Business of Engineering

How to write compelling engineering job descriptions

When it comes to finding qualified candidates for a job, it all starts with a job description that draws people to your position. Below are the top five ways to attract the best talent in the industry.
By Evan McDowell, Austin Nichols Technical Search, Kansas City, Mo. February 20, 2019
Service, applications, people, computer, screen, office

It takes a lot of thought and effort to build the perfect job description. To get the most qualified engineers on board, it’s critical to take the job description process seriously. Here are some things to consider when crafting a job description:

1. Create a specific job title

Potential applicants will see the job title before any other part of the job description. It is important to choose a job title that is targeted and attractive. It can be beneficial to browse through other engineering job listings to see if your job title and description are in line with other companies with similar openings.

2. Be specific and accurate

When it comes to formulating the job description, the specific job duties need to be clearly understood—and articulated properly to the person who is hired to do the job. A description of what an employee in this position should be able to do should be included.

Use verbs that accurately portray what the job requires. Be sure to use the words that show the action, but also still describe what needs to be done without being vague. Also, use appropriate adjectives when creating a job description. For example, you may need someone with the ability to work in a loud, disruptive environment or someone who can work in a fast-paced manner.

3. Create an attention-grabbing job summary

Job summaries provide potential applicants with a general overview of the company as well as the open position. This is a great opportunity to give details about what makes the company unique, any special awards the company has received, and why people should want to work for this company.

In addition to information about the company, give a few brief details about the job itself. One major detail that should be included in the summary is where the job is located. This will help more people see your job posting, and it eliminates any confusion that could lead to applicants applying for a job outside of their working area.

4. Permit flexibility in the position

After listing all of the responsibilities and duties that this employee will be responsible for, be sure to allow for a little flexibility concerning job duties. A supervisor should always be able to add additional tasks to an employee’s job description. This means you need to state that while these are the main responsibilities, other tasks may be requested of the person holding this position.

5. Match the listed qualifications and skills for the position

Some job postings expect way too much from employees—be realistic. Make sure to specify what the existing expectations are from candidates and what can be taught on the job. Only include necessary skills and qualifications in the job posting. You can also create an area that showcases preferred skills to indicate that candidates who have those skills will be considered first.

It is never easy to come up with a clear, concise, and compelling job posting. But with a little extra thought and maybe an extra set of eyes, you can come up with a great job posting that is sure to catch the attention of qualified candidates—so you can hire the right person for the position.

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Evan McDowell, Austin Nichols Technical Search, Kansas City, Mo.
Author Bio: Evan McDowell is the research manager for Kansas City, Mo.-based engineering and manufacturing recruiting firm Austin Nichols Technical Search, where he has nearly 10 years of experience identifying the top candidates in engineering and manufacturing industries through database, internet, and telephone research.