-day activities. This level of detail helps a candidate know if they and the company are a good fit. A good job description is a first and important step in attracting the best candidates.

When it comes to the qualifications and skills, specify the required education and experience as well as any required certifications and technical skills. Keep the list concise; it can be tempting to create a long list of desired qualifications, but this can lead candidates to disqualify themselves. Know clearly the difference between what you must have and what would be nice to have.

After writing your job description, pass it around to other staff members and departments who will be interacting with the person who fills this opening. Get feedback to see if you’ve hit all the important details and factors required for this job.

If you aren’t attracting qualified candidates after listing your opening for a couple of weeks, do another review of your job description. You might be too prescriptive or asking for too much in the way of skills, education and qualifications. If so, you will need to make adjustments so your job is more attractive.

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