Creating Job Descriptions to Attract Candidates: Headhunting Insights

  • May 29, 2023

Every company wants to attract talent for their Job Openings. Most of them make mistakes in their Job Descriptions while communicating with candidates about their business challenges. We see all Job Descriptions: Funny, Long, Boring, and Effective. If you read job descriptions online, you will realize that some are not attractive or unsuitable to connect great professionals to their opportunities.


Over the last nine years, we have worked for multinationals, startups, and manufacturers in Brazil, the USA, and Europe, recruiting local and international professionals. We have created our internal method to talk to the clients, deeply understand their business needs, and translate them into competencies before starting the search for a candidate. 

Nothing high-tech. A simple form that guides our conversation with clients and helps us create the base materials for us to:


  1. Create a "killer" Job Description.
  2. Create a guide for our Sourcing team.
  3. Write an Interview Model that will allow us to validate professionals and see if they have what it takes to deliver our client's results.

We will now share the best practices that lead us to success in our headhunting processes. It is widespread when opening a job position that companies make some mistakes, such as:

  • Get the position title, find an old description (maybe more than ten years old), replace some words and technologies, and post the vacancy, often because you need to do it quickly.
  • Using Job Descriptions online as a basis for writing a New Job Post.
  • Sometimes, the company does not show the authentic culture or work environment in the Job description. The text reflects what the company wants to look like, different from what they are today.
  • The descriptions are too long and "ask for too much," eliminating the possibility of natural talents applying because they don't feel qualified or the requirements don't make sense.
  • Long texts without visual triggers (images or even videos showing the real thing about the company)

When our clients hire us, we take over the recruitment process from the beginning, and elaborating on the Job Description is part of the scope of our service. Many clients have lean HR departments, or we deal directly with the owner or Hiring Manager. In our experience, two main points summarize the reasons why a description is not well done:

  • The Briefing with the Hiring Manager of the area opening the position could have been better done; the description needs to be more precise about the challenges of the job.
  • The Job Description's language does not connect with the professionals. They do not feel motivated to solve the proposed challenge for the open position.

We have worked with multiple companies doing outstanding work and hired coaches and courses from experienced recruiters. Below I would like to share some points to help you create suitable job descriptions. (I also invite you to add to the comments your tips as well).

  • Briefing with the Hiring Manager/area that is opening the position. The first question you need to ask whoever is opening the job is: "If you meet the person hired 1 year from now, this professional had a fantastic first year. What did this person deliver?" Here you will find out the business challenges that must be solved and the competencies required to deliver these results. For example, a client recently recruited a Support Manager in the IT area. The first challenge was improving indicators, the second was hiring a team of 4 coordinators, and the third was leading the team so that the area could act as a business partner. List the Expected Results (short and long-term) and Competencies the position requires.
  • A second important point is more related to marketing; you need to write the business challenges and the skills required for the position to attract and connect the reader or professional who has these skills and wants to solve these challenges. If you are writing for Engineers, you need to have an objective and rational tone so that they understand and connect with your message. Write for them to read, your audience, not for you or whoever opened the position to like the text.
  • Write a Job Title that the target audience will understand. If there is another similar title, put it in the middle of the description, creating two chances of connecting with the right professional.
  • Introduce the Company, the Company's Values/Culture, and the Opportunity. Is this an opportunity to work in a fast-growing place, or do projects take longer to be delivered there? Be transparent so that you can attract people looking for this environment. Share a little bit of the business moment and the path for the position. Will the person wear many hats or be focused on a specific project? Are you undergoing restructuring or expansion? You may be hiring for an Analyst role, but it is nice to comment that there is a potential Manager track. Could you show what the professional will gain by delivering the requested results?
  • Culture/Values. How do you communicate? What are the rituals, habits, and ways of working?
  • If there are extra points, could you mention them too? It would be extra attractive if you knew about this technology or had had this specific experience.
  • The location is essential (please be clear about your remote x hybrid work policy).
  • Please mention the need for English or Spanish, for example, and the level of seniority in each one.
  • Could you describe the need for a university education or what level the job requires?
  • In the end, please add details about the opportunity. Is it a Contractor or Full-time opportunity? What are the perks offered and the bonus structure?
  • Finally, add a call to action. "Send your resume to the Recruiter via e-mail or call and schedule an interview." Add the name of the responsible recruiter. In a time of bots and forms, the most talented and prepared professionals will prefer the beginning of a relationship with a human.
  • Be as brief and objective as possible; the shorter the description, the better.
  • If you can put pictures of the workplace, it would be interesting.
  • It is even better if you make a video. Without editing from marketing teams, with the person opening the position commenting on the challenges and skills the company is looking for and HR complementing with a little of the company's culture and moment). It would be fantastic. We could extend the conversation, but these points cover 80% of the work of doing an excellent briefing and posting a new Job Opening. Following these steps, you can communicate the challenge better and attract the best professionals to your open positions, increasing the retention of these professionals and, consequently, reducing costs.

This article helps you in the complex and fantastic work of connecting your company with talents. Sharing best practices allows us to fulfill our mission to connect professionals with great job opportunities. Please feel free to add your tips in the comments below.


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