A dirty secret about the cream of the talented crop you so badly want to employ: They’re pickier than children who eat nothing but noodles. And why wouldn’t they be? They know their worth, and they have options. The best talent are still idealists, and they need to be coaxed into believing your employment opportunity is a special one. With that in mind, think of your company’s job description as an advertisement, one that proves you know how to advertise. Rather than grabbing an old job write-up, set aside thirty minutes to write something new, then watch your small investment pay off.
The good news is that writing a job description can actually be fun. Scratch that. It should be fun. You’re fishing the globe for that perfect person, and you’ve got to use tasty bait to land that certain someone who can move your company from bland to bodacious. Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter guide to writing a killer job description, no template that will transform the words of your classified into irresistible creative bait. So until a mobile app appears that magically captures the best freelance talent, make sure you’re covering the basics to attract their interest: Write a great headline, reflect your company’s personality, and write to your audience.
Write a great headline
It’s our business to know brilliant copywriters, and we’d be happy to put you in touch with one if you’d like to master the art of crafting a compelling headline. Or if you’d prefer to do a little reading yourself, check out the classic Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads by pen master Luke Sullivan.
Reflect your company’s personality
The tone of your company’s job description should sound like someone you would want to work for. It’s simple, really. Just write in your normal voice as if you’re trying to convince your talented best friend to come on board. If you want to avoid creative talent with big egos, be self-deprecating to show your humility. And if you want a buttoned up Type-A designer, don’t be afraid to come out and say it.
Tailor writing to the individual
If you want to attract high-level developers, why not write a message in code that only they can understand? And if you’re looking for creative talent, for goodness’ sake, be creative. Get one of your existing creatives to write the ad and highlight why they should come on board. If you have no existing creatives, get the company janitor to write it. Use a headline like, “Work here so I can get back to cleaning.” End the story with a simple line: “Clearly, we’re understaffed. Apply today. Gary will thank you.”
Make some waves
Once you have the basics under your belt, you’re one step away from using your job descriptions to get PR for your company. For instance, Poke used a true story and an awesome headline to fill an opening for an interactive copywriter, and a similar tact for the same position a few months earlier (even their URL was a call to apply). Ignoring their budget and the traditional medium, you can glean a lot about how to write an ad with some personality from Propaganda, who churned out this print ad by doing just that. And Boone Oakley’s summer intern recruiting effort proves that a small budget doesn’t have to restrict your creativity.
Don't forget we're here for you if you need help. We do this stuff for a living. Now stop procrastinating, face your blank document and say, “This is going to be fun.” We’ll be looking out for your job description on Adcritic.