Computer Software Recruiting Heads Up: Why you should be afraid to let technical leaders write your job descriptions

Posted by Mark Bohdanyk on December 13, 2021

In many instances in the computer software industry, job descriptions are written by technical leaders who many not be aware or consider the hiring goals of the organization.  There are several factors to consider, and we will break these down in today's article:

1. Profiling the job with the manager

2. Making sure your job description isn't a laundry list

3. Making sure your description doesn't say the wrong thing about your culture

Read on to learn more...

1. Profiling the job

The first step is to get with whomever the new hire's direct report will be to understand the job.  This step is ignored at many companies to the detriment of the hiring process, leading to the wrong people being hired and thousands of dollars down the drain.  Here are the things you need to answer to build a successful job description with the manager:

1.  Why and why now?
Why is this job open and why would the person want this job with you right now?

2. What needs to be done?
What does this person need to do in this position and by when?  Avoid bullet points (humans do not speak in bullet points)!

3. What is the measure of success for this person?
How will this person's success be quantitatively measured?  Don't be vague!  If it is to assist in getting the codebase ready for a Q4 2022 launch, then include that information.

4. What are the common attributes of your top performers in this area of expertise?  This helps candidates identify that they, too, could be a top performer and encourage them to apply.  (Or inversely, self-screen themselves out, which is also a good thing)

5.  Why are they going to be excited to get out of bed and come work with your company versus anyone else?  (We will touch more on this in a bit making sure your job description isn't saying the *wrong* things about your culture.)

2. Making sure the job description isn't a laundry list

One of the main issues with letting technical leaders write job descriptions is that they will add a seeming laundry list of qualifications.  There can be multiple reasons for this, with the most common being:

1. Having the job requirements change often
2. They don't want to be perceived as 'settling'

Let's tackle each of those.  First, some companies have the actual duties change for the open position on a regular basis.  Obviously here, what needs to be done is attack the core necessities of the job, list those skills as required, and any 'adjustment' to the job should be listed as 'preferred skills.'

Second, having too many requirements because the company doesn't want to appear to be 'settling' on a candidate creates a position where no one may be qualified for the job.  Ask any software company in San Francisco, and they will all chant the mantra to you 'Don't unnecessarily limit your candidate flow by being too restrictive.'  It is a job-seeker's market for highly technical candidates.

That brings us to our last point:

3. Make sure you aren't saying the wrong things about your culture.

This is an easy thing to overlook, but your over the top job requirements may be saying that your company doesn't promote work/life balance.  If you are trying to attract the very best talent, you're going to want to make sure you clearly emphasize in the job description your culture and how you reward employees for their contributions.  

Who are we?  HireMojo with RecruiterShare is a diverse team of individuals with over 65 years of combined hiring experience.  We use our knowledge and know-how to help companies hire faster, easier and less expensively, while utilizing AI and software learning to reduce the amount of time it takes on all sides of the hiring equation.  We design tools to help allow you to concentrate on the human parts of hiring – interviewing, negotiating and making the hire.  Learn more about HireMojo here.  We also design tools to help you expand your team by matching you with recruiters willing to administrate your entire hiring process at a fraction of traditional agencies.  Learn more about RecruiterShare here.

Brian Vogel of sensibleHR says:
Like its parent HireMojo, RecruiterShare, is changing the landscape of recruiting. I have referred their services repeatedly to sensibleHR's clients and the level of high-touch service along with the speedy delivery of a premier candidate pool has been nothing short of jaw-dropping. Sure the initial mind-boggling low cost may be the initial hook, but it is the service from the stable of recruiters and quality candidates that drive the loyalty and high satisfaction.

Filed Under:

best practices