Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Valentine's Day, Make Job Seekers Love You

As every one who is currently conscious is aware, today is Valentine's Day.  That means you have (or at least you better have) bought gifts for your significant other, and are preparing for a romantic evening together.  Nonprofit employers also have designs to woo someone.  In this case, it's job seekers.

There are many ways to make a job seeker fall in love with your organization, but one of the best ways is to write a strong job description.  At its core, a job description is a marketing tool: It must captivate potential job applicants by communicating the opportunities the position provides.  It must also outline all the requirements necessary so there is no confusion should there be an interview.

In "Nonprofit Management 101," James Weinberg and Cassie Scarano of Commongood Careers provide eight components that make up a strong nonprofit job description:
  • Title: Your job title should be short, concise, and widely recognizable.
  • Organizational Overview: Introduce your nonprofit through a succinct and enthusiastic paragraph that outlines your mission and programs, success to date, growth plans and future opportunities, and culture.  Remember to include your organization's website.
  • Position Overview: Use one well-written paragraph to describe the overall function of the position and highlight the opportunities for impact and leadership.
  • Responsibilities: Us five to seven bullet points to provide detail about the responsibilities of the position.  Avoid the use of organizational jargon.
  • Qualifications: This section should outline the experience and competencies required for success in the position and your organization, without being overly prescriptive.
  • Compensation Range: Despite popular believe, disclosing specific compensation information is not required and in fact, is not recommended, as it limits the candidates you will see.  If you do plan to include compensation information, put it at the end of the posting.
  • Application Instructions: Be very specific about how you want candidates to apply for the position.  Keep the application process simple, as you do not want strong candidates to remove themselves from the process.
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: It is good practice to have an equal opportunity employer policy and to include that in your job description.  In most cases, a simple "XYZ is an equal opportunity employer" should suffice.
If you follow these eight best practices for job descriptions, you should have some of the best applicants out there falling in love with you.  Who knows, maybe they'll even buy you some chocolate.

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