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Physician and Healthcare Job Board

6 Features of Great Job Descriptions

6 Features of Great Job Descriptions

Turnover in the healthcare industry stands at 16.5%. As a Recruiter, your job is to identify and hire people who fit into your organization. Writing great job descriptions is essential to attracting people who meet your qualifications and will stay employed long-term.

When you look at job search sites, you find postings that are uninspired laundry lists. You want internet ads that quickly make the reader say, “This sounds great; I’ll apply now!”  Here are the steps to write a job description that attracts qualified, motivated candidates to your organization.

  1. Nail the Basics- Make sure you have a straightforward job title such as “Staff Nurse” or “Family Practice Physician” so your opening comes up on keyword searches. You also need to describe the job duties. A great suggestion is to use percentages to indicate how much time he or she will devote to certain duties. For instance, I found an ad for a physician that indicates the job focus was “40% Pediatric and General Medicine, 30% Worker’s Compensation, and 30% Occupational Health.” An applicant knows what your expectations are with this breakdown.
  2. Clearly Articulate the Qualifications- You probably receive résumés that use vague phrases such as “team player” and “hard working.” The same principle applies to job descriptions. Describe the educational attainment, board certifications, years of experience, and specific technical abilities that a candidate needs to be brought in for an interview. You want qualified people to apply and unqualified candidates to move on to other openings.
  3. Avoid Language that Appears Discriminatory- As Angie Best-Boss wrote in her October 27th article, some employers still use outright discriminatory language (i.e. Haitians should not apply). Review all postings to make sure there are no illegal references to race, sex, color, religion, age (40+), or disabilities. According to the EEOC, even the common phrase such as “recent college graduate” is inappropriate because it might lead a reader to believe that older candidates (40+) are not welcome to apply.
  4. Describe the Reporting Relationships- You want to give prospective candidates a clear picture of where this position fits within the organization. Make sure you list the report-to person (i.e. Director of Nursing, Chief Financial Officer) in the ad. If this position is within your organization’s leadership, list the number of direct and indirect reports.
  5. Emphasize the Surroundings- Is your hospital located in a huge city with world class museums and restaurants? Are you looking for someone to join a practice in a scenic, small community? People select where to live based, at least in part, on their values. Use your area to market your opportunity so you attract interested candidates.
  6. Talk about Compensation and Benefits- Although all job seekers would like to know about this information upfront, some hospitals and medical groups have a problem addressing salary directly. If that is the case, give details about benefits. Physicians and nurses, just like other professionals, generally have student loans. If the hospital or practice you represent helps employees pay off those loans, make sure all readers know it. Discuss insurance (i.e. health, life), retirement plans, bonuses, and any other benefits you offer new hires.

Invest Time Now, Save Money Later

One study found that when a bedside RN quits, it costs a hospital between “$44,380-$63,400” to replace him or her. Many organizations waste a lot of time reviewing the résumés of people who are poor candidates for the opening. A well-written job description is a great tool to help you keep your recruiting costs low.


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About Susan Gulliford CPRW

Susan Gulliford is a Resume Writer based in Schaumburg, IL. Previously she recruited for corporate and healthcare positions before transitioning into the career services field. Susan enjoys helping others with the job search process.

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