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3 Ways your Job Description is Attracting the Wrong Candidates

Job Descriptions do Matter!

One of the most overlooked items when starting a new executive search is the job description. Companies often copy and paste some general information from the website and have the HR department make a list of the desired responsibilities and educational requirements.

However, a well-crafted job description serves as a gateway to connecting with candidates who are not only qualified but also passionate about your organization's mission. A thoughtful job description will attract the right candidates, and a hastily made document can cause you to wait for months without receiving qualified applicants.

3 Common Pitfalls

As a starting point, here are three common mistakes that can inadvertently deter the best candidates from applying.

1. Lack of a compelling, inspiring company description

One of the first elements candidates encounter in a job description is the company description. It is essential to use this space wisely and avoid generic, copy-paste paragraphs from the company's website. Instead, invest the time to craft a compelling narrative that highlights your organization's mission, reach, and impact. Emphasize the unique value proposition and the positive change that your organization is dedicated to achieving. By creating an engaging company description, you capture a candidate’s attention and inspire them to be part of something meaningful.

2. Not conveying the desired personality profile

While listing tasks and qualifications is essential for conveying the basic requirements of the role, it's equally important to go beyond these standard details. Paint a vivid picture of the type of personality and strengths you seek in a candidate. For instance, are you looking for a strategic thinker, a mentor to a young executive team, someone finance-savvy, a storyteller, a harmonizer across operational teams, or a leader who is exceptional at external relations. By showcasing the desired traits and skills, you create a more comprehensive profile of the ideal candidate and pique the interest of the correct type of applicant.

3. Not focusing on desired achievements:

Instead of merely listing tasks and responsibilities, shift the focus to what you expect the person to achieve within the first 12 months of the role. Clearly articulate the goals and objectives that the candidate will be responsible for accomplishing. This approach not only helps candidates envision their impact but also demonstrates your organization's commitment to results-oriented work. By highlighting the desired achievements, you attract candidates who are motivated by challenging goals and possess a drive for making a tangible difference.

Taking the Time is Worth It

Crafting an effective job description is a vital step in attracting the right candidates to your organization. Take the time to carefully craft your company description, emphasizing your organization's unique mission and impact. Paint a story of the ideal candidate's personality and strengths, allowing potential applicants to envision themselves in the role. And shift the focus from tasks to desired achievements, setting clear goals and objectives that inspire candidates to make a significant impact.

Remember, a well-crafted job description not only attracts qualified candidates but also showcases your organization as an inspiring and fulfilling place to work. Not taking the time to do this right can cause a frustrating search process that goes for several months without any great candidates.

Let Us Help

If you have a search that has been going for over 30 days without great candidates, or just want to make sure that you execute the search correctly the first time, please reach out to me at We will schedule a no-cost, no obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss how to supercharge your recruitment efforts.

Maneva Group is a woman and minority owned national Executive Search firm focusing on the social sector with expertise in completely managing the recruiting process, curating diverse and exceptionally qualified candidate pools, and advising C-suite executives and board members through crucial hiring decisions.

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