Company culture starts at the top and trickles down until it impacts and affects everyone on your team. However, hiring people who naturally resonate with your company (aka someone who’s a company culture fit) is vital if you want your culture to thrive.
This starts by attracting the right applicants. You can do this by crafting a job description that accurately communicates your company culture and attracts people who are a good company culture fit for your business.
In the past, human resources and managers have focused a bit too much on hard skills and outlining technical requirements when determining how to write a job description. They sometimes failed to take into account how big of an impact soft skills and company culture fit impacted the quality of the applicant.
In addition to including a broader range of preferred skills—including those that make a person an excellent personality fit for your company—the words you choose when drafting a job description are critical in describing your business culture.
It’s critical to understand not only which words best describe your company but how applicants will understand them.
How you present all of this information will impact the type of applicants that will put their names in the hat. Your best bet might be to start with a template and customize it to meet your company’s needs.
Let’s dig in deeper on the subject of how to write a job description that attracts your ideal company culture fit.
What to include in a job description beyond technical skills
The technical skills a position requires are essential to include in a job description—you don’t want to be looking for a programmer and get applications from painters. Unfortunately, though, these technical skill descriptions provide no real insights into whether or not an applicant will be a great fit.
To do this, you’ll want to include information about your company’s values and ethics, your mission statement, work environment, and desirable soft skills.
Your company’s personality is the foundation of your company’s culture. By injecting your mission and other employer branding into your job description, you provide applicants with a framework to understand the rest of your company culture.
Convey your purpose
Though millennials and Generation Z are still out there trying to hustle for a living, they’re more willing to pass on a higher paying job for one that gives them a sense of purpose.
In fact, one in three says that an organization’s mission directly impacts whether or not they feel their work is important.
Because of this, it’s vital to work your company’s purpose in a job description. Let them know upfront what the meaning of your work is beyond churning out a profit, and help them understand what role they’ll have in making that difference if they join your team.
Provide a glimpse of your work environment
Your job description is also an important place to give applicants insights into what your office space is like. Is there natural light? Open workspaces or a more traditional layout? A fully stocked kitchen? In a competitive market, applicants are looking for a well-rounded picture of what their days will look like.
A top example is Google’s main office complex, which includes nap pods, massage rooms, and free meals for employees.
That’s not to say every business should follow in Google’s footsteps, but what is clear is that the company’s corporate culture is on full display in their office space. And whether you realize it or not—so is yours.
Colors, decor, and office perks are all tangible demonstrations of your company culture. By adding a taste of the office environment within your job description, you give applicants a flavor of it all—attracting your ideal company culture fit.
Don’t forget to include soft skills
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll want to include the soft skills that an applicant should have in addition to the technical skills. Soft skills comprise personality traits, personal attributes, and communication abilities.
Academics, policy experts, and most relevant business owners recognize that soft skills are critical to a company’s success. Specifically, they claim that interpersonal skills, the ability to manage emotions, communication skills, leadership, adaptability, and problem-solving are vital.
A study conducted by Harvard University, Boston College, and the University of Michigan found that key soft skills boosted productivity and retention by 12%, as well as provided a 250% return on investment due to retention and increased productivity. So, these things are important to include in a job description to weed out those who don’t quite fit your expectations.
Choose your words wisely
Words matter. The specific words you choose when crafting your job description will convey a great deal about your hiring team, management, and company culture.
The language you use in your job description will reveal an enormous amount about your company.
The key is to choose words that accurately reflect the reality on the ground, as well as your goals.
If you run a no-BS, focused workplace in which employees are siloed, you don’t want to be using terms like “collaborative” or “warm”. If you do, you’re not going to attract the type of applicants who will thrive in your company culture.
There are countless words that you might choose to incorporate into your job description to speak to your ideal company culture fit. Here are some of the more popular ones:
- Positive attitude
- Great personality
- Good judgment
- Strong interpersonal skills
- High integrity
- Able to generate trust
- Willingness to give and receive feedback
- Team player
- Work-life balance
- Clear communicator
- Wants to have an impact on the world
Naturally, some of the above descriptors will resonate with you more than others.
It’s best to use them as a springboard to determine how to write a job description that works best for you, and to come up with additional choice words that will help identify a candidate who’s a great fit for your company.
How to design your job description
Though it’s tempting to think an applicant is only applying to your job, that’s (more than likely) not the case.
The reality is: If someone has submitted an application with your company, they’re on the hunt for a better position or a better place to work than wherever they are now.
This means that—just like you—they’re reviewing dozens, if not hundreds of job descriptions, trying to efficiently sift through them and identify promising & fitting opportunities.
You’ll want to design your job description to allow them to succeed. If they can truly understand what your company is about and what the position requires, and will allow them to visualize themselves at your company and in that role, then they can at least decide if they’re a good fit and whether or not to move forward.
To do this, you’ll want to format your job description for easy scanning with sections, headings, and bullet points.
We can help! We crafted a thorough Google template for how to write a job description and attract your best company culture fit.
Final thoughts: How to write a job description to attract the best company culture fit
In order to find the best fit, envision the type of applicant you would like to see apply for the position at your company.
Go beyond the technical skills—which is just a base requirement. Envision how this person should interact with fellow employees, tackle problems, communicate with management, and conduct themselves in the workplace.
The qualities you end up outlining in your brainstorming session should be reflected in your company culture. If they’re not, then don’t think you’ll be able to hire someone to come in and make that change for you.
Company culture starts at the top.
Instead, what you want is to recognize and accurately describe your company culture in your job description so you attract the type of applicants who will not only survive—but thrive—in your work environment.
And don’t forget to reach out if you’re looking for ways to attract top talent. We have a few ideas.