Competition is fierce for the top talent in human resources, and no wonder: the best HR candidates can genuinely transform a business in multiple ways.
So how do you attract those dream HR team members? How do you stand out from the competition as being an ideal employer for their particular skill-set, and just as importantly, for their values?
Here are some solid tips for creating a HR job spec that will speak loudly to the right candidates.
1. Don’t get fancy with the job title.
Avoid vague or creative job titles (if it’s an entry-level HR admin assistant, say so) and be very clear about where the role sits within the department. The job title should be easily key-word searchable so that as many candidates as possible will see it.
2. Don’t include an ‘Essential Skills’ list that goes on and on and on.
When you write your job spec, you’ve got your dream HR candidate in mind, but the longer the list is, the more you’re narrowing your pool and quite likely missing out on some other exceptional candidates. Consider whether every single one is truly ‘essential’ and if not, move it to your ‘desired skills’ section.
3. Use the word ‘you’.
A candidate should be able to read the job spec and immediately picture themselves in the role. ‘You’ll be leading a team of 5 and reporting to X’. You’ll be responsible for creating a workforce planning program to take the company through to 2025. ‘You’re a solutions-focussed HR generalist with significant experience in employee and labour relations’. This is much more interesting than a bullet-pointed list of dry responsibilities.
4. Talk about culture.
With Millennials now the dominant demographic in the workforce, culture has never been more important when competing for talent. Mention if the company has a friendly, supportive culture, a work-hard play hard culture, or a more formal professional culture. None are wrong of course, but you’ll get very different candidates, so choose your words wisely.
5. Highlight potential.
Candidates want to know there’s room for growth, and that they won’t stagnate in the same role after joining the company. Briefly mention if your company encourages training and development.
6. Outline big goals.
The best hiring happens when a candidate is deeply engaged or even inspired by the company’s work. So, share your big goals and how the candidate fits in, whether that’s expanding the HR team, launching a new change management program company-wide, or taking the company international and needing a huge HR push to do so. Remember, your job specification should make the candidate excited to apply, so even if there aren’t any big changes afoot, dig deep to think of what change they can be a part of.
7. Talk about the company.
Most job specs do include some company information, but often, this feels formulaic and uninteresting. Where you’ll get, their attention is when you weave the candidate into the mission statement and company description.
For example: ‘Our fast-growing company strives to help people learn, and the candidate who’ll succeed in our office puts real value on helpfulness, high standards, and integrity’. This kind of description speaks to the reader, who’ll immediately think whether the values of the company are a good match for their own.