How To Write The Perfect Tech Job Description

Sam Maughan our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 5/14/2020 8:34 AM
It’s a challenge finding the right Data & Analytics candidate. Add in the number of companies fighting for that perfect profile and for many it can seem like an uphill battle. But there’s a simple way to cut through the noise; better job descriptions. 

As a specialist recruitment agency within the Data & Analytics space, we have seen a real variety of job descriptions over the years, from the bright and innovative to the long and technical. And it may surprise you to learn that candidates still ask regularly to see official job descriptions and it is part of their decision-making process. 

Unfortunately, they are also often a part of the recruitment process that can be rushed or created from out-of-date previous descriptions. There are some real benefits, however, to putting the time and effort required into creating something fresh.  

If you’ve recruited a role like a Data Scientist before, you know that the problem isn’t usually getting enough candidates through the door, it’s about getting the right ones. A well-crafted job description leads to better quality applicants. It also helps those candidates become more engaged and excited about your business. 

So, with that in mind, here are our five top tips for businesses looking to help their role stand out from the crowd. 

CHECK YOUR JOB TITLE 


You might think that calling your BI Analyst a ‘Data Ninja’ is going to get you the top talent, but it would probably mostly cause confusion. It is important that you align the job title to a clear and market relevant job title. Often internal job titles can be the biggest blocker in aligning your vacancy to the market. 

Consider changing the job title for external purposes to make it more closely aligned to the market. Here are some common examples: 

  • An AVP Analyst within a Marketing Analytics team is more closely aligned to a Senior Marketing Analyst.
  • A Data Scientist job title aligned to a role with no machine Learning or algorithmic development may be better titled a Statistical Analyst. 

CREATE A COMPELLING JOB RUN-THROUGH 


Our consultants agreed unanimously that one of the weakest areas of job descriptions tends to be the more detailed description of what the role actually is. Too often job descriptions just list lots of different responsibilities, but these are often very generic or basic. 

Before starting to write the job brief, ask members of your team that do the role already – what gets them excited? 

You will likely find that it has to do more with the types of projects i.e. the application of technical elements, that appeals most to candidates.

If you can, bring the role to life in a meaningful way. For example, relating it to projects that your team has done is a really enticing method of exciting a candidate about the potential of the role.

Create A Tailored Experience Section


Uninspiring job descriptions often have long lists of key skills required, often with irrelevant skills included. Keep your requirements to around 5 or 6 key bullet points, asking yourself what the most important requirements are and clearly laying those out. 

On top of that often companies get too focused on requesting years of experience. We strongly discourage companies from specifying years of experience in a job advert as, within the UK, most European countries and a number of US states this is classified as age discrimination.

  • Instead of including years of experience, carve out what it is that you want your ideal candidate to have done before instead, this will often correlate to their experience level.
  • For example: 5+ years' experience in a Marketing Analytics could easily be transformed to Proven commercial experience in a Marketing Analytics environment with exposure to pre and post campaign analysis, customer analysis,  customer segmentation and predictive modelling. 

DON’T FORGET TO SELL YOURSELVES


Another key area where many companies fall down is effectively selling their opportunity and company to the prospective candidates. Whether an active or passive job-seeker, candidates are likely deciding whether this is the right fit for them based on what they are reading. Many job descriptions completely forgo any type of sales pitch above an initial description of what the company does, perhaps because they expect the candidate to know them and want them. 

These are the areas we’d suggest bringing to life to effectively sell your opportunity:

  • Writing in your brands personality. Consider the right tone of voice to match your company culture and style of working.
  • Introduce yourself. Whether you’re a brand name or not, use this chance to actually tell people about what you really do and what you really stand for.
  • Share what it’s like to work for the company. Include the culture, work environment, targets, challenges and of course reference to perks and benefits on offer too.
  • Consider the candidate. What appeals to a talented Data Scientist will differ from what appeals to an HR professional. Make sure you tailor your overall pitch to the type of candidate you are seeking. 

WORK ON THE LOOK AND FEEL 


A little effort on the aesthetic look of your job description an go a long way.  On top of a nice overall look, keep the length to a maximum of 1.5 pages. Utilise bullet points and bold formatting to keep the description some-what ‘skimmable’. 

If you’re looking to hire a Data & Analytics professional, Harnham can help. Get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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