Recruiting in Challenging Times: Tips on Getting Your Job Descriptions Ready for 2023
We are living through a very interesting time in history. We’ve come through a global pandemic, experienced an unprecedented advance in digital transformation, and discovered resilience in places we never expected to find it—both personally and professionally.
Though not all the news is good, we need to acknowledge how far we’ve come and what we’ve managed to accomplish thus far. Realizing we can overcome whatever lies ahead is critical—as 2023 is expected to bring further economic hardship and downturn.
Companies are hurting to find engaged, skilled employees. Well managed job descriptions, born of well vetted and market tested content, can help with this, but it is important to remember that there are additional variables at play.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job creation is rising, and unemployment dropped in October. But despite positive trends and all signs pointing to a strong economy, recession still looms. Job vacancies still outnumber available workers by a two-to-one margin.
Inflation is at a 40-year high, even after dropping a couple of points from its mid-summer peak of 9.1%. And while this is still relatively moderate in the big scheme of things, it is already impacting the business environment. Logistics and raw materials costs are through the roof. Even basic office supplies have increased in price or are in short supply.
Where the talent shortage is concerned, we’re seeing shortfalls for various reasons. Boomers are retiring, and as companies welcome employees back to the office, many are choosing to leave in search of more flexible options. Household incomes are higher than pre-Covid, and secondary incomes are no longer as important as in the past, further draining the already shallow talent pool.
In light of these variables and others, companies must leverage every tool at their disposal—and innovate a few new ones—to navigate these barriers. Job descriptions, in particular, play an ever more significant role in solving these unique problems.
How Job Descriptions Help the Hiring Process
So let’s talk about how organizations can use job descriptions to their advantage in preparation for a strong 2023.
In a world where company leaders and employees are challenged to accomplish more with less time and resources, accurate job descriptions help to delineate the details so that all stakeholders can reach their goals.
Job descriptions can also illustrate how the work to be done fits into the overarching business mission, helping align employees to a common purpose and strengthening internal culture in the process.
When job descriptions are managed using a tool like JDXpert, HR workflows improve, and new efficiencies are gained while significantly reducing cost and risk throughout the employee lifecycle.
Job descriptions also inform accurate compensation, which is an essential tool not only for attracting new candidates and retaining employees but also for ensuring business continuity and continued innovation.
Other things job description software can do:
Job descriptions help to alleviate employee burnout by detailing what is and is not expected. The clearer you can describe critical tasks and accountabilities, the less room there is for ambiguity.
Informs existing employees of opportunities
It costs a great deal to recruit and train new employees. Hiring from within reduces the risk of failure and elevates high performers into career positions. Adding skills to job descriptions enables skills matching, illuminating the skills and capabilities people need to move on to other open positions.
Helps you understand your job data
Clear, accurate job data is required for everything done in HR. It’s used to inform compensation, fill training gaps, complete performance evaluations, identify opportunities, and help leaders make timely and well-advised business decisions.
Maximizes HR investments
Job descriptions help to ensure all areas invested in (or planned) during 2022 are not wasted. Compensation systems, DE&I efforts, recruiting software, skills matching, etc., all depend on reliable job data. If job data is incorrect, those investments will not deliver an adequate return.
Simplifies job description management
Job descriptions change constantly. You must make job description management an essential part of your HR maintenance program rather than a periodic whirlwind project—the latter of which is inefficient and often arduous for all involved. A software-driven job description management process streamlines the process, enabling transparency and collaboration and making updates and revisions a breeze.
Tips for Getting Your Job Descriptions Ready for 2023
All signs point to more challenging times ahead for HR. Transforming your job description management processes now may help you avoid some of the inevitable barriers you’ll face as senior employees move on and hiring needs increase due to growth or scale.
Here are our top tips for getting your job descriptions ready for 2023.
1. Implement skills-based job postings.
Leverage your job description to create job postings focusing more on skills than traditional success metrics, such as degrees and direct experience. Essential skills can be present even when education and experience are not. Skills-based postings will broaden the talent pool and attract candidates that would otherwise self-eliminate if they didn’t meet the stated requirements.
2. Debias your job descriptions.
Debiasing job descriptions is a multi-layered process that requires removing biased terms, jargon, and excessive superlatives from the job description. Doing so helps you appeal to candidates of any gender, age, or ethnicity and will almost always result in more applicants and greater diversity. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a word here and there, but the results can be dramatic. JDXpert’s debiasing feature simplifies this process by identifying potentially biased language and offering alternatives that give you access to 100% of the talent pool instead of just a cross-section.
3. Get real about what’s actually required.
Be transparent about skills, job requirements, and especially internal growth opportunities. Today’s candidates want to know they have a future with the company. Some may be fresh out of college and looking for a career, not just a job. Detailing these points enables you to find the right people, ensures a better fit for your culture, and helps you retain employees long-term.
4. Include competencies in each job description.
We define competencies as behavior, aptitudes, strengths, and specific characteristics. They are ultimately measurable and can be acquired over time. Examples of competencies include problem-solving and adaptability. People who possess these competencies may be more trainable and open to learning new skills that will allow them to excel in the position. This process will broaden your talent pool and help you better understand how each job adds to the organization’s success as a whole.
5. Capture all required skills for each job.
Skills are part of JDXpert’s best practice template and should be captured for every job. You’ll find tons of skills-related content within JDXpert. Payscale skills are available for MarketPay Clients, and Mercer’s Job Library skills will soon be an option. Skills are not the same as competencies as they are more specific to the job itself. They can include certifications, training, or skills gained through experience. Having these in your job descriptions is critical as it gives candidates, employees, and HR a baseline.
6. Define what success looks like.
Equip managers with job descriptions that measure success to understand what is needed. If cuts or changes need to be made, these definitions can help identify these areas quickly and enable informed decisions.
Are You Ready for 2023?
2023 is just around the corner, bursting with potential for HR departments everywhere. To increase your chances of hiring success in the new year, start transforming your job descriptions today to prepare for what comes next.
At JDXpert we are passionate about job descriptions because we know how they help people and businesses succeed. If you enjoyed this article, please share! Check out more articles on our blog at blog.jdxpert.com.