Hiring professionals are often placed in a challenging position.  They must find the best talent for their company or client while working with limited resources.  However, one mistake many recruiters make is underestimating the power of a well-written job description. 

The job description is your first point of contact between your company and potential candidates, and it plays a critical aspect in attracting the right talent to open positions.

Where hiring professionals make a mistake when writing job descriptions is that they deploy a model that leads with business details, including a lengthy description of the role, necessary skills, qualities of an ideal candidate, and an overview of the company before ever getting to information prospective candidates want, i.e., the value. 

Great Job Descriptions Introduce Value Immediately A statistic on employee value proposition

Value is any information on the role or the company that sparks the candidate’s interest.  This can include a salary range, benefits, employee value proposition (EVP), employer branding, the value the role will bring to the company, and skills the candidate may acquire or refine if selected. 

When introducing the position’s value, it is essential to place this information strategically throughout the job description and then summarize the central values at the end of the job description before they continue to the application step. 

By consistently introducing value and balancing that with business information, recruiters can expect better candidates to apply to their postings.    

The Job Description Formula

While all job descriptions use some version of a B+V formula, they often vary in structure.  In this formula, “B” stands for business requirements, including skills needed, educational levels, and special licensures.  The “V” in this structure stands for valuable information for the candidate, which can include salary, benefits summary, company culture, or skills the company may nurture. 

The popular trend is to position all the job requirements and necessary skills first before quickly summarizing the value to the candidate at the end of the description, as seen below. 


While this structure creates a clear expectation for what the role will entail, it doesn’t do a great job of enticing actual applications by qualified candidates. 

Effective job descriptions take a different approach by building on traditional sales messaging rules to create a structure of:


The primary goal of this formula’s structure is to entice passive prospects to convert to active job seekers. It does this by creating a balance between value for the candidate and the requirements of the role/company. 

Let’s compare two job descriptions for the same role. 

An example of a non-optimized/poor job description
An example of a optimized job description for an open position within a sample company

The traditional job description on the left communicates job duties, a list of responsibilities, and job experience required from the employer before considering the candidate for the role.  But, it does this using passive voice and without introducing any value until the last section of the job posting. This type of description does not promote action from job seekers. 

The sample on the right immediately introduces the position’s value and invites top candidates to continue reading. The description also summarizes the day-to-day tasks in a more professional manner by removing cliché statements.  This keeps the value offered by the position top of mind. 

A well-written job description can help you attract suitable candidates. By providing a clear and balanced description of the value, job responsibilities, required qualifications, and desired skills, you can ensure that you are attracting candidates who are a good fit for the position.

Evaluating Your Job Descriptions

While well-written job descriptions can give your organization a competitive edge in the war for talent, it is vital that you consistently evaluate the effectiveness and impact of your job descriptions on your placements with trackable metrics. 

These metrics should include the following:

  1. Job Offer Acceptance Rate

Are great candidates accepting the position offered in your job description?  If not, check for discrepancies in the information and how it is presented in the job description and the interview process.

  1. Time-to-Hire

Optimized job descriptions should reduce the time required for applying and selecting top candidates.  If you do not receive sufficient applications one to two weeks after posting a new description, you will want to review your and adjust the values presented. 

  1. Quality of Hire

Quality of hire often fluctuates based on the point of view.  When establishing KPIs for your job descriptions and the quality of employment, they attract.  It is vital to evaluate solely on the candidate’s qualifications, removing any evaluations that may pertain to company culture fit. 

  1. Hiring Manager Satisfaction

As a professional whose skills are most likely to overlap with the candidates who apply, it is essential to source feedback from the Hiring Managers.  When scoring using hiring manager feedback, you must evaluate solely based on how the candidate’s qualifications match the skills presented in the job description.

Without a clear job description, you may receive a flood of resumes from unqualified candidates, wasting your time and resources. A good job description that is well thought out will also help you avoid accepting applications from overqualified candidates, as they can quickly determine if the job is right for them.

If you’re looking for help building better job descriptions, you’ll need SmartSearch.  Our career center and reporting tools are designed to help hiring professionals make intelligent decisions regarding the tactics they use when sourcing and retaining top talent.  Reach out to us today to see firsthand how this powerful platform can improve your recruiting process.