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Job Descriptions That Pull a Double Shift as Job Postings

How to sell your job with your job description
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Most job descriptions are lengthy, detailed, and dull. The average job description for any institution that’s been around for decades is decades old. In the days when the Personnel Department spent the bulk of its time protecting the facility from its own employees with legal-speak meant to maintain regulation-compliance, the job description was no exception.

It’s time for job descriptions to break free of the regulation rut and become a dynamic, evolving document that not only outlines the work but sells potential candidates on joining your team. Advertisements that are candidate-centric are more likely to generate a high response rate, and they start with job descriptions that do the same. With a job description that’s written with candidate need in mind, you can easily translate them into an advertisement that draws interest.

A great job description and posting sells the applicant on working at your facility. What they need to know about the job is the beginning; learning about the benefits of working with you can tip the scales in your favor. Every communication from your institution is an opportunity to boost your brand in the market and to applicants. Job descriptions/postings that are candidate-centric address the needs of the job seeker and position your facility as the best place to work.

Putting your best foot forward…

As you look through the compliance-centric job descriptions on hand, consider how you can flip the focus to the candidate or employee, rather than the institution. Is the laundry list of itemized duties worthwhile? While it’s probably listed as a responsibility, are physicians referring to their j/d to remind them to issue prescriptions to patients? While some detail is necessary to include, minutiae may be overkill. Candidate-centric descriptions are informative, dynamic, and motivating. If you’re hesitant to lose the laundry list, consider them as an addendum to the original job description.

With an eye on candidate needs

Job descriptions that focus on institutional needs list duties and responsibilities: But physicians, for example, know what their work entails, so duties can be summarized. The focus on candidate needs provides detail on the environment in which they will work and the support the institution provides.

What does an applicant want to know about your vacancy? Compensation and benefits are high on the list, but working conditions and amenities are likely a very close second. Patient volumes, scheduling details (call schedules), practice type, etc. give a more rounded picture of the workload and demands on the candidate.

Information about the facility, awards or rankings you hold, demonstrate the applicant is considering a top-tier move. Amenities, either at the facility or in the community, outline the atmosphere they can expect. Details about the institution and/or department dynamics provide insight into the culture of the group.

Incentives you offer are great ways to sell your institution, financial and otherwise. Partnership terms, flexible scheduling options, research opportunities and more should be included. Whatever makes working for your facility attractive should top the list when creating a candidate-centric job description and posting.

Market conditions mean the rules change

In a normal talent pool, a job description/posting that focuses at least as much on the needs of the employee as those of the institution is a must; in today’s agonizingly tight talent market, it’s mission-critical.  A job description/posting is their first glimpse at your facility; it can pique their interest about what you have to offer, or send them on to the next. To draw them to your institution, you’ll need to meet and often exceed their demands and the posting is the first step on that path.

When applicants are plentiful healthcare providers can be demanding, but in today’s market, it’s the candidates that are demanding. Ask yourself which posting would attract your attention: one that speaks to the facilities’ demands or your own?  A candidate-centric posting nets results.

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About Riia O'Donnell

Riia O’Donnell has over 20 year’s hands-on experience in all aspects of the Human Resource function. Beginning as a recruiter, she grew to lead in all areas of HR, including employee training and development, legal compliance, benefits administration, compensation evaluation, and staff management. She has been a contributing writer for a wealth of HR, training, and small business websites for the past 7 years. Connect with Riia on Twitter at @RiiaOD.