What are Candidates Looking for in Job Descriptions?


When you write job adverts for your business, you’re not just letting candidates know about a role that’s become available. You also have to ensure that you’re marketing your business to potential employees. It’s important to make working for the company sound appealing, by discussing the fun working environment or listing the huge number of benefits on offer.

Essentially, you need to make your job stand out from all the other similar roles out there. What makes your business a great place to work? Why should top candidates choose to work for your company over others? If you don’t make these things clear, you may have difficulty hiring a suitable candidate.

To help you write job descriptions that are bound to attract talented individuals, we’ve looked at some of the key things you should draw attention to. These include an impressive salary, opportunities for progression, a fun work environment, a good work-life balance, and a number of perks, such as free gym membership or validated parking. We’ve explored each of these in more detail below.

A Competitive Salary

It goes without saying that one of the first things people check when applying for a job is the salary. Candidates will generally apply for roles which match, or exceed, their current wages. Of course with a pro rata position, this may technically mean a lower salary, as would reducing your hours and working on a part time basis. For the most part though, when moving jobs, people are looking to take a step up in both their career and their wages.

It’s also important to note that these days, you can’t get away with just saying you offer a ‘competitive salary’ – you should also include the wage amount in the job description. According to Reed, two out of three job seekers are more likely to apply for a role if the salary is clearly displayed in the advert.

Another reason it’s good to be completely transparent about wages in your job description is that you can save yourself time when it comes to job interviews. You don’t want to be interviewing candidates who have higher salary expectations than what you’re able to realistically offer.

Job Progression Opportunities

You can’t just rely on a high salary to attract potential employees. You also need to assure them that they’ll be able to move forward in their career, developing their position within your business. And for some candidates, it’s just as important for them to be given the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills. Perhaps you offer training courses, or can support people should they wish to undertake higher education. If so, make sure you advertise it!

Showing that you offer development opportunities not only creates more interest in a job role, it may also mean the person you do hire stays with the company longer. Promoting from within is typically considered to be a better option than hiring external managers too. The individual will already have plenty of knowledge of the business, and you’ll know they are a good culture fit.

Great Company Culture

This can be hard to get across in a job description, but candidates want to know that they’ll enjoy working in your offices, and that there’s a good working atmosphere. This is particularly relevant if your business only has a few employees, as you’ll all be working in close proximity to each other. Things like casual dress and regular team outings can be appealing to job hunters.

Alongside company culture, it’s just as important for a candidate to agree with your company values. With a younger generation starting to enter the workforce, aims and values could be more crucial than ever. Key issues include things like being environmentally conscious and creating a diverse workforce.

A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Candidates want to be assured that their employer will respect the fact that they have a life outside of work. Nobody wants to feel like their new job will cause them to burn out within a short space of time! It’s essential that everyone has a healthy work-life balance, regardless of how demanding the job.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, getting this balance right has become a higher priority for  a lot of people. The pandemic has shown that employers can offer more flexibility, without compromising on the quality or quantity of work produced.

Overall, people want to know that they won’t be treated differently if they need to fit their work schedule around other commitments, such as taking the kids to school or caring for an elderly relative. So if you can offer things like flexi-time or remote working, include it in your job advert.

A Range of Benefits

The job market can be incredibly competitive, so it’s not always enough to simply offer a fantastic work environment. You may have to provide a few perks too. Bonus schemes, free parking, complimentary breakfasts, gym membership, restaurant discounts – big or small, if your business comes with perks, make sure you shout about them.

Even the less exciting benefits, like a pension scheme or private healthcare, must be included in your job description. These could be the factors that convince someone to apply.

Benefits show candidates that an organisation cares about their employees, beyond what they can offer the business. They are therefore something you need to make potential employees aware of!


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