Writing Job Descriptions For Any Generation
Indeed's blog has an excellent post on How to Craft a Job Description Gen Z Will Actually Read. The suggestions are pretty straight-forward: Keep it concise, spotlight growth potential, be authentic, etc. (Go read the whole post!) My first reaction though is: Why limit this to Gen Z? It's good advise for any generations you're hoping to include with your JDs. So here's my take on a few of the suggestions, especially as seen through the lens of hiring developers.
Keep it concise
Too many JDs meander through the company's customer list, funding sources, and executive pedigree before they get to the meat and potatoes of what the company actually does. And if a candidate makes it that far, they often have to wade through long, generic-sounding bullet points of job requirements and nice-to-haves that could just as easily apply to any software engineering job.
Don't be that JD. Pare it down to the essentials: What makes the company interesting, how the position plays into that, and how the right candidate fits in. And, you know, maybe a call to action to apply at the bottom! But I don't have to tell you this stuff.
Spotlight growth potential
A candidate of any generation wants to know what their career arc might look like if they are so blessed as to work at your company. And developers are no exception. Does your company have an advancement track for independent contributors? Or is management the only option after a certain point? Depending on what your company offers here, it could even be a way to distinguish yourself from the competition in your JD.
But it's not just about growth. It's also about the personal development opportunities available to get there. Do you offer training? Access to conferences? A book allowance? Internal mentoring? This is a real benefit! Call it out in your JD.
This is a tough one. I think part of this is writing with voice, but not just any voice. Ideally, you write a JD with the voice of a real human that works at your company. Many JDs try to get there by having this fake, cheery, impossibly bouncy tone that no real person has even on their good days. Developers see right through that from a mile away.
Instead, say what your company is passionate about. And what you are truly, honestly setting out to accomplish. If you really believe what you're writing, it should come across as honest. But if you're instead putting on a veneer of cheer, many developers' eyes will glaze over before they even get to your sweet line about disrupting an industry that does everything with papers in filing cabinets.
This is also doubly tough because companies want to sound, well, professional. You're a business, not a Facebook group. But in an age of major brands tweeting silly things back and forth to one another, we can probably all get away with lightening up a little online. And that means putting some verve in our job descriptions — without giving up on professionalism.