Close

What top candidates look for in a job description

June 12, 2017

The following article was contributed by Carol Wood, People Operations Director at Homebase. Read more employee management posts from Homebase and other Staffing & Human Resources articles here on the Clover blog.

Hiring qualified candidates is tough. In major cities like Houston, there are around 650 job postings a day on Craigslist for hourly employees. In Los Angeles, there are 800! Standing out is important, but putting all the vital information in your job description will also save you time as you’re screening applicants. Here are some things to be mindful of as you put a job description together:

1. Detailed Requirements

Too often, managers will write the job description after they’ve found their newest employee, planning to tailor the job specifics to the individual’s strengths and interests. In the haste to hire an employee, managers settle for someone who doesn’t have the exact set of skills that are truly needed.

Instead, start with a detailed job description first, and find the person that meets those needs rather than the other way around.

Be clear about your minimum requirements including any certifications, skills, or years of experience. It’ll save you hours sorting through applications and ensure you hire the employee you need.

2. The Perks

No perk is too small to brag about. Show that your business values its employees. Mention the team building events you host. Mention any free meals provided when an employee is on shift. Mention if schedules are flexible enough to accommodate students or mothers. Mention any opportunities you provide to train for other positions. You’ve got to do a bit of selling to make your business stand out.

3. The Hourly Wage

A lot of managers prefer to negotiate the wage rate, rather than setting one outright, but you could end up wasting a lot of time. Realistically, most businesses have a narrow wage band for a given position, so it’s best to be upfront about it. If not, you’ll end up wasting time on applicants and interviews with people who may be looking for a different wage rate at their next job.

When figuring out how much to pay, keep in mind that the higher you pay, the fewer times you will have to hire for that position. A wage increase of 50 cents an hour equates to $1000/year per full-time hourly employee and Homebase data indicates can reduce turnover. This will save you far more money in lost time recruiting and training a replacement.

4. A Simple Process

It’s important to be realistic. The good news is that most of your applicants will be looking for work immediately, which is likely what you’re looking for, too. But that means you may need to relax expectations around their passion for working at your business specifically, or formalities like a cover letter. Focus on finding people who meet the requirements for your job posting. Otherwise, you may miss out on qualified applicants just by making them jump through too many hoops. Plus, the passion for your specific business and team can come later, once they meet you!

And once you’ve found the right applicant, be sure you check references. This last step, while quick, is crucial to making sure you’ve got the right new hire.


Carol is People Operations Director at Homebase. With free online tools and mobile apps for managers and employees, Homebase eliminates the paperwork and headaches of schedulingpayroll, and team communication for local business.

At Homebase, Carol focuses on providing thought leadership, tips and tricks, and scalable HR solutions for the 50,000 businesses that Homebase serves. Prior to Homebase, Carol focused on helping small and medium businesses navigate the tricky waters of human resources, working with companies across the retail, food service, oil and gas, and healthcare industries through her roles as HR Director at Fuddruckers and Achilles Group, a Houston Based HR consulting firm. In her free time, Carol enjoys spending time with her son Dayton, and watching Alabama football (RTR).

[image: “local” job postings by Justin Henry on flickr]